Tiffany Reisz takes her readers into uncharted waters with The Night Mark: a sweeping epic that spans time and space for fans of Outlander and The Time Traveller’s Wife looking for their next obsession.
At the start of the novel, Faye is a broken woman. Her second marriage is crumbling, and it’s no surprise to her. She had no business marrying her deceased first-husband’s best friend anyway, as a last-ditch plan to save herself after his untimely death. But over the next four years, her marriage to Hagen crumbled despite his good intentions. When Faye decides to leave him, she doesn’t quite know just how far she will go to find a new start.
In a small coastal town in South Carolina, Faye is drawn to a Lighthouse with a complex and romantic mythology that takes her breath away. In 1921, Faith, the daughter of the lighthouse-keeper, drowned in the water. And the lighthouse-keeper, Carrick…looked exactly like her first husband, Will. It seems impossible, and yet after she almost drowns in the ocean, Faye wakes up in 1921…and in the arms of the man who looks dangerously like one she used to love.
Reisz is broaching new territory with this romance, flexing new muscles for fans of her erotic romance series, The Original Sinners, and creating a seamless follow-up to The Bourbon Thief, her last historical epic. Steeped in mystery but less dark than her previous novels (despite exploring difficult issues such as depression, miscarriage, domestic abuse, and more) The Night Mark’s plot unfolds like a grandfather clock marks time: steady…steady…steady, until the crash of toe-tingling, forbidden romance and intricate historical details take your breath away once again.
In many ways, this is still a classic Reisz romance: Faye’s banter with Pat, an older priest she befriends, and the resulting investigation of religion, fate, and free will, are constant themes in her work. As always, her characters may not be the “best” (depending on your definition of the word) Christians, but their defining trait is that they want to be. Carrick is an honorable man with a moral compass—and a secret from his past— that leads him to want to protect Faye, rather than take advantage of her. (Which of course makes him all the more desirable.) Faye is flawed; she lost herself after Will died, and she knows she can’t find him again in Carrick…but despite the improbability of it all, she starts to hope that her life could have purpose again. That perhaps her love story with Will was meant to lead her to Carrick.
But meant to be or not, the past is dangerous. In 1921, Faye isn’t herself: she’s Faith Morgan, masquerading as Carrick’s daughter in order to escape an abusive marriage to a man who will stop at nothing to get her back. And even as she finds herself falling for Carrick, she is burdened by the secrets she must keep in order to earn his love, and by the question of the century: how was her journey into the past possible, and is she able to stay?
The Night Mark spins a mystifying tale of second chance love in a beautiful seaside setting; the perfect summer read for historical romance fans.