4.5 stars"The world was full of mystery and magic and horror and love." And so is this book. I'm fairly new to the Gothic Horror genre, but I absolutely love it! Or maybe I'm just lucky to have come across this book . This novel is so beautifully written. Sometimes when books are filled with descriptions of sights and smells and such details, my eyes kind of glaze over and my mind kind of wanders until the next "action" scene brings me back. However, with this one, I just savored every poetic word, enraptured in the tiny town of Echo, the lonely estate of Citizen Kane, and the cold blue, salty sea. I found myself reading sentences over again because it was such brilliant prose.This novel is about Violet and her twin brother Luke, whose parents are artists that moved to Paris in pursuit of the artist lifestyle, leaving the kids to themselves in this old manor, full of family history and secrets. To help make ends mean, Violet rents the guesthouse out, and a guy of the name River West shows up at her door to rent it. He is gorgeous, enticing and mysterious, and she knows something's off but can't stay away. Strange things start happening, and the story just progresses from there with a pace that keeps you on your toes in anticipation. We end up seeing a very "lovable" and eclectic cast of characters. The brilliance of this novel comes from the author's ability to create a perfect atmosphere of creepiness, history, romanticism, beauty, and magic. What a unique book.