{Review/Giveaway} THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART by Leanna Renee Hieber

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O P E N I N G H O O K:

June 1880
"ISN'T THAT THE MAN WANTED FOR THOSE murders in New York City?"
I tried not to let my face betray the panic flooding through my body.  I'd thought once we made it out of New York City and onto the train we'd be safe."
(Page 1, US paperback edition)

Haven't read the first book, DARKER STILL? Check out the review of that instead! (And enter to win an autographed copy whil you're at it!)

When first picking up THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART, I expected the format to be the same as it was for DARKER STILL.  The story was told as Natalie wrote her adventures.  Now that she's no longer mute, the second book reads like a traditional novel in terms of format.  While it's a little jarring to see the difference when reading back-to-back, it also allows for the addition of letters from Jonathon's experience in London, as well as a deeper look at the dreams plaguing Natalie.  The book also feels more immediate now, and adds more tension designed to leave readers at the edge of their seats.

Just when everyone thought the past was behind them, having trapped the demon posing as Jonathon into the portrait and pulling the real Jonathon back into the world, it seems that dark magic is still afoot.  Other demons are around, performing foul experiments even more horrible and tragic than before.  Leanna Renee Hieber again blends gothic horror with historical fantasy for a unique blend of story that's easy to be sucked into.  Rather than fall into the trap of "Now that Book One romantically tied the two main characters together, what do I do?" moment that makes many authors create love triangles or break-ups/reunions, Hieber splits the two up by distance.  Natalie remains in New York City, while Jonathon investigates what happened to his estate in London.  Apart, the two investigate the supernatural world they've been pulled into, while still working together to fight evil.

I love seeing the twist of classic fiction mixed in with this series.  The first book, DARKER STILL, had remnants of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, while TWISTED TRAGEDY dips its fingers into Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  The atmosphere of both books is creepy and intense, much in the vein of these traditional tales, and are certainly not posers in the gothic romance category like so many other books being published.  The new book evens out elements that were rougher in the first book and builds better character relationships.  It's also less mythological and more religious this time around, though also more focused on ghosts and the afterlife.  Due to the new writing style, it's also easier to slip into Natalie's head and feel the events in a way I didn't in the first book.  It will be interesting to see where Hieber goes next with this story, and what tales she manages to twist up next in the fight against evil.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I don't like this cover as much as the first one. I do love the splash of red in the girl's hair and the way the red is pulled into the ttitle/author treatment.  I also love her hairpiece!

I'm not overly fond of the inconsistencies when compared to the cover of DARKER STILL. It doesn't scream "series" to me.  The third book will probably match this one better, since it seems like a series formula is in place now.  

I do think the book looks historical with the corset on the front, but think the wallpaper overlay is an odd choice (maybe because it doesn't match the first book).  It's nice to see a design in place for future titles, though!

Oh, and I do adore the tilt of that "g" in Tragedy!  *drool*
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Received: For Review

I'm coming for you. 

The whispers haunt her dreams and fill her waking hours with dread. Something odd is happening. Something...unnatural. 

Possession of the living. Resurrection of the dead. And Natalie Stewart is caught right in the middle. Jonathon, the one person she thought she could trust, has become a double agent for the dark side. But he plays the part so well, Natalie has to wonder just how much he's really acting. 

She can't even see what it is she's fighting. But the cost of losing her heart, her sanity...her soul.

And now, two giveaways! 
 Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

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Enter to win an autographed copy of 

Giveaway forms at the bottom of both above entries! Through Dec. 15th.  Good luck!