Read first chapter excerpt here
With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.
With an intricate mixture of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta puts together a compelling story of intrigue and romance. The plot line was very interesting but complex, so it made it a little hard for me to follow at first. However, once I understood more of the back story, I quickly was drawn into the story. There were several unexpected twists and turns, suspenseful moments, danger, forbidden romance, and mystery. The narration was from Julia's perspective as if she was retelling the story from later on in her life, which made it interesting because the reader learned about her thoughts, and also added an element of foreboding because there was a sense of dark shadow hanging over her narrative. I also really enjoyed the storyline, particularly the second half of the story, as Julia struggled to understand what was going on and who to trust. The characters were complex and intriguing as well. I did not particularly like or understand Julia. Her personal feelings and thoughts did not seem to meld with the timid and shy way Julia acted around people. I think this was because Julia was telling the story from the future, so her way of telling it reflected how her personality and character had grown over the years. However, even though Julia did not change much in this story, she did begin to grasp the seriousness of her actions near the end, and I think that she will begin to grow as a character during the next two novels. Mr. Macy was definitely an interesting character; very smooth and charming. I was immediately drawn to him like Julia was, but I still liked Edmund better. Edmund was also a complex character who struggled to balance his beliefs with his desires, and he ended up having a much harder road to travel because he could not come to a decision. Overall, I highly enjoyed this novel. The dark mood, the brooding characters, the danger, and the old mansions all fit the style of Bronte, and the dialogue, love triangles, the silly characters like Ms. W matched the Austenian style as well. I really liked how these styles merged together in this novel, and I look forward to reading the next novel, A Mark of Distinction.
I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.