Vintage Gothic Romance: AUGUSTA, THE FIRST by Katheryn Kimbrough

Publisher: Popular Library
Released: 1975
Source: Purchased book
Rating: ★★★

Augusta, The First is the opening novel in the greatest series of gothic romances ever conceived. You won’t want to miss the others all exclusively in Popular Library editions.

Young and beautiful Augusta Merrihew fled England and the strange evil that seemed to haunt her. In the new world of America she hoped to find the happiness and safety that so long had eluded her.

When she met handsome and dashing Joshua Phenwick, it seemed her dreams had come true. She gave her hand in marriage to this man who was as mysterious as he was irresistible and on the lonely New England coast the great manor of Phenwick House was erected as a towering monument to their love.

Little did Augusta know that she was entering a hellish nightmare. For the curse of the past has followed Augusta across the seas, in the form of a man who held her helpless by his iron will…

AUGUSTA, THE FIRST, book #1 in the 40-book series, Saga of the Phenwick Women, by Katheryn Kimbrough (a.k.a. John Kimbro).

I’ve never read a book with a story so different from its back cover description! *scratches head* A strange evil haunting her in England? Curse of the past? The whole Joshua Phenwick thing? And, I’m still not sure who the man was who “held her helpless by his iron will.” Hmm…

Despite the misleading blurb, I liked the book. Augusta was one tough, determined young woman. There was something in the New World that she was after, so she figured out a way to escape her family in England and start a life in Colonial America. She was a savvy businesswoman with powerful connections, and when life knocked her down, she got right back up.

I was a bit disappointed that the story wasn’t more “Gothic.” It wasn’t spooky or suspenseful in the least, except perhaps right at the very beginning and very end. I’m guessing this book was meant to set the foundation for the rest of the series and let readers know how the Phenwick Women came about.