Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed (At Somerton #1) Review

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.

from goodreads

I received an email a few weeks back from netgalley. They were promoting this new young adult novel from Disney-Hyperion. The main thing that made me want to read it was that it was in that costume drama category, that I was and still kind of am still interested in. The selling point was that it is for the younger readers of Upstairs, Downstairs or Downton Abbey.

I really loved this book, and I wish I can compare it to another costume drama novel, but all I have is watching a lot of costume drama television series from the BBC. I find that this novel is wonderful for learning about that Regency era and the people that are involved in an old English lord's manor. Leila Rasheed's writing is passable. I don't think it's anything beyond the normal, but I did love the flow that came with reading a novel that suppose to have that old English voice in it. That factor was spot on.

Cinders and Sapphires have gotten me into looking for costume drama novels(please tell me the correct genre of novels like these, I don't know what else to call them besides costume dramas). I think that point of view change was sufficient and used 'correctly' in the novel, though I'm not that big of a fan of point of view change. The characters were well written, and because of a huge family and servants that live in the manor, it took sometime to remember who was who, but you can manage just fine.

I loved this book, and I think it's a wonderful series to read inbetween those times when costume drama shows are off air, and you need something to wet your appetite. So Leila Rasheed's first installment of At Somerton gets a head nods, thumbs up. (4 out of 5)

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