Silent on the Moor
by Deanna Raybourn
Book 3 of Lady Julia Grey
Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia arrives in Yorkshire to find Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the moldering house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family: the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. Lady Allenby and her daughters, dependent upon Brisbane and devastated by their fall in society, seem adrift on the moor winds, powerless to change their fortunes. But poison does not discriminate between classes...
A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. But blood will out, and before spring touches the craggy northern landscape, Lady Julia will have uncovered a Gypsy witch, a dark rider and a long-buried legacy of malevolence and evil.
My BFF and I both seemed to come to the same conclusion: that we have run out of things to say about these books. I can’t help but notice that each book has been the same kind of formulaic progression over and again. And while each has its own mystery, and while Julia is a constant character development in progress, not much else goes on that isn’t readily predictable.
Once again, I like Julia--she’s a great character, created to be loved, and has a lot of growth throughout the series’ first three books. She’s resourceful and smart and has slowly grown her backbone as her story progresses.
But I do not like Nicholas Brisbane--I have not liked him since the first book and I continue to dislike him still, even after a turning of some events by the end of the third book. And even as I type this, I have already begun reading the fourth book and I am STILL quite irritated with him. It’s not just that he’s a frustratingly annoying broody alpha, created as a Byronic hero, but he’s just a pompous, arrogant jerk who seems to, as I’ve stated before, be raring for a fight all the time. He’s got a stick shoved so far up his ass that I’m not even sure he knows how to get it back out.
And a lot of times, I just want him to chill the fuck off!
My only other grievance against him is how he continuously keeps secrets from Julia, and then expects her not to stumble into his investigations and stay out of his business, and then gets upset with her when she accidentally stumbles into his business and mucks things up. There were many times during these first three books wherein he could have just told Julia what was going on so that she could either stay out of his way, or stay out of danger. But his need to keep everything a secret from her is just plain frustrating if only because it manages to do the exact opposite of what he wants.
But then he turns around and claims that he’d rather have a spirited woman in his life who knows how to have an adventure and stand up for herself… but then expects Julia to be the meek little woman who lets him handle everything. He’s so contradictory that it’s aggravating. And I feel like he’s the one who causes all of his own romantic angst and drama.
Which brings me to the romance that also frustrates me. Julia is obviously obsessed with Brisbane… and what frustrates me the most about this romance is the amount of time that Julia spends chasing after him. The entire romance hinges on Nicholas Brisbane’s final word--if he wants to be with Julia, he only has to snap his fingers. But he continues to lead her on despite her telling him to be straight with her: if he doesn’t want her following him around, he needs to tell her and she’ll go away.
But Brisbane just keeps her hanging on a leash like a devoted puppy. And so long as he gives her that one little spark of hope, she clings to it. But then he turns around and treats her like crap. Because, as Julia even points out at the beginning of this book, he’s too much of a coward to end things between them himself--he wants HER to just walk away on her own without telling her that he wants her to walk away.
Furthermore, he's always the one getting angry with her and she's always the one apologizing, even when there are moments where there was no reason for her to apologize at all. He shows no intentions of hanging onto her when she means to leave him, but in the end, she comes running right back to him anyway, so it seems that there is not reason whatsoever for him to HAVE to hold onto her.
If she ever DOES leave him, he'll just move on in his life, but act like a sullen child scorned, as if he were the victim of their unfortunate meeting.
Otherwise, the book was much like the previous two. The writing is fantastically beautiful; the descriptions are vivid and gorgeous, laying down a wonderful atmosphere. While the mystery wasn’t really much of a mystery to begin with, it DID prove quite intriguing.
On a final note, the best part of this entire book was probably the sisterly banter and interaction between Julia and Portia--these two are phenomenal together and kind of makes me wish the series was about how well the sisters get along and solve mysteries on their own.
2016 Reading Challenges:
• Goodreads Reading Challenge
• BookLikes Reading Challenge
• Bookish Resolutions Challenge