Darker Still Leanna Renee Hieber Rating: 5 “Lives should never be down to mere words, but I suppose they always are. Whether declarations of war, law, or treaty... words ever determine lives.” It is generally thought that all men like their women silent. So it should not be to difficult for a mute young woman such as Natalie Stewart to fit straight into New York City's frivolous society. But Natalie longs for more than to catch a man and embroider. She longs for a life like those she's read of in novels; full of adventure, mystery and love. Little did she know what Fate had in store for her. Overcoming the hurdles of being mute with admirable courage and ingenuity, Natalie meets Mrs Northe and is shown Mrs Northe's prize possession - a portrait of an Englishman, the young Lord Denbury whose story is woven with mystery and magic. No one knows of what happened to the youth...all that remains is his startling realistic portrait. Natalie's father, employed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, agrees to purchase it and Natalie is secretly thrilled - completely drawn to the painting and its beautiful subject. Until it begins to alter...almost beckoning her, calling to her to help the young man. One touch - one press of her fingertips to the exquisite canvas - and Miss Stewart, like Alice, tumbles through and lands in the arms of a very tangible, and very handsome, Lord Denbury. The young man's story of grief, magic and demons draws Miss Stewart to him and she promises to aid him in escaping his magic prison. But dark forces are at work, and an enemy appears - but Denbury's doppelgänger may be more than he appears, and capable of hurting not only Denbury himself, but Natalie. Is she willing to sacrifice to much for the handsome youth she barely knows - as well as for the victims of the doppelgänger, who seems to be on a vicious quest to rid the world of light and love? A masterpiece that has highlights of the dark and thrilling 'Picture of Dorian Gray', this book is sure to have you giving paintings second-glances...looking for that spark of life in the portrait's eye.