Release Date: January 22nd 2013
Series: At Somerton #1
Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats RosEspecially e as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. 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.One house, two worlds…
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.
So. Many. Characters.That was my first thought going through those first chapters, and even late on when they were reintroduced and you were expected to remember them. Not to mention each of them have two names, their name, then their title. The family tree drawn in the beginning was a necessity, so I recommend getting really familiar with it. I just wish it included the servants too, because there were just as many of those.
So our main characters are Ada Averley and Rose Cliffe, two girls essentially from two opposite worlds yet together in the same house. Rose is a maid, and Ada is a lady about to come out for her first season. Ironically, they both wish they had the others’ life-Ada a more simple one, and Rose one full of dresses and things.
The thing I liked about Rose is she never acted as though she were better than anyone, and always was conscious of her position, although sometimes she wanted more. She was my favorite character by far. Of course, along with this comes weakness. I found her to be way too meek, maid or not. I guess she was written like so to make Ada seem like a stronger character.
I wasn’t a fan of the romance either, with Ada, it was definite insta-love. I love seeing relationships develop, and with CINDERS & SAPPHIRES, I didn’t really get to see or enjoy that. Relationships were somewhat already established or it was love-at-first-sight-let’s-get-married.
If you have a passion for historical romances like I do, then you will find some enjoyment from this simply because of the wonderful era it takes place in. As I don’t feel much loyalty to the series, I most likely will not be reading the sequel.