cover image Gothikana


RuNyx. Bramble, $29.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-33420-6

RuNyx (The Annihilator) remixes gothic romance tropes in this deliciously edgy and erotic new adult outing. Corvina Clemm, 21, grew up in isolation, homeschooled by her recently deceased mother, who had paranoid schizophrenia. She’s shocked to receive an offer of admission from the elite University of Verenmore—especially as she never applied. She’s older than the other students in the ancient castle that houses the university and the specter of a childhood spent managing her mother’s illness haunts her, coloring her interactions with both her peers and mysterious young teacher Vlad Deverell. Vlad is a gorgeous enigma who is sure to make readers swoon despite his slowly revealed and deep-seated moral ambiguity. As Corvina’s solitary ramblings around the school grounds pull her deeper into Vlad’s orbit, the pair begin a juicy forbidden affair that blurs the lines between pleasure and pain. RuNyx balances this epic romance with danger: students at Verenmore have been dying by suicide for years, while others go missing at the school’s infamous Black Ball, a fabled masquerade dance. Could Corvina be next? The author’s delight in all things gothic is clear, and she leans into both the romance and the darkness. Her unflinching examination of mental health, suicide, alienation, and sexual power dynamics is especially commendable. This brazen, page-turning love story is a winner. (Jan.)