Over the next several years I burned through all of my mother's gothic romance novels but I read so many that I started to see repeating patterns, overused tropes, and stock characters. I wasn't calling my issues by those names at the time, but I got a little bored with the formulaic nature of the genre.
And then Jenny Adams Perinovic wrote A Magic Dark & Bright and I fell entirely back in love with gothic. It was spooky and romantic and full of deep dark family secrets. It was all the things I had loved about my mother's gothics but it was also something else. It was modern and fresh and included so many other elements that made it the antithesis of formula fiction.
Despite my undying love of AMD&B, I didn't dive right back into gothic. The wounds of my old betrayal ran deep. But I took baby steps. I downloaded The Artisans by Julie Reece months ago because it sounded so good and just what my little gothic-loving heart craved.
Just a few days ago, I was struggling to stay afloat in daily life and, because stress leads to bad decisions, I decided to start reading The Artisans at 11pm on a weeknight. I binge read it in one sitting. (Bed time was after 2am but I don't want to talk about it.)
AND I LOVED IT. It was perfect gothic gone modern. It had just enough of the tropes I wanted without being too predictable. It was just what my stressed out brain needed to relax and find its happy place again. I loved the spunky voice of the main character, Raven. And the infuriating but drop dead gorgeous Gideon with his blond curls and fancy cane. I loved Raven's super supportive, effortlessly endearing best friends and the grumpy chauffeur. And the pearly white boy who tells her that her black cat is in danger. I loved literally everything about this book. I highly recommend!
So I'm thoroughly back in love with gothic, but modern, fresh, and innovative gothic. Something I've dubbed mod-goth. It's totally thing, right? Cool, now send me all the recommendations!