Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Review: Cinders and Saphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication date: January 2013
Source: Library
For: Fun
Series: At Somerton

Summary from goodreads:
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.
Things I Liked:
I liked the Downton Abbey feel of the story.  It was very much the same kind of story, same kind of time period, and same kind of characters.  I thought Ada was interesting and I liked how she didn't want to sacrifice either her family or her dreams, which made for a tricky balance.  I enjoyed seeing the drama playing out with the household staff as well as the nobility.  It's definitely a book for those wanting more Downton.

Things I Didn't Like:
Most of the problem I had was that it was a little too much like Downton.  It felt like Rasheed took all the main points from the series and put them in the book with a few minor twists.  I was really disappointed in the insta-love that Ada and Raji experience.  Really?  They meet once, kiss, and suddenly they are in love?  I just never bought into that storyline.  Also, it didn't have much in the way of subtelty, but it was still entertaining.  I'm kind of ambivilent about any sequels.

Kind of reminded me of Eva Ibbotson's books I've read, like A Countess Below Stairs and The Star of Kazan
Also a bit like The Luxe Series by Anna Godberson

s-factor: !
a very few

mrg-factor: X
mostly kissing and some implied scandal

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

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