Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton #1) by Leila Rasheed


Cinders and Sapphires (At Somerton #1) 
by Leila Rasheed
400 pages
Historical Fiction YA
January 2013 

Book Jacket Summary
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
Downton Abbey has become such a hit in America and there have been several novels that have capitalized on its popularity... and I couldn't be happier. Historical Fiction is so much fun, especially when the author gets the time period, which Rasheed has done. I like that she shows both sides of the upstairs/downstairs in Cinders and Sapphires. I really like Adda and her drive to become more than her peers and Rose who loves music more than anything.
All you need to know is that you are going into a book that will be a wonderful dramatic look into the lives of the haves and the have-nots. Rose is the daughter of Somerton's housekeeper and is soon to be Ada's ladies maid (and secret sister). Ada is determined to go to school in the new women's studies at Oxford but knows that she should marry to fill the family's coffers. There has been a scandal and her father is the middle of it. Coming back to England from India is hard enough with gentleman her fathers age asking for her hand. Ada rather spend time with Ravi, a Oxford bound Indian man, and reveals in their stolen time together. Her new step-family is an interesting lot with Fiona Templeton leading the group as her new stepmother. Sebastian Templeton is a flirt but is being blackmailed for a past love affair with his former valet... There is so much scandal and dealings that I cannot just blurt them out to you. I highly recommend this one if you cannot get enough historical fiction set in the Dowton Abbey time period! 

Book Pairings


  1. Who doesn't love some scandal in such an interesting time? This book looks amazing
    GREAT review, Karen
    Your reader,

  2. I'm a huge Downton Abbey fan and I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the review. :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


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