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Review: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood and The Duchess of Northumberland

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
4 Stars: A Great Read
Series: The Poison Diaries #2
Hardback: 288 Pages
Publication: October 25, 2011 by Harper Teen

A dark, gothic tale of romance… and murder.
The latest book in the grippingly dark series, The Poison Diaries.

Our heroine, Jessamine, has lost her faith in the men she loved, and her innocence as well. She turns to the dark side and plots to kill her father, using his own poisons, before becoming an assassin, a poisoner for hire. Can she recover from her heartache and reunite with her true love, Weed? Find out in this thrilling story where poisons, darkness and horror are a part of everyday life, and love is the only cure.

Nightshade is better--darker--than the first book. Jessamine and Weed's lives have been complicated by many factors, and now they are separated. Desperate to be reunited with Weed and tired of living with her treacherous father, Jessamine allows Prince Oleander to slowly poison her mind with his tantalizing words. Angry with himself, Weed seeks solace in the forest until it brings word that something has changed with Jessamine.

There is definitely a lot more action in this story than in book one. Jessamine travels the country on Oleander's orders, fueled by the promise that Oleander will lead her to Weed if she listens to him. Broken, she places her hopes in the belief that everything will be all right once she is in Weed's arms again. It is heartbreaking to watch her lose herself even as she believes she is heading towards salvation.

Weed is now the one that I find strongest. Though he still has some doubt in himself, Weed has grown into a self-assured young man. While Jessamine falls deeper into the darkness, he is there searching for a way to save her from Oleander, and he is the one making someone of himself and finding his own identity.

I love how the book is two from the alternating perspectives of Jessamine and Weed. As Jessamine's narrative grew darker and more disturbing, Weed's voice was always there to balance it with his brightness. In fact, the dual narrative served to heighten the contrast between the two, and it tore me to pieces that the two are so far apart. I have no idea what will happen to them in the future and can't wait to see how it all ends!

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An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes

1 comment on "Review: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood and The Duchess of Northumberland"
  1. Awesome concept!!

    A garden with poisonous plants? Two characters torn apart?

    Plus how cool are those names? Jessamine and Weed.

    Thanks for the great review, and for highlighting how the characters grow (Weed) and tumble into darkness (Jessamine)

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