Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Witch of Rathborne Castle by Virginia Barlow


Lady Jane Lenwood is surrounded by treason, lies, and a handsome stranger with a secret but she has one of her own, the ability to see the past or future with one touch…

By Virginia Barlow

THE WITCH OF RATHBORNE CASTLE, Paranormal Romance, The Wild Rose Press, 330 pp.

Lady Jane Lenwood is abandoned and alone in an empty castle in the middle of a dark twisted forest. The locals call her a witch because she has the “sight.”

When a wounded stranger is found within the gates, she is warned he carries secrets and their lives will be intertwined.

Lady Jane walks with a limp following a riding accident the night her mother left her. And had given up on having a normal life. She blames her misfortune on the current Duke of Rathborne.

Max Radley is sent by the king to find a traitor. His search leads him to Rathborne Castle and the beautiful woman living there. He must keep his identity a secret in order to find the traitor.

Lies, deception, and a grand scheme to relieve him of his wealth have the real villians framing him for treason.

Only Jane and her supernatural ability can save him, but in order to find the answer she must face her past and the feeling she has for him.

I started reading The Witch of Rathborne Castle when our weather turned very cold and the snow was falling. It was so easy to drift away with Lady Jane alone in her castle, all but for the few of her hands.

This book is a perfect example why I love reading paranormal romances. I can not count how many I’ve started reading in search of this kind of content. The author Virginia Barlow nails it with all the right points that make a great hauntingly, gothic fantasy.

The maturity of the characters, the curiosities and the “whodunnit” feel kept me intrigued. Yes, it is a romance but a romance that only adds to the richness of this story and the characters themselves. Things do get hot and add a spice for mature adult reading.

There are wolves at the gate, a stranger that Jane feels coming but could only dream where he would finally take her. A voice that never leaves Jane completely alone. All of that make this gothic fantasy chilling, mysterious, romantic and a perfect cozy read for the winter.

A historical charm is that of an old soul from a time and place long ago. The heroine here is strong willed, determined to carry on alone and finds it difficult to believe in or trust the goodness of anyone. What has happened to Jane in the past is with her constantly keeping her frigid, alone and the Lady of Rathborne.

Even before things heat up for Jane, there is a certain dark but romantic feel in everything about the telling of this story. The romance has a slow build and slow burn without dominating the tale. Lady Jane is the star and that point is never forgotten through the tribulations that has led up to her being mistaken for ugly and old.

The writing is spot on and beautifully done. Getting lost away with The Witch of Rathborne Castle was so easy and just a wonderful cozy read. From the mystery and who is really who, to the paranormal romance vibe all in a dreary gothic castle. Absolutely beautiful!


The Witch of Rathborne Castle is a riveting historical paranormal romance from start to finish. I hadn’t read more than a few pages before I was hooked. The plot unfolds at a nice easy pace with descriptive narration and a heroine to root for. Lady Jane is a mysterious character and her backstory plucked at my heartstrings. Max is a hero on a mission. Can he root out the traitor? The stakes are high for both Jane and Max which added to the anticipation. I did find the obstacles Jane and Max have to face a little over the top. But with each obstacle, they drew closer as a couple. There’s a wonderful gothic vibe to this story. There are quite a few twists I didn’t see coming, especially near the end. I may have gasped a few times. The ending was so unexpected, I got a little emotional. The Witch of Rathborne Castle is an engrossing historical romance with paranormal elements I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Fans of both historical romance and paranormal romance will love The Witch of Rathborne Castle. Reminiscent of classical historicals romance from the ’90s, The Witch of Rathborne Castle will sweep the reader away. Highly recommend! – N.N.Light’s Book Heaven Five Star Review

Alfred placed the candle back on the wall and reached for a clean blanket. He covered the man. “There is something familiar about him. Did you learn anything?”

“I know how he came to be here, but not who he is,” Jane murmured. “It was the strangest thing, Alfred. When I touched him, I saw what happened. It was not a whisper in my mind.” She gazed at the stranger.

     He shall be your lover…

She jerked back as if she were burned. “He cannot stay. He is to leave as soon as he can travel.” Jane rose and turned toward the door, easing her twisted leg before her.

“My lady, I thought you were urged to help him. What changed?”

Your lives are twisted together as your bodies shall…

Jane stopped in her tracks. “We have little enough to eat as it is. We do not need another mouth to feed.” She turned to Alfred. It was a feeble excuse, but it was all she had. She would not reveal the reason for her anxiousness.


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I love being an author. It’s all about where your characters lead you. I start with a general idea. As the story unfolds, I type as fast as I can in hopes I keep up with my characters. They have had me jotting on napkins, making notes while I’m waiting in a line, and waking me up in the middle of the night. The hard part is always the ending. My characters live with me and when I reach the end of the story, it is hard to say goodbye. Sometimes, I let the story sit for a few days to make sure I’m okay with them leaving home to get published. Kind of like when you kids move out. LOL

I enjoy my grandchildren, and the time I share with them. They make me smile with their antics. I like to quilt, crochet, knit and sew. Cooking and baking are occasional itches I scratch. The rest of the time, they are necessary evils. LOL.

My greatest support comes from my husband. He has been my sounding board for all my stories. My daughters are also a great support to me. I couldn’t do it without my family.

Virginia Barlow’s recent release is the paranormal romance, The Witch of Rathborne Castle.

You can visit Virginia’s website at or connect with her on TwitterGoodreads and Facebook.

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