Title: Of Bells and Thorns
Author: Valentina Cano
Series: The Rose Master #2
Genre: YA Gothic
Release Date: November 28th, 2017
Publisher: REUTS Publications, LLC
Readers fell in love with Anne Tinning, a maid in 19th century London, and Lord Grey, the master of a haunted manor. The Rose Master sequel continues their journey in another hauntingly beautiful tale.
Rosewood Manor has been ashes for weeks.
Left with no post and no home, Anne Tinning never expected to find herself in a luxurious carriage, dressed in the finest of clothes, pretending to be the wife of Lord August Grey. The search for Miss Bellingham, however, will require them to blend into the very height of London society, a class Anne has only ever served, and which August despises. But August insists that the ruse is the only way. For although they’ve vanquished the wraith that called for August’s life, they will never be safe unless they find a way to stop the woman he scorned.
There are traces of Lily Bellingham the length and breadth of London, but when Anne and August investigate the gruesome disappearances in a factory she has just purchased, they realize that Lily is more powerful than either of them. And she has devised a new way to take her revenge.
With another curse placed upon August’s head, Anne must find a way to defeat Lily, and this time, she will have no help from the young man she has grown to love. This time, the curse is more insidious, twisting him into someone unrecognizable.
This time, August Grey is the one she must fear.Lush, lyrical, and layered in horror-filled suspense, Of Bells and Thorns evokes the feel of classic Gothic literature, blending the magic of a beautiful fairy tale against the rich backdrop of history.
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Purchase here: http://www.reuts.com/product/b
My rating: 4 stars
Well, it has been over 2 years since I read the first one, The Rose Master, but I was able to get back into this story pretty quickly, as the way it was begun brought up most of the details in such a way that it wasn't like an info dump, but rather woven into the story perfectly. You will need to read the first book, but I did not need to reread right before in order to jump back into the story. As with the first book, I was drawn into the story, and had a lot of trouble putting it down whenever I would have to go back to real life for work, or sleep, whatever.
I wished for maybe a bit more romance between Anne and August, although I'm sure that the way it was done was totally proper for the time period, and of course for a YA book. There is a monster/creature in this story that was extremely scary sounding, I could picture it in my head as I read, and it was something you would see in an extremely scary movie. In fact, the description reminded me a lot of the description of one of the creatures in the novel It by Stephen King, the book, not the movies. It was definitely written as horrifying as anything you'd find in a King novel.
While the first book in the series had an ending that was good enough for if it had ended up just being one book, this one leaves off at a pretty big cliffhanger, and now I am left hoping that I won't have to wait two more years to find out how our heroes will get themselves out of the situation they wind up in at the final scene.
Definitely a series worth reading if you haven't yet, and a sequel worth picking up if you have read the first one. And once again, a beautiful cover.
About Book 1: The Rose Master:
“In this Gothic fantasy, Cano evokes both Beauty and the Beast and Jane Eyre while creating something new and strange. Cano does a beautiful job of setting mood and atmosphere, and her characters dance around one another with relentless industry and brooding allure, fighting their inevitable attraction. This is a strong, satisfying effort.” ~
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