Sunday, 12 January 2014

When Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl: Reviews

dear readers,

Two nights ago to this afternoon I have been immersed in Leila Rasheed's world of Somerton (Britain countryside) and London in the pre-WWI era.  I could not sleep and decided to try a few chapters of Rasheed's novel, Cinders & Sapphires.  As I turned the pages to see what would happen next it was 2am and I could no longer keep my eyes open.  I finished the book last night and started into the second book, Diamonds & Deceit, because I had to know what would happen next.  This afternoon I spent the day inside out from the wind and rain.  I read the second book till it finished...only to frown because there has to a book three...right?

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

Written by Leila Rasheed
genre: young adult, new adult, historical romance

(Book 1)


It is pre-WWI and things at Somerton are brewing.  Lord Westlake's heir and nephew isbleeding the funds dry and Westlake's return from India is tainted with malicious rumours.  He is forced to remarry for money and reputation.  His new wife brings with her a daughter, Charlotte, and two sons, Sebastian and Michael.  His own daughters Lady Ada and Georgina try to welcome the Templetons but are met with resistant from their stepmother and Charlotte. 

It is Charlotte's third and last season.  Her mother demands she must marry and Charlotte continues to scheme with her lady maid.  Lady Ada has also been told she must marry by her father.  It is up to Ada to save Somerton as she must marry for money.  Rose, the housekeepers daughter, also a maid becomes a lady maid to Ada and is thrusted in another world. 

This book has been described as "Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl" and that seems like a fair assessment. For me it was like a historical romance novel in the New Adult genre.  This novel is PG-13 - sex is talked about but there are no steamy sex scenes.  I like the soapy aspect of the novel and it was a quick absorbing read. 

Cinders & Sapphires was published last January in 2013.  

(Book 2)


The Westlakes and Templetons are back to finish out the season.  Lady Ada has said goodbye to Ravi and has consented to marry Fintan...some day.  Rose, the former maid is now Lady Rose.  Westlake has finally accepted and adopted Rose as his daughter.  Going from a maid to a Lady is not easy for Rose especially when society talks behind her back.  Rose has attracted the attention of a Duke - who also has a history with Charlotte.  Charlotte afraid she is losing another prospect to the Westlakes kicks up her scheming.  

Sebastian continues to clear Oliver who is holding back a secret.  Michael and Priya are keeping their love quiet but there is a threat coming their way.  Georgina is left alone to care for the estate and those living there.  As she tries to hold it all down she watches the boy she loves love another.

As the season comes to an end the Westlakes and Templetons have to make decisions as their lives changes.

The second novel takes up from where the first book ended and we are again on an absorbing ride.  We see how the characters either change or don't and the consequences from their decisions.  I like the drama, romance and secrets in this novel.  it is a soapy book and I like it!

Diamonds & Deceit was published on January 7, 2014.  

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Goodnight dear readers!


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