Under A Dark Moon

Brandon Brothers - Adam

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
452 Pages
Reviewed on 09/02/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Under A Dark Moon is a work of fiction in the romance, historical, and suspense sub-genres, and was written by author Stella Riley. In the second novel in the Brandon Brothers series, we find ourselves focused on Adam Brandon, who is about to be offered the position of a lifetime working in a covert operation for the Crown. Unfortunately, or so it seems at first, this exciting new life comes attached to Camilla Edgerton-Foxe, a recently jilted young woman with a tongue as sharp as her mind. But, as suspicions around the smugglers at the coast grow, Camilla and Adam prove their equal worth in getting to the dark truth of the matter and draw all the closer for it.

Author Stella Riley has crafted an intricate and enjoyable romantic mystery novel that beautifully embodies all the graces and drama of the Georgian period, as well as many of its darker shadows. It is very much a novel of two major strands, swaying at first between the interpersonal drama of the prickly Camilla and the somewhat directionless but ultimately very charming Adam, and the deeper plot of espionage, subterfuge, and the machinations formed by a fantastically penned criminal mastermind of the smuggling world. The dialogue was also exceedingly well balanced to be accessible and easily read by modern audiences, whilst also giving flavors of the time, and balancing Adam’s more gender-equal thinking in a convincing fashion. Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Under A Dark Moon to fans of historical romance with plenty of substance to match its style and enjoyable male leads who are not bound to the toxic traditions of their times.

Jennifer Ibiam

Adam Brandon, a master swordsman, was tailed during his time in Paris. A face-off with his assailants saw him storming into their hideout. There, he met a Mr. Goddard (in reality the Earl of Alveston), who confessed to being the head of M-section–a government sub-department. Mr. Goddard recruited Adam, whose first mission was to take Goddard’s niece, Camilla “Millie” Edgerton-Foxe, safely back to Dragon Hall, among other secret assignments. Millie, a formidable young woman, was dealing with heartbreak and couldn’t stand men. Adam wasn’t any different. The swordsman wasn’t searching for love, either. It was a clash at first sight for the duo. So how will they survive each other’s presence for the duration of Adam’s assignment? Millie and Adam are two feisty characters who can hold their own. But when sparks fly, who will succumb first? Find out in the historical romance novel Under a Dark Moon by Stella Riley.

Under a Dark Moon is a long but interesting read. It’s a historical novel laced with romance, humor, espionage, and old-world politics. I loved the plot, which was unique and engaging. The storyline was also unpredictable, making me look forward to every twist and turn. The development of each character was extraordinary as I was carried through the progression. I felt like I was watching an interesting historical series. The language was flawless and era-appropriate. Adam and Finch’s relationship was a welcome breath of humor. Those two made me laugh so much. The cunning Mr. Goddard was another character that I loved. He was always a step ahead of everyone. The story was so easy to follow, and the dialogues flowed effortlessly. This is a beautiful book and I hope to read more of Stella Riley’s work.

Bernadette Diane Anderson

Under A Dark Moon by Stella Riley is the story of a young man, Adam Brandon, and a young woman, Camilla Edgerton-Foxe brought together under strange circumstances. A beloved grandmama desperately wants her granddaughter to settle down. After dramatic events, Camilla, the granddaughter, refuses point blank to take part in another season in London society. However, she agrees to go to London for two weeks on the understanding that there will be no attending balls or theaters; then, she will be allowed to return home to her own estate, where she will be joined later by her brother, Guy Edgerton-Foxe. Invited to dine at her uncle’s, Camilla meets Adam Brandon who is a superb swordsman, but he gets quite a frosty reception from Camilla. He is commissioned to escort Camilla back home and ensure all is well and secure at her estate. With great annoyance from Camilla, an uncomfortable journey begins. Soon you’re in a world of intrigue, smuggling, murder, and espionage. In all this craziness, can love blossom, and will everyone be safe?

Under a Dark Moon by Stella Riley is quite simply superb for lovers of period drama novels. It brings together elements of romance, action, intrigue, espionage, smuggling, and a very nice hint of humor. You’re taken on a tour and educated about the sophisticated world of the smuggling fraternity in the 1700s. Lots of very different characters, all vividly described, help you, the reader, get an excellent mental picture of what is going on in the minds of some of the characters involved in its storyline. Descriptive scenes help enhance your enjoyment of this book and perhaps familiarity with parts of the southern English coastline. The key characters have bold and intense personalities that draw you along in anticipation of the next event, hoping for a good outcome to this story. Fall in love with the two central characters in this book, Adam and Camilla, as they weave their way through a dramatic time in their lives and enjoy how it all turns out. A very enjoyable book.