Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul - Leanna Renee Hieber (I actually would give this book a 3.5, so I just put 4)When I saw this book and read the description, I knew I wanted to read it. The whole idea of it sounded so intriguing. And it was to a point, but in general just didn't quite do it for me. I found myself easily distracted and just not completely drawn into this book. It had a pretty steady pace, and interesting characters, but I felt that it should have had more.Natalie Stewart is the heroine in the book. She is a 17 year old girl who doesn't speak. I couldn't really connect with her character, not because she didn't speak, but because I just didn't feel like we get to know her that well. The book is written from her POV as a diary, but I felt like it could have been better. She talks about how she feels and the events that happen, but I didn't get that emotional connection that I get with other characters in other books.She becomes close with Mrs. Northe who acts as almost a motherly figure. Mrs. Northe helps Natalie in her quest to free Jonathon Denbury from the painting. It is Mrs. Northe who purchases the painting because she knows there is something more to it. She's a wealthy widow, and knows a bit about magic that can help reverse the curse put upon the Lord Denbury.Jonathon Denbury's character was pretty boring to me. I guess if I had been stuck in a painting with no perception of time and nothing to do I would probably be boring too, but I expected more. He was unnaturally calm and collected about the situation. He did have a few little outbursts, but in general he was just dealing with it.The relationship between Jonathon and Natalie seemed a little ridiculous. Yes they are meant to meet each other and it's fate and all that, but how they are instantly so familiar with each other put me off a little. Their romance is sweet, and it's not just "hey, lets make out" it does progress slowly, but their emotional connection seems too deep for not knowing each other, magic or not.There were things that I really did like about this book. I liked how Jonathon Denbury was trapped in the painting while an evil spirit was using his body to gain power, and the magic used for the curse was explained well. My main problems with the book was just not really getting that connection to the characters. That's a very important thing for me when reading a book. There were a few other little things that irked me, but overall the story was good. I really wanted to like it much more than I did. I would give this 3.5 stars out of 5.