Ravensdale is the story of a college student who goes to a a remote seventh century castle in Ireland to work during her summer holidays. She plans to write her thesis while she’s there, but a film crew (complete with drop-dead-gorgeous star) and a murder derails her plans.
The castle is in a pretty poor state, but the caretaker is a cheerful sort who brightens up the place, and they soon become friends. Lucy becomes in involved in grant applications to assist in the upkeep of the castle and it soon becomes clear that the caretaker, Owen, is looking for more than a working relationship with her. Lucy might have been interested until Dylan, the film star arrived—along with a bevy of unwanted gothic girl fans. Lucy tries not to be attracted to him but it’s hard not to, especially when she discovers that he’s a really nice guy. Then one of the girls disappears, there’s blood on the stairs. And Dylan has ghosts in his past.
The environment of the castle, the nature of the film—Dracula—the strange stories about the author that used to live in this castle, the ravens that live there, and Lucy’s interest in Gothic literature all make the perfect setting for the Gothic atmosphere and style of the prose, but essentially this is a combination of a murder mystery and a Gothic romance set in the modern world. As such it’s well executed, has some unexpected turns and builds well as the story progresses. It’s not brilliant, but it’s a good read for anyone who likes a bit of romance with their mystery or some mystery with their romance.