I remember the first gothic romance cover I ever saw. Tealish-gray in color, it showed a lady in a clinging gown and cape, running in horror from a towering lighthouse being bombarded by the stormy sea. I had never seen anything so beautiful and that first inspiring cover opened up a whole new world of fiction to me.
You see, I was a minister’s daughter, and anything perceived as horror or evil was outlawed. Also on ban were romance books that suggested anything sexual might be happening inside, like the cheesy Fabio covers of the 80s, with a half-clothed damsel clinging to his bare chest.
Gothic romances were a perfect fit for me. They only featured a lone lady—fully clothed in layers and often a cloak—with a house or castle behind her. These were acceptable visualizations in my home. With non-descript titles like Darksham’s Tower, Mistress of the Moor, or The Silent Place, it was easy to bring them into the house without a raised brow.
Through these fantastic books, I traversed stormy estates, explored hidden passageways, and fell in love with the ghosts behind the paintings, all without leaving the comfort of my nightly reading nook. I was the archeologist deciphering ancient script and falling under the mummy’s curse. I helped the handsome spirit in the tower avenge his death and find his lost love. I broke the spell holding the vampire in his crypt and became his progeny.
For a sheltered child, gothic romance books were an escape I never would have survived without. If you loved them too, you will enjoy the stories collected in this tome.
Harkening back to the glory days of those great tales that kept me up reading all night, I present, Haunts and Hellions…
13 stories of horror, romance, and that perfect moment when the two worlds collide. Vengeful spirits attacking the living, undead lovers revealing their true nature, and supernatural monsters seeking love, await you.
So, pull the blinds closed, light your candle, and cuddle up in your reading nook for some chilling—and romantic—tales.