Monday, February 25, 2013

Review: Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)Today's review is of Cinders & Sapphires by 
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 (GoodReads).

  • Originality: 3. The characters teeter on the edge of boilerplate. The gossipy maid, devoted house keeper, unwelcoming step mom and sister, roguish gents...the list goes on. I am not saying it isn't enjoyable to visit with these time-tested archetypes, but the people do not feel new.
  • Absurdity: 4. Are there only ten people at Oxford and in London society? Why do Ravi and Ada constantly bump into each other?
  • Level of Paranormal Romance: 6. Some good swoon here! Nothing like a secret love affair restrained to Victorian moments of passed notes and long glances. Mary and Mathew from Dowton have some competition. By the end I came around to Lord Fintan. He deserves some attention.
  • Level of Harry Potter-ness: 4. This was easy to zip through. Not too much heft, but enjoyable none the less.This book is a continuation of my reading trend of fluffy, girly books.


  1. I kind of actually want to read this. I need something to help me get over the wreck of an ending that was Downton Abby Season 3 (see what I did there?).

  2. No cinders!? WHAT?! Now that's just false advertising right there. Do we at least get a hint of some sapphires somewhere? Pleeease tell me there are sapphires!

    But in all seriousness, this sounds like a parred down, less interesting episode of Downton Abby and, well, anything (even lesser versions) that's like Downton Abby gets my vote.

  3. So how does this compare to say, "The Luxe" by Anna Godbersen?


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