Review: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson & Gone by Dark by Christy Barritt

“Swan Lake” meets Robin Hood when the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant by day becomes the region’s most notorious poacher by night, and falls in love with the forester.

Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave’s game. When he meets the lovely and refined Odette at the festival and shares a connection during a dance, he has no idea she is the one who has been poaching the margrave’s game.

Odette justifies her crime of poaching because she thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. But will the discovery of a local poaching ring reveal a terrible secret? Has the meat she thought she was providing for the poor actually been sold on the black market, profiting no one except the ring of black market sellers?

The one person Odette knows can help her could also find out her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the dangerous poaching ring . . . and fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester is protecting a notorious poacher?

My review: I was looking forward to The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, Melanie Dickerson’s next installment of her medieval fairy tales, but for some reason this story did not draw me in like I expected. The writing was excellent, the plot well-thought out, and the characters genuine, but it seemed far too slow for my tastes. I finished the book, and I’m glad I did as the ending was very satisfying. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the story, I am giving it a 4 rose rating because it was so well-written.

My rating: 4 roses


Charity White can’t forget the horrific crime that happened ten years ago when she and her best friend, Andrea, spontaneously cut through the woods on their way home from high school. In the middle of their trek, a man abducted Andrea, who hasn’t been seen since.

Since that fateful day, Charity has tried to outrun the memories and guilt of that one hasty decision. What if she and her friend hadn’t taken that shortcut? Why wasn’t Charity taken instead of Andrea? And why weren’t the police ever able to track down the bad guy?

When Charity receives a mysterious letter that promises answers, she decides to face her worst nightmare. She returns home to North Carolina in search of closure and a touch of the peace that has eluded her for the past decade. With the help of her new neighbor, Police Officer Joshua Haven, Charity begins to track down mysterious clues. They soon discover that they must work together or both of them will be swallowed by the looming darkness.

My review: Loved this book from beginning to end. It was dark in some places, but not too much, just enough to get a sense of evil. Twists and turns, a few red herrings, and only the hint of the truth kept me guessing as to who the real bad guy was. I connected with both Charity and Joshua early in the story, which of course added to my enjoyment of it. I have been a big fan of Christy’s romantic suspense for some time, and Gone by Dark just adds one more to my pile of books to save to read again at some future time. 🙂

My rating: 5 roses

***I received these books from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Reading,

Blog sig white