Book Reviews

Sarah Cradit- The Storm and the Darkness

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* I received an advanced reader copy of The Storm and the Darkness by Sarah M. Cradit, which is the sequel to St. Charles at Dusk. The Storm and the Darkness may be read as a stand alone but I’d recommend that St. Charles at Dusk be read first because this is a phenomenal series. (I’m already looking forward to reading the trilogy, The Illusions of Eventide, in 2014, and the following three books in the series after).  

The Storm and the Darkness is told by various characters with the focus on Ana, a thirty-year-old, intelligent, guarded, and mysterious woman from the wealthy Deschanel family of New Orleans. Ana moves to Summer Island, Maine, because she’s made a mistake that she cannot forgive herself for. Her cousin, Nick Deschanel, is disappointed and hurt by Ana’s move because they are incredibly close. Ana has always felt that she didn’t belong, that she was different and aloof, but she was taken aback at the frigid reception she receives from the locals of Summer Island. The locals assume that she’s a spoiled rich girl and refuse to accept outsiders. Alex Whitman, the caretaker of Ana’s home, is the only person who shows her any kindness. In fact, he’s smitten with Ana and is convinced that he’s her knight in shining armor. Whereas Ana is drawn to Finn St. Andrews, a handsome fisherman. Finn’s brother John, on the other hand, is unfriendly and rude. In the midst of an impending snow storm, Ana hits her head, and the St. Andrews brothers bring her into their home and attempt to nurse her back to health. However, Ana falls into a deep sleep, their phone lines are down, their food supply is dwindling, and an enemy is about to strike the St. Andrews’ home.

I was immediately drawn into The Storm and the Darkness for a number of reasons. For one, I enjoyed the various character’s point of views; it was great getting to know them on an intimate level. My favorite character is Finn. I fell in love with his warmth, passion for literature, acceptance of others, and heroism. There’s an instant connection, both physical and emotional, between Finn and Ana.  Finn is the type of guy that Ana has never felt she deserved; a bright light in her otherwise dark life. But Ana brings something meaningful to Finn’s life as well; prior to meeting Ana, Finn was a notorious play boy with a closed- off heart. I related to Ana’s character as well; especially her intelligence, introversion, and fierce independence. My other favorite characters are Alex, a bizarre yet interesting man, and Nick, a powerful yet troubled man who yearns for love.

The Deschanel family is as multi-layered as an onion, and prove that all the wealth and power in the world is meaningless without love; and love has to start from within.

I highly recommend The Storm and the Darkness, a tale of mystery, drama, and suspense, and the prequel, St. Charles at Dusk. 

My review of St. Charles at Dusk

More info about Sarah & her series: 

The House of Crimson and Clover Series

The House of Crimson and Clover series follows the lives of two New Orleans families: the august and mysterious Sullivans and Deschanels. The Sullivans, a family of hard-working Irish lawyers, have come from nothing and built a life they can be proud of. The Deschanels, a moderately wealthy family who became extremely wealthy by siding with the North during the Civil War, betraying their people. Both families have a dark and rich history, full of secrets, and full of surprises.

The books in this series unravel the stories of both the individuals as well as the families themselves, discovering the ways these families and their secrets intersect, and each story pulls us even farther into their stories.

While the series is meant to be treated as one long narrative, each book can stand alone and be enjoyed without having read the other books.

Title: The Storm and the Darkness
(The House of Crimson and Clover series, book 2)
Ana Deschanel has made a terrible mistake. The only chance of protecting the other people involved is to flee New Orleans, the only home she has ever known, for the quiet solitude of Summer Island.

Summer Island, Maine (population 202) is not the tranquil escape Ana imagined. The locals are distant and cold, especially her neighbor, the reclusive veterinarian Jonathan St. Andrews. Her only lifeline is the kind but odd caretaker Alex Whitman. Showing up at all the right moments, he warns her she is completely unprepared for a Maine winter. As the first winter storm approaches to whispers of an island shutdown- Ana realizes that she may soon be cut off from the rest of the world.

After a surprising encounter with Jonathan’s brother, Finn, Ana finds herself braving the storm to return something to him. Unprepared for the Maine storm, she slips and falls onto the jagged rocks along the shore. The St. Andrews brothers find her in the nick of time, but she remains unconscious. As the storm worsens, the St. Andrews brothers learn there are other, more sinister forces at work closer than they ever imagined.

With no help from the outside world, they must find a way to protect themselves from both the storm, and the growing darkness that looms across the island.

Author: Sarah M. Cradit

Sarah is the author of the Southern Fiction series, The House of Crimson and Clover. The series was born of her combined loves of New Orleans, family dramas, and the mysterious nature of love and desire. Her books combine elements of mystery, suspense, intrigue, romance, and even paranormal. She is always working on the next book in the series, and absolutely loves connecting with her fans.

Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest, but has traveled the world from Asia to Europe to Africa. When she isn’t working (either at her day career, or hard at work at writing), she is reading a book and discovering new authors. The great loves of her life (in order) are: her husband James, her writing, and traveling the world.

Book Links:

House of Crimson and Clover:
Home Page & Overview:
The Storm and the Darkness:
Home Page:

Social Media Links:



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  1. Pingback: Early Reviews: The Storm and the Darkness | ...and then there was Sarah

  2. That is an amazing cover, first of all, and sounds like a great story. I’ll have to give it a shot!
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