The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses: L. V. Russell *Review*

Cover image of The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses by L. V. Russell is in the centre of a gothic image of a castle surrounded by a creepy forest and stairs leading up to it. Added text: Broken Oak Manor is a house full of secrets...

Genres: Gothic, Gothic Romance, Suspense | Release Date: 15 May 2023 | Standalone | Pages: 200 | Publisher: Quill and Crow Publishing House | Review

There are secrets within this house…

L. V. Russell


A huge thank you goes to Book Sirens and the author for letting me review an e-ARC of The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses! I’ve been desperate to find a well written tale of dramatic suspense, and this gothic romance has delivered *so* much more than I could’ve ever imagined…

As an orphan, Theodora’s left with only her grandmother and the crumbling Woodrow House for company for many years. And as the house slowly falls down around them, it creaks and groans with every breath… So when Theodora becomes a governess at Broken Oak Manor to Ottoline Thorne, the unnerving silence of this home frays at her nerves. The housekeeper is intimidating, and the attic is out of bounds. But there are footsteps at night, and glimpses of a female’s presence around each corner. Will Theodora act on her attraction to Lord Thorne, who tells her his wife is at the seaside? Why is the very mention of Lady Thorne’s name so unwelcome? And what secrets does this house keep, which could change everything?

Cover image of The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses by L. V. Russell is to the bottom left of an image of a lake surrounded by dead trees at sunset. Added text: Theodora knows there's more to this house than meets the eye... Is she safe within its walls?
The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses is a captivating gothic romance, full of the secrets a house can keep…

Happiness Boost:

Combining historical fiction with gothic romance is a powerful and spellbinding combination when done right! And yes, The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses definitely gets it right. L. V. Russell has weaved an enthralling tale of secrets, family and a foreboding sense of *other* within these pages. I was riveted by it; I didn’t want to stop reading, even when my eyes were begging for sleep!

Okay, has anyone here read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or the Inkspell trilogy by Cornelia Funke? Russell writes with the most amazing descriptions of death, making it like a living, breathing character. Yes, I know the irony of my statement there… But it’s true! Theodora is well acquainted with death, from such a young age. And although I don’t normally quote lines within my happiness boosts, read this: ‘It had gathered at her cradle, whisper-soft and unseen’. Tell me you wouldn’t fall head over heels for this writing!

This haunting story builds tension like so very few can. But aside from all of the gothic goodness within the pages, The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses also delivers on the sweetness that family life can bring. Ottoline is such a kind-hearted young girl, who just wants to be loved. It was so engaging, to read of the friendship forming between Theodora and Ottoline. And even Ms Rivers (the housekeeper) is a good sport when you get to know her!


No downside for me, I loved this spooky tale!

Final Thoughts:

The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses by L. V. Russell is a powerful, unforgettable gothic romance and will leave the reader wanting more. In fact, I’ve already followed the author on Goodreads so I’ll be notified when new releases occur! Seriously, if you love suspense and a haunting narrative which will keep you turning pages? This book is for you! If you love the sound of this story from my review? You can click on any of the links below and pre-order a copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can pre-order The Quiet Stillness of Empty Houses via these links:

Amazon | Booktopia | Fishpond

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