Title: After the Gloaming
Author: Leah Marie Brown
In: The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Celtic, Scottish romance
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: The emaciated man’s chest rattled with each tortured breath and his blue eyes, yellow with jaundice, darted frantically back and forth as if terrified at the thought of dying alone.
Conrad has returned to the homeland to say goodbye to the father that he never knew. But in doing so, he might find a future for himself that he never expected. And break the ancient curse on his family at the same time.
I really liked the use of a bean sidhe in this Scottish romance. It took that sense of surreal otherworldness that I’m falling in love with within the genre and partnered it with the modern-day real world. Especially considering the fact that the story begins in yesteryear and then flashes forward to today. The use of a cursed woman and bean sidhe just echoed that perfectly.
The only reason I took half a star off of my rating for this tale was that I thought it ended too quickly. The introduction took up about three quarters of the story. Then suddenly the two characters are obviously in love and trying to break the curse. You flip the page and the curse is broken. I felt that the amount of work and awesome storytelling that had gone into the initial introduction, could have extended out the ending a little and made you wonder about happily ever after for just that little bit longer.
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