Harvest of Sighs is the third book in the Thornchapel series. The books are intended to be read in order and this review will naturally reveal plot points for the series.
Delphine and Rebecca have known each other since childhood. They never really got along, but when Delphine was at her lowest and needed someone to help her find her way, Rebecca was there. Delphine is beautiful and has cultivated a successful social media brand, but she struggles with her self-image and has trauma that hasn’t healed and now Rebecca’s dominance is exactly what submissive Delphine needs.
Rebecca has no interest and no time for love. She has partners to play with and dominance is an important part of who she is, but work and family rule her carefully calculated and controlled life. Rebecca doesn’t show weakness and Delphine could definitely be her biggest weakness. One taste is definitely not enough and when Delphine opens her heart to Rebecca, Rebecca can’t trust what is right in front of her. As close as Delphine and Rebecca get, Rebecca’s inability to open her heart could be their biggest downfall.
Meanwhile, the mysteries of Thornchapel are still unraveling, as are Auden, St. Sebastian, Poe, and Becket. With an explosive secret revealed between Auden and St. Sebastian, they and their group of friends are trying to find their footing. Thornchapel holds lots of secrets and the mysteries uncovered have already revealed the ultimate sacrifice. However, Thornchapel has gotten its thorns in deep and the group finds their relationships filled with desire and jealousy, longing and pain, and they can’t help themselves, although they know there might be consequences.
“This is the hurt we choose…. But what about the hurts we don’t choose?”
The Thornchapel series has me addicted in the all the best ways. The ensemble cast of characters and the deep chemistry between them, along with the atmospheric and mysterious location, have me a little consumed with getting to the end of this story. The blurb summarizes this book as mostly Delphine and Rebecca’s story and while it is, the book also follows the story of St. Sebastian, Auden, and Poe, along with Becket, and I am completely intrigued with them all.
The book opens with a story that goes back 1300 years. Estamond, who is Poe’s ancestor, has been referenced in the past and the scene we get here has a lasting and lingering effect. It also adds more layers to the story of Thornchapel, sacrificial rituals, and the door that only a select number of them can see.
The book then effortlessly balances all of the characters and advances their stories. There is more insight into Rebecca’s family and Delphine’s trauma and how the two of them fit together, but Rebecca hasn’t figured out how to truly open her heart. Poe’s father also finally breaks his silence and, along with Rebecca’s father, the group learns more secrets of Thornchapel. Then, there is St. Sebastian and Auden and Poe and their relationship, as a secret was revealed at the end of Feast of Sparks. St. Sebastian feels completely tortured over the situation and he hates that his “only inheritance has been sacrifice,” which drives to the heart of him. The relationship between St. Sebastian and Auden is definitely a favorite and their all-consuming need for each other is truly captivating reading.
All of the characters struggle and all of the characters feel emotionally tortured throughout the book. The group woke up Thornchapel and even Becket, the priest, struggles with his vow of celibacy, and he is yet another intriguing character. The book continues with an erotic atmosphere and the need the group has for each other, on a variety of levels, and the pull they all feel to Thornchapel becomes mesmerizing. As this book arcs higher and higher, the group fractures and, while choices are made and consequences become real, so will be the consequences if the rituals of Thornchapel are ignored.
For intrigue, deep character development, rituals, sacrifice, and carnal pleasure, Thornchapel is where you will want to be.