BY ADALYN GRACE
Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation, and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.
However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.
With Death as a love interest who wouldn’t want to pick this book up? Pitched as Knifes Out meets Bridgerton, Belladonna is a gothic historical murder mystery romance that you’ll want to binge in one sitting. I actually listened to the audiobook and I cannot recommend it enough.
Signa Farrow had a unique relationship with death. It has followed her from a young age, leaving her orphaned and left to bounce from home to home. It also cannot touch her, meaning she alone seems able to best it at every turn. Death is also a man who only she can see. A hot man. A hot man super interested in her.
While naive at times I adored Signa. She has spent her whole life just wanting someone to care about her. Left an etiquette book by her mother, she strives to be the perfect society woman and longs for a match so she’ll no longer be lonely. It’s only when she goes to live with her cousins does she see how off trying to fit in makes her feel. That along with her powers sets her a journey she never expected.
The murder mystery was a true mystery. It was fun trying to guess who the murderer was and seeing Signa and Sylas trying to fit the pieces together. The answer truly shocked me and I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.
As for the romance, I wish I had as many suitors as Signa. Death, Sylas, some Weatherby society guy. Girl had a damn love rectangle. Death was sexy as sin and the tension between the two was hot. Name a better suitor in a time where woman must be “pure” than an invisible man. Sylas was a hard man to ignore though. It was obvious he cared for her from the ways he tried to take care of her. Sigma’s thoughts often strayed to him and he sounded just as hot at Death.
The ending was incredible. Just as it all seemed wrapped up and Signa is ready to leave to her family home, another mystery is afoot. With that new mystery comes a gilded sexy man fated to cause quite the tizzy it seems. I don’t know how I’m expected to wait a year for the next book.