Olivia Brownslow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can't seem to escape her sticky-fingered past...or forget the teeming slums where children still scrape to survive.
Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London's East End to become the adopted 'nephew' of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, or that he and his aunt are 'robbing' them blind every chance they get.
Between plans for his next huge heist and the threat of rival street gangs, Jack encounters Olivia Brownslow in the strangest of places -- no place for a female, that's for sure. Why is an upper-class girl helping homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him of someone he once knew?
In a world of double-lives and double-crosses, each must make the most important decision they've ever faced. Is turning their backs on the posh lifestyles they have built for themselves worth it for one great love?
This book makes me rapturously giddy! That's in a large part due to the toe-curling romantical nature of this tale. Be still my heart. Jack MacCarron is a rogue and a scoundrel with a heart three sizes too big beneath that sardonic exterior. And Olivia may present as a sweet and guileless debutante but she's as scrappy as any street kid. They are both playing roles and hiding secrets and when their worlds collide -- oh my stars -- fireworks of cosmic proportions! Serious sizzle and sass and enough toe-curling to be mildly painful (but oh, so worth it.)
And the characterizations are so brilliantly done! Love the twist (ha -- pun not intended but I'm leaving it in) of Oliver being an Olivia. This is a story inspired by the classic Dickens novel -- a re-imagining more than retelling, because really, how could you improve upon perfection? But taking the essence of the story and creating something new and thrilling and utterly captivating -- well that's more than doable and Lorie Langdon surpassed my expectations.
This is the kind of novel that is so much fun to read you try to slow down to make it last longer only it's so good you want to race ahead to find out what happens next...or actually, if I'm being completely honest...to get to all the swoony, heart-palpitating bits. Which there are a lot of. Like in every scene where Jack and Olivia appear together. Such a delicious undercurrent between these two. They honestly fight more than they kiss but they do both in a supremely satisfying way. :-)
And then there's the fast-paced plot packed with so many surprises even the most jaded of readers will find herself gasping out loud at frequent intervals. And that includes a moving portrayal of sacrificial love that sent goosebumps charging up my spine. Where passion pays tribute to love and the concept of faith is not only understood but embraced. Wow! Just...wow!
An extraordinary take on a literary classic (psssst....I like this one better than the original!)
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Olivia Twist, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email in a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday June 10 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!