Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton #1)
by Leila Rasheed
published by Disney-Hyperion
genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance
Summary (Goodreads): 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
My Thoughts: This was one of those books that had everything you would expect but it was overdone. Instead of just one or two bad things happening to Ada and her family, every plot device for a historical romance comes into play.
We have the evil stepmother and stepsister (only one), the drunk nephew that squandered the family money, falling in love below station, the maid with a daughter the same age as the sisters, etc. Surprisingly even with all this there was a part of me that couldn't look away. I had to keep reading to find out how much more could be heaped on (and there was more).
I actually liked Ada and her sister Georgiana. I also liked Rose. Everyone else I could have done without.I dislike insta-love and that is what this whole book revolves around. There is nothing that makes you believe there is anything real between Ada and Ravi. Even Lord Fintain seemed better suited to Ada and her dreams than Ravi did.
Overall, this book had a little too much going on but still made me want to read until the end. While there were more bad than good people in this story, the ones I liked were worth the read. I don't know if I'll continue the series even with the sorta cliffhanger ending.