Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Review: Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: At Somerton #1
Pages: 400
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley

Release Date: January 22, 2013
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Goodreads Synopsis:

One house, two worlds...

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.

My Review:

I found while reading this book that ir felt very much like a soap opera on page. Now don't get me wrong, I definitely like my soap operas, a guilty pleasure of mine every day, but I felt that there was so much happening within these 400 pages and for teens I think it would be distracting for most readers.

From the synopsis I guessed that this was a story of a friendship between a lady and her maid as well as a touching romantic plot for Ada. What I got out of this story was something completely different. There were so many different intertwining stories, and so many characters to follow around that I got confused often. Most of the story revolves around Somerton House but every character that we are introduced to is the lead in their own drama, it makes for a lot of things happening in one house.

I really adored the friendship between Rose and and Ada, you could really see that Ada needed someone on her side throughout the book and Rose was the perfect person to be there. Ada is a sweet character who is not interested in being a lady, instead she is interested in reading and going to school to study. Sadly this is completely different from what her father expects of her... and there is Ada's biggest hurdle. For the most part, all of the characters were overly dramatic (which is a big part of why this book felt like a soap opera).

Rose and Ada's stories were the only ones I was truly interested in, and I felt that there was just so much else going on that it took away from what I thought was the most important part of the story. I didn't mind learning about Ada's sister, she was a sweet little girl with a big heart, but even though she had her own little part there were things about her life that were not explained.

I also felt that there were a few things that were revealed close the beginning of the story, that, in my opinion, the story would have been a bit more interesting if the secret were kept from the readers as well as the characters throughout more of the story. I definitely feel like this story was fun, but is definitely a guilty pleasure type of read. It's fun and you can't turn away because of all the drama but there are just way too many storylines in one book.


  1. I've been horribly addicted to Downton Abbey lately and this sounds so similar. Too bad some of the secrets are revealed early on!

  2. I was wondering about this book. On one hand, it sounds like a lot of fun a la Downton Abbey. But I could see it being a little over the top too. Thanks for the review!

    Shannon @ Rex Robot Reviews



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