This was an unusal story. Kind of fairy tale meets [b:Rebecca|12873|Rebecca|Daphne du Maurier|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XySD9S7BL._SL75_.jpg|46663] with a dash of Showtime After Dark. Our title character is a young farm girl who dreams of a bigger life. So when an older man ventures into the village and seeks her attentions, she agrees to marry him, despite the gossip that surrounds him. You see, Paul is a widower, three times over. All of his former wives, dead at a young age. But Evangeline brushes her fears aside and moves to his giant mansion. Waiting there is the creepy maid, Matilda. How anyone could miss the "psycho" sign blinking over her head is beyond me... yet she ran the household. Evangeline gets pregnant right away, and fights feelings of fear and dread throughout the pregnancy, as Paul works to protect his heart in the event he loses another young wife.
There were some spicy scenes that pushed up the heat. But there were a few word choices here and there that made me run cold... most often when making reference to, er, lady bits. There were some mystical elements that didn't quite fit (at least for me.) The story was loosely based on the Snow White/Rose Red Grimm fairy tale, but hearing the sisters talk about the "black bear" that stayed with them was disconcerting. At first, I thought the bear was a metaphor for a man, but it was really a bear --and it just didn't work for me --that part of the story felt completely unrelated to what was happening with Evangeline and its inclusion felt forced. Also, I never did understand the part with the talking statues.
On the plus side, I never felt compelled to put this story down. It was definitely unique. For the most part, the love scenes were good and Evangeline a likeable character. 3 stars.
*ARC provided by NetGalley