Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin

From the Back Cover:

Evangeline grows up understanding the extraordinary effects of fragrance. Her grandmother Louise is a gifted aromata, a master of scent-making and perfume. When Eva was a girl, Louise carefully explained that lavender under her pillow would make her dream of the man she would marry; eucalyptus would make her taller; almandine, fatter; and jasmine, Louise promised, would wrap her life in a mystery. When Eva is eighteen, Louise leaves her the ultimate gift—a scent created just for her. The small perfume vial is accompanied by a note in Louise’s slanted script: “Do not remove the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.” 

From the moment Eva places a drop—the essence of fire, leather, rose, and jasmine—on her neck, men dance closer to her, women bury their noses deep into her hair, even the cats outside her bedroom cry to be near her. After a lifetime spent blending into the background, Eva is suddenly the object of intense desire to everyone around her. Strangers follow her down the street; a young boy appears at her door asking for a favor; and two men, one kind and good, the other dark and seductive, fall deeply, madly in love with her. As her greatest gift becomes an unbearable curse, Eva must uncover the secret of her scent and the message her grandmother, the woman who loved her most, wanted to tell her.

My Thoughts:

Scent of Darkness is a beautifully written novel of a young woman coming into her own, full of lyrical prose and lush description. The promise of a scent left to Evangeline after her grandmother's death, a scent that would change Evangeline's life forever, was very intriguing, as was the mystery surrounding the creation of that scent. The scent opens up plain and shy Evangeline's world, thrusting her into a spotlight she's unaccustomed to, making her stand out where before she had always blended in. It grants her fondest wish, that the beautiful, unattainable medical student Gabriel would return her feelings, but the fear that he is only in love with her scent pervades her happiness. Just when Evangeline thinks she has everything she wants, her scent attracts another man into her life, the artist Michael Bon Chance, who has a shady past and even shadier intentions, and Evangeline finds herself getting caught up in the dangerous side of her powerful scent, and ultimately fighting to reclaim her life and what is most important to her.

The story started well and ended well, and I was absorbed in the gorgeous writing, but the story lost me a bit in the middle. If only the characters had been as well developed as the writing style. Even though the story was told through Evangeline's first person point of view, I never felt like I got a really good handle on her character. I didn't understand how she could risk everything she had with Gabriel for such a flimsy connection with a man who obviously had ulterior motives. And neither Gabriel nor Michael were very developed either, despite the fact that they both bore the names of archangels and played opposing roles in Evangeline's journey. I was intrigued by the possibility that Michael would turn out to be something much darker, but that didn't happen, which I found disappointing because mystical themes were wrapped up in the story from the beginning. The power of scent, fortune telling, bayou magic--it's all there throughout the story, but it ended up serving as more of a backdrop than playing a big role in the conclusion. I felt like I started reading one type of story, but it turned out to be something else entirely. But I liked it enough to finish it, and the ending pleasantly surprised me, making the story worthwhile. I would recommend this for the author's magical way with words, and for a story different enough to stand out from the crowd.

My Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win your own copy of Scent of Darkness!

As always, my followers double their chances to win, so let me know in your comment if you follow via GFC, Facebook, or Twitter! This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends at 11:59pm Saturday, February 23, 2013. Thanks, and good luck!

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected.
Stay tuned for more great giveaways!

Scent of Darkness is on a blog tour!
Click here to view the tour schedule.
Click here to visit Margot Berwin's facebook page.


  1. I'm intrigued by the use of scent in the book! It's a really interesting premise!

    - GFC follower!

  2. Your review peaked my interest in this captivating novel. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. This book is fascinating and unique. It sounds memorable and your review was wonderful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  4. Thank you so much for your review of my novel! I'm glad you enjoyed the story and in particular the ending! If any of the commenters above read the book and want to discuss, feel free to contact me on facebook or twitter!

    Margot Berwin

  5. Thanks Jenny for the giveaway.
    I follow you many ways, for instance with twitter [@wordsandpeace]
    Emma @ Words And Peace
    ehc16e at yahoo dot com

  6. I follow you on GFC (blogger). tchevrestt(at)

  7. Wow, an aromata sounds like a fascinating occupation. It "smells" like a wonderful story with great prose.

    I follow your blog via GFC.

  8. The old adage “be careful what you wish for; it just might come true” comes to mind when I read the review of Scent of Darkness. I would really like to discover if this premise holds true.

  9. That book cover looks amazing!
    I follow via email: mestith at gmail dot com
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  10. I'm curious about the ending -- sounds really intriguing! Thanks for being on the tour!

  11. This sounds interesting- I'm curious how well the scents are conveyed just through writing.
    I follow via GFC- Kirsten!
    aircdrewood at gmail dot com

  12. Although I'm reading mixed reviews, I'd still like to give this one a try. I love a book with beautiful prose...

    I'm a new follower - Bookworm Brandee - I found you on GoodReads.


    Thanks for the chance to win this book. :)

  13. oh i so need to read Scent of Darkness!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  14. I have been hearing such wonderful things about this title. As you say, the gorgeous, lyrical writing seems to be agreed upon by most of the reviews I have read. Thanks for sharing!

    I follow via GFC: Twisty J


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