Ashtyn Newbold has another great book available in Lies & Letters.
I was intrigued by the description, and the cover caught my eye. Then, I cracked the book open, and I have to admit that I was immediately put off by the main character, Charlotte. That worried me because I prefer stories with a likeable main character. Someone who isn't perfect, but has good qualities that you want to root for. Charlotte was . . . horrible. I mean, really, really, horrible. I was worried about liking the book because of her, but thankfully the story is about Charlotte's transformation. Her mother was a piece of work, but Charlotte was able to learn from her mistakes and grow a lot throughout the story.
There is an accident at one point in the story that felt a little abrupt. Yes, accidents typically happen quickly, but I would have loved some more detail after it happened. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the story. Lies & Letters is a very good, clean, story with a sweet romance. I would recommend it, and can see myself reading it again.
First let's start with the cover. I wouldn't be able to to leave a book store without this beautiful book. I am a book cover lover. I often walk out of book stores with books just because the covers are so beautiful.
Now, I saw this meme on Facebook the other day and I thought it explained my thoughts about this book pretty well.
ME: I like reading because it relaxing
ME: *screams at book*
ME: *throws book against the wall*
ME: *cries over characters for days on end*
ME: *curses the author's name to the winds*
ME: so relaxing
I loved this book so much, but there were a LOT of those feelings going on while reading. I LOVE it when an author brings out so many emotions in me.
Charlotte & Clara are banished to a little town called Caster, England after their father disgraced the family. Charlotte is sent to secure a marriage with an Earl. It was all she was raised to do. Marry a man for fortune and station.
Caster became so much more than that to Charlotte and Clara. They met Mrs. Abbot and her girls, and found out what it was like to live in a home with love in it.
This story captured me from the very first page. I read it in a day. Seriously, I couldn't put it down.
Newbold's writing is amazing. She brings the world alive. My heart ached. My heart blossomed. My heart screamed. Seriously all the feels in this book. The love story in this book is so wonderful and frustrating at the same time. Just fabulous.
source: I was given this book as part of the tour. I was not compensated in any way for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
I'm going to get this out of the way right from the start--I did not like the characters at all....at first. The mother is like Cinderella's evil step-mother personified and her two daughters aren't any better. Charlotte is a spoiled rotten brat with no tact, and Clara is a sniveling wimp. Luckily, through a series of unfortunate events, two-thirds of these characters changed. The growth they experienced gives me hope for the worst of characters because I grew to absolutely adore them.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the thought that you can make your choices, but you sure can't choose the consequences from those choices and that's exactly what happens with this story. Many events lead these girls to crossroads, where they had to choose how to act or react and each choice left them softer and better, especially as they had to deal with the aftermath, both good and bad. I loved their journey and the lessons that came from so many different sources. I especially love the idea that love really can conquer all.
This is a great flip-side to a Regency point-of-view. The desperate attempts to fit in were definitely portrayed, as were many other feelings, including the intense efforts to find acceptance and love. Ms. Newbold does a great job bringing emotion and conflict to some pretty flawed characters, giving them life and transformation. I enjoyed my time spent in this story.
Content: mild romance; mild violence.
*I received a copy from the publisher, which did not affect my opinion. All thoughts are my own.*
I really LOVE Ashtyn Newbold's books! I love the way she writes, her characters, the growth of her characters, and the plots. I think she's really a master at the Regency Romance genre.
Charlotte's character really annoyed me at the beginning of the book. She was not a nice person, to anyone, even her family. Something I realized as I read the book was that she had learned her behavior from her own mother and that her mother, even though idolized by Charlotte, was not nice either. I did like her sister, Clara, she was kind, accomplished and not out to just get money from the first wealthy man that was available for marriage. I did like that Charlotte was able to grow and change during the book. She went from a selfish, proud, unkind young woman to a woman that cared for others, and was kind and humble. That's probably my very favorite thing about this book.
I liked the whole regency plot of this one. But I really liked that it had a bit of a twist. Since Charlotte and Clara were sent away, the normal regency rules didn't really apply. That gives this book a different feel than most regency novels and I really liked it. I liked the way they were able to interract with both men and women in different ways while they were in Craster.
I liked the people they met in Craster. James was probably my favorite. I loved the way he watched out for Charlotte and Clara, even though they didn't think he was. I liked the way he felt terrible for what happened to Charlotte, even though it was her own fault really.
The plot is great, I laughed aloud at so many parts. The whole thing was great and the ending really was just amazing! Such a great book!
I have to admit that in the beginning of this book I was a bit worried. I didn't like any of the characters- the horrible mother, the selfish, bullying older sister or the vapid younger sister. When a book starts off like this where I don't like or connect with any of the characters, I really do worry. It's hard to come back from that. BUT. Ashtyn Newbold did it. She created characters who struggle and are challenged but who redefine themselves and become something better. It was fantastically satisfying and I really enjoyed the journey.
Charlotte is awful. Honestly awful. It's no wonder that I didn't like her for a good part of the book. She is selfish and treats others with absolutely no respect- especially those supposedly below her station. Charlotte's transformation is a bit slower coming but fortunately her sister is more adaptive and begins to grow a backbone rather quickly. Clara has a sweet disposition and is gentle. It was good to see her good qualities begin to shine when she was out from underneath Charlotte's tyranny.
This is definitely a character driven book. The supporting characters were really good and provided a solid foundation of kindness that both Charlotte and Clara needed in order to see the world differently.
It's fantastic when, as a reader, your perceptions are changed. I went from dislike to sympathy to like and rooting for the characters. My emotions were obviously involved and that is always what I'm looking for as a reader.
Content: mild peril, a couple instances of kissing. Clean.
- I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Such a fun read. I enjoying reading regency time period books, Lies and Letters is a story line that leaves the traditional mold in such a great way. Definitely a book that I will read more than once!
I thoroughly enjoyed lies and letters. I found that the unique perspective of a villain turned hero kept me engaged. You weren't necessarily on the edge due to communication problems (as is common in romance novels and it seriously gives me anxiety), but rather wondering how Charlotte will survive the north and poverty, change her selfish way of thinking, and obviously find love:) One thing I think I would've liked to see would have been if James and Charlotte's friendship had been further developed/if they had more encounters. But I love how CLEAN it is. Ashtyn killed it there and I felt the ending was perfect with out any loose ends or wonderings of but what if... Now I just need to read her other book to find out how Charlotte was back in the day 😏