Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets. But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a seventeen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master,Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, an infamous thief who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in order to save enough money to buy passage out of London. Everything changes when she meets Grae Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?
3 Out Of 5 Stars
Lady A knows everyone's secrets and will keep yours for the right price. But nobody knows that Lady A is really 17 year old Arista, a pick-pocket orphan who is just a pawn in a dangerous man's game. Arista wants out of the life she has been thrust into, but sees no release coming. When she meets the mysterious Graeden, Arista is drawn to him and the freedom he stands for. It may be too late though for Lady A though.
This was like a slightly more realistic fairytale, where the princess faces hardships and evildoers, but ends up with her happily ever after. The book was a real historical setting with references made to actual people like the King of England and Voltaire, with the gritty edge of reality thrown in as well with poverty, abuse, prostitution, diseases, and death. But I call this a fairytale due to the coincidences that would never have occurred in real life, such as meeting Grae again as well as the happily ever after that Arista receives. I thought this was an ok book but I did not love it and I could put it down and not think about it again. I think I was expecting something else when I started reading, something perhaps where Lady A was in charge and there was a supernatural element, not just a pawn in a historical setting and bad men doing heinous crimes. Maybe my expectations were off from the beginning but this book ended up falling a little flat for my expectations.
I was afraid that I was going to have to battle the angst that is a love triangle, but alas it resolved rather quickly. Arista fancies herself in love with her longtime friend and body guard Nic, but after a fleeting encounter she decides she may want Grae. She was uncertain of her affection, and to be honest so am I. Nic may be on the wrong side of the law, but the author gave him a back-story and motivation that was understandable. Grae on the opther hand the reader knows almost nothing about accept he is attractive and good, which yet again plays into my fairytale idea of this book. Grae falls madly in love with Arista, but she mentions being drawn to him, but is it him or the idea of freedom that he provides? It kinda sorta felt like she was using him, but maybe that is just me. Also, Arista calls Becky her friend, yet treats Becky as her maid and Becky does not even know what Arista’s name is since she only calls her miss. That is a messed up friendship to me. Arista plays so many roles as lady A and a street boy that I think she is confused as to whom she really is and it made it hard to connect to her.
The story wraps up very nicely so I believe it is a standalone, which I appreciate. The book was unique in content and full of historical references to add a dash of reality. I was not in love with the book but I am intrigued enough by the author’s writing style that I would like to read more from her in the future.
I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.