A deliciously Gothic tale... Man of Shadow and Mist by Michelle Griep (Review & #Giveaway) #booktwitter #newbooks #gothic #cleanreads #christfic #christianromance @celebrate_lit

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out my review and enter the giveaway below...

Man of Shadow and Mist
(Of Monsters and Men #2)
By Michelle Griep
Christian Historical Romance, Gothic
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 320 Pages
May 31, 2023 by Barbour Fiction


“The world seems full of good men—even if there are monsters in it.”

–Bram Stoker, Dracula

England, 1890

Vampires are alive and well in North Yorkshire, leastwise in the minds of the uneducated. Librarian Rosa Edwards intends to drive a stake through the heart of such superstitions. But gossip flies when the mysterious Sir James Morgan returns to his shadowy manor. The townsfolk say he is cursed.

James hates everything about England. The weather. The rumours. The scorn. Yet he must stay. His mother is dying of a disease for which he’s desperately trying to find a cure—an illness that will eventually take his own life.

When Rosa sets out to prove the dark gossip about James is wrong, she discovers more questions than answers. How can she accept what she can’t explain—especially the strong allure of the enigmatic man? James must battle a town steeped in fear as well as the unsettling attraction he feels for the no-nonsense librarian.

Can love prevail in a town filled with fear and doubt?

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My Review

MAN OF SHADOW AND MIST is a Gothic story full of twists and turns with a fun play off of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's about a woman who wants to change minds through books and a man who cares for his ailing mother and battles superstition from those who are ignorant. It's about a man who must figure out if he will be a puppet and continue in his uncle's path or find his own. Overall, a deliciously Gothic tale with relatable characters and sweet romance.

I love Gothic stories so I was excited to see how Griep took Dracula and made her own tale, which she definitely does. The Gothic aspects of this story were fabulous from the misty weather, to the old manor on the hill with the gargoyle that sits in its entrance, to the ill mother, to the superstitious townspeople, to the dark hero himself. I thoroughly enjoyed the first third where all of this takes center stage and there is a delightful meet-cute with charged chemistry and subsequent meets where the heroine and hero start to get to know and aide each other. I enjoyed getting to know the two main characters as well as a couple of the side characters. The religious aspect of this story is very prevalent and, so something to not if that's not your thing. The romance slowly builds and is full of chemistry, and I appreciated that the author didn't make it overly strong or the only focus in the story as there is quite a bit going on. The story starts to gain intensity about two-thirds to the end and grows to a couple of climatic moments. 

I did have some misgivings with this story as well. The side characters were very one dimensional and I would have liked more development with their personalities, especially as some of them play fairly important roles. The religious aspect of the story felt forced quite a bit instead of being naturally weaved through. There are several chapters towards the end where it's a religious lecture and the characters are told what to think instead of a few key lines or thoughts that prompt the character's own insights. There were also things that were overdone and overly dramatic or unrealistic, although if you suspend belief and just go with it those pieces don't influence the enjoyment of the story. Finally, things are almost too perfectly tied up in the end.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed the Gothic aspects of this story as well as the two main characters who are quite likable. Those who have enjoyed this author's previous books or who enjoy romantic Gothic stories with a strong Christian aspect will enjoy this one.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

And guess what? She loves to hear from readers! Feel free to drop her a note at michellegriep@gmail.com.

More from Michelle

A Visit to Whitby

Every time I skip across the pond, I make it a point to visit Whitby. What’s the draw? This northern Yorkshire town is steeped in history and is every bit as magical today as it was back in Bram Stoker’s day…when he went to visit and was inspired to set much of his Dracula tale there. In fact, that is exactly where he got the inspiration for the name Dracula when he visited the library and did a bit of research.

Sound interesting? Then come along with me on a virtual visit with pictures from my last trip.

When walking the windy, narrow roads of Whitby, you can’t help but let your imagination wander because it’s as if you’re there in the nineteenth century. Can’t you just see a long-gowned heroine glancing over her shoulder at you as she flees down this lane?

And overlooking these lanes is the infamous abbey ruins, an eerie sentinel that sits atop the cliffs. It is rumoured a ghostly woman appears in the window, but I didn’t see her.

Still in operation today is this old coaching inn, which of course I had to use in one of my scenes.

There are still fishermen who ply these waters for trade, but this harbor isn’t nearly as active as it was centuries ago.

Twice I’ve made the coastal hike from Whitby to Robinhood’s Bay. This is where I imagined librarian Rosa Edwards riding her bicycle delivering books.

And yes, indeed, the sea mists are a very real thing, sometimes so thick it’s disorienting.

So, see what I mean? Whitby is a magical place, well worth the effort to get to if you ever venture over to England. And if that doesn’t quite fit into your budget or schedule, never fear.

Tour Schedule

Betti Mace, June 30

Vicky Sluiter, June 30

Simple Harvest Reads, July 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy , July 12

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Are you a fan of Gothic stories? Do you have a favorite? Will you be reading this one?

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