I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
Simon Carden has one dream, one obsession: to be mater of the House of Aske. To gain this end, he is willing to defy all the rules of this world and the next - even the legendary curse of the Askes. But one thing he cannot defy: the will of the only woman who truly loves him.
Leah Considine is our narrator remembering back to when she was a Young girl sometime in the mid 18th century.Her father was the local curate and Always on the outsides of her World was the Aske family.
Her life becomes involved with theirs when her mother suddenly dies leaving her father a grieving widower. When Lady Kintyre the daughter of the Aske matriarch offers to console him one thing leads to Another and they form an attachment and marry. Their happiness is cut short however when both are killed in an horrific carriage accident on their honeymoon.
Now Leah is truly an orphan but she is taken in by Old Madam Aske her stepgrandmother to be raised at the mansion alongside the the two Aske Children,the heir is Peter(a sadistic creep) and Ann (a Beautiful dimwit)
Peter grows up to become a spendthrift degenerate and gambles away the ancestral home leaving the Aske womenfolk on the mercies of Simon Carden who is the bastard son of the eldest son of Old Madam but who was killed fighting for the Jacobites. Simon harbors resentment being not only denied his birthright but also blaming the Askes for the Death of his mother.
And now when he has become a rich man he wants it all from the house to marrying Ann Aske and taking her name.
I am not sure I have ever been so equally bored AND appalled by a book.
Now dont get me wrong when I pick up a gothic I dont excpect it to be all sunshine and happiness.I do expect many things like old forbidding houses,strange families and Deaths. (not to mention the heroine running scared in a nightgown.)
But the "Devil of Aske" first of all suffers from lifeless writing and the first person omniscient narration of an old Leah reciting her life makes for a plodding dry read and people are rarely shown as interacting and only occassionally being allowed to have dialogues but somehow still inexplicably manages to connect with each other
If you are not turned off by the writing style then you might want to avoid this because of the animal torturing and how Leah