Mark of Distinction
London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.
When Julia discovers that Lord Roy Pierson, her guardian and one of most influential men in England, is the father she has never met, she begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well.
Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.
I still have mixed feelings about this book series. Gothic romances aren't really my thing, but on the other hand, Jessica Dotta's writing style is beautiful- classic, but accessible. (and the covers are gorgeous; even the interior is designed beautifully) I will say I liked this book better than the first in the series. It had less of the romantic mushi-ness that made the first book uncomfortable for me, and I felt it flowed better. That being said, I still found some of it confusing (though this may in part be due to the fact that it has been a while since I read the first book, so I was a little fuzzy on some of the details)
Still, it's difficult not knowing which characters to like and which not to. And I grew to really love Isaac, and found it difficult to keep rooting for Edward when he was barely in the book at all. I guess its "out of sight, out of mind" for me in that respect *looks down in shame*
Also, strangely enough - I NEVER have this problem in books- I felt like the heroine wasn't spunky enough. I know, I know. There are meek and mild girls and we need stories about them. And maybe "spunky" isn't the word I'm looking for. But throughout nearly the whole novel, it seemed like Julia was just riding on the wave of others' actions. It was all about how she reacted to her circumstances. She never did anything. I don't like overbearing heroines, but I do like it when characters stand up for their beliefs...and that never really happened. She just didn't seem to have much backbone (especially in regards to Mr. Macy) And every rare time Julia did do something pro-active, I almost always felt she didn't do the right thing. On the other hand, I am curious how the conclusion to this series is going to go, especially since the end of the book finds our heroine embracing Christianity.
Still, despite the fact that the story can be confusing and I don't always agree with the characters' actions, Jessica Dotta is a talented author, and quite frankly, I'm really hoping this series will wrap up soon and she'll begin writing something a bit more on the Jane Austen side of things than the Bronte side...because when that happens, I have a feeling I'll become one of her biggest fans.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Rating: 7 1/2