BORN OF PERSUASION
The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.
With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.
Regency meets Gothic in this page-turner of a read that is both compelling and complex. Told in first person narrative, Julia's voice is riveting. She's not a completely likable character but it is clear to see that her negative attributes are the result of an unusual upbringing and, of course, the class distinction prevalent of the times. And she is a victim of the societal norms of that time period as well. When I kept that in mind, I could understand some of her decisions better. This book is as much about that lack of women's rights as it is about sinister plots and a conflicted love story.
I think I can honestly guarantee that you won't be able to guess most of the plot twists -- in fact, I'll wager that you won't see many of them coming. That fact alone kept me up late at night reading. There just never seemed to be a good spot to stop until the last page loomed on the horizon. Alas, even then, the reader is left with way too many questions and an unsettled feeling of not actually having finished the book at all. That's because this is the first of a trilogy -- the continuous kind that will need to be read in order one right after the other to get the full story. Unfortunately the second book doesn't come out until next summer which is far too long for me to wait to find out what happens next in Julia's life. I really feel that publishers should warn their readers ahead of time when a series is continuous like this one is. But, if you don't mind cliff-hanger endings and you enjoy a twisted tale of suspense and intrigue then this is definitely the book for you.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Born of Persuasion please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 20 2013. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!