Midnight Rooms

Donyae Coles offers readers a fairy tale--of both the romantic and horrific variety--in Midnight Rooms, a chilling and fantastical work of historical fiction.

Orphaned at a young age, 26-year-old Orabella has long been in the care of her aunt and uncle, a wealthy Bristol family whose status in society is not enough to land their mixed-race niece an offer of marriage. Until one day, when a stranger appears and asks for her hand--an opportunity her uncle sees as an end to his gambling debts. Despite her reservations, Orabella is rapidly pulled out of her current life and into a new one, wed to the strange Mr. Elias Blakersby and off to his family's estate in the countryside within a day. But upon their arrival at the estate, Orabella discovers that her happy ending may not be so happy after all. Thrust into a lavish world, Orabella is plied with honey wine and wakes from dreams that feel impossibly real. She's surrounded by relatives of questionable humanity and never allowed to be alone except when locked in her bedroom each night.

Coles turns the typical fairy tale upside down and inside out and back again. Midnight Rooms shifts to something like a fever dream, and a dark mystery unravels across its pages--what is Orabella's imagination, and what is real? What is a memory and what is a dream? What can be believed? With vivid and gory detail, Midnight Rooms is a genre-spanning work of history and horror, fantasy and fairy tale, that pulses with a dark energy from start to unsettling finish. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer

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