After a season in London, Charlotte Lyons is still regrettably unattached. With her family’s finances in peril, she is sent away with her sister to a bleak coastal town where she is expected to pursue a wealthy earl. Beautiful and talented, how could she possibly fail? But when her heart is captured by someone entirely unexpected, Charlotte finds herself caught up in a web of lies and intrigue. Between hardship and sorrow, she finds more than she bargained for, forced to choose between the life she once wanted and a new love she never imagined.
Ashtyn Newbold has another great book available in Lies & Letters.
I was intrigued by the description, and the cover caught my eye. Then, I cracked the book open, and I have to admit that I was immediately put off by the main character, Charlotte. That worried me because I prefer stories with a likeable main character. Someone who isn't perfect, but has good qualities that you want to root for. Charlotte was . . . horrible. I mean, really, really, horrible. I was worried about liking the book because of her, but thankfully the story is about Charlotte's transformation. Her mother was a piece of work, but Charlotte was able to learn from her mistakes and grow a lot throughout the story.
There is an accident at one point in the story that felt a little abrupt. Yes, accidents typically happen quickly, but I would have loved some more detail after it happened. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the story. Lies & Letters is a very good, clean story with a sweet romance. I would recommend it, and can see myself reading it again.
I did NOT like Charlotte at all in the beginning of the book. What a horrible, unlikable person. But as I read, my dislike grew to pity, and even some sympathy. Charlotte was who she was because her mother trained her to be that way. She didn't know any other way to be. And that is so sad to me.
It was interesting to read how Charlotte and Clara learned how to live on their own after they were sent away. It must have been a complete shock, going from doing pretty much nothing for yourself to having to do everything.
We get to see glimpses of a different side of Charlotte each time she plays the pianoforte. She shows that she actually does have emotions and feelings, and isn't just the cold, calculating person she was raised to be.
The relationship between James and Charlotte was so frustrating to me...mostly because Charlotte seemed to be letting down her defenses, but then all of a sudden, she'd remind herself how she "should" be (according to her mother) and she'd pull away again. I have to give James props for not giving up on her at the beginning. He was probably my favorite character.
This book does a really good job of showing just how much emotional abuse can damage a person. After getting over the initial dislike of the main character, I really enjoyed this story.
Oh my heavens! I just barely realized that the Charlotte in this book is the same Charlotte in Mischief and Manors (love that title by the way...super clever). Ha, I really didn't make that connection, even after I went back and reread the first book. Well, not that it's part of a series, but that just goes to show that you don't have to read them in any order to enjoy them! :)
So, like everyone else, Charlotte was not my favorite character to start with. And normally for me that would have stopped me reading before she changed. I like to like my main characters. However, with the positive reviews from people I trust I kept reading, and it kept getting better and better.
James is awesome. Even though we didn't get to see a lot of his and Charlotte's relationship develop I didn't really feel gypped or at a loss. It was well written and it totally worked for this story. My favorite character though is Mrs. Abbot. I really enjoyed her warmth and acceptance. She is the type of person I hope to be one day. Maybe because everyone else in the story was rather extreme in their personalities, I felt that Mrs. Abbot was rather relaxing and peaceful.
I wasn't sure how the ending was going work out, but I was totally satisfied with the way Newbold puts everything together at the end. I can't wait to read what she comes out with next.
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