Saturday, July 29, 2017

Review: Lies and Letters by Ashtyn Newbold

Heidi Reads... Lies and Letters by Ashtyn Newbold

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


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 imagined.

My Review

This is a great story, but it was difficult to get into because Charlotte is such a stinking brat in the beginning! I much preferred her plainer and sweeter younger sister Clara, but I was stuck in Charlotte's first person perspective POV. The author does a good job of demonstrating why Charlotte makes the choices she does, having a piece of work for a mother whose approval she is trying to earn. Their banishment to the north country gives Charlotte the opportunity for growth and change, and once she began tapping into her own inner goodness it was easier to like her and hope for good things for her. I liked the teasing way James pushes her buttons and their banter as they attempt to barter for secrets. He is more than he seems, and sees Charlotte's potential for making better choices as he challenges her. There are subtle dynamics in play during Charlotte's slow transformation, including a passion for music for releasing pent-up emotions she doesn't understand, a neighbor who is an example of genuine kindness, sincerity, and motherly love, a new relationship with her sister, and experiences that make Charlotte humble and vulnerable. I loved the remote coastal setting and even though Charlotte is often blinded by her ambition to please someone impossible to please, it was interesting to watch her eyes being opened to a different way of thinking and living. The story reminded me of A Heart Revealed by Josi Kilpack, where the main character is extremely flawed and through unexpected struggles, sheds vanity, selfishness, and meanness to discover the deeper joy found in compassion, kindness and love.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

“Lies & Letters” blog tour schedule:

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