Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lies and Letters by Ashtyn Newbold

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 imagine.

I have to admit that in the beginning of this book I was a bit worried.  I didn't like any of the characters- the horrible mother, the selfish, bullying older sister or the vapid younger sister.  When a book starts off like this where I don't like or connect with any of the characters, I really do worry.  It's hard to come back from that.  BUT.  Ashtyn Newbold did it.  She created characters who struggle and are challenged but who redefine themselves and become something better.  It was fantastically satisfying and I really enjoyed the journey.

Charlotte is awful.  Honestly awful.  It's no wonder that I didn't like her for a good part of the book.  She is selfish and treats others with absolutely no respect- especially those supposedly below her station.  Charlotte's transformation is a bit slower coming but fortunately her sister is more adaptive and begins to grow a backbone rather quickly.  Clara has a sweet disposition and is gentle.  It was good to see her good qualities begin to shine when she was out from underneath Charlotte's tyranny.  

This is definitely a character driven book.  The supporting characters were really good and provided a solid foundation of kindness that both Charlotte and Clara needed in order to see the world differently.

It's fantastic when, as a reader, your perceptions are changed.  I went from dislike to sympathy to like and rooting for the characters.  My emotions were obviously involved and that is always what I'm looking for as a reader.  

Content:  mild peril, a couple instances of kissing.  Clean.

- I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can't vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family.

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