Ophelia’s been successful at hiding her true identity, until the mark of the serpent appears on her neck—a death sentence, should it be seen by anyone in her town. Hiding the mark might save her from falling victim to the witch hunts of her era, but the scorching sensation it carries can’t be ignored.
When the mysterious Ethan is sent to collect her for a life of something more, she learns concealing the mark is the least of her concerns. She’s destined to do a new task—to join a dark, supernatural world and protect the future of people she may never meet.
What she doesn’t know—what she learns too late—is that her initiation won’t be complete until she kills the man who’s captured her heart.
I have not read ‘The Forever Girl,’ Rebecca’s debut novel yet, but I plan to after reading “Her Sweetest Downfall.”
This novella ROCKS, with really well done characters, strong dialogue, and solid romance writing.
Set in the nineteenth century, Ophelia is a servant to the nasty (and I mean e-v-i-l) Lady Karina when Ethan shows up and whisks her away to…well, someplace else, far away. I’m not going to tell you because I want you to find out for yourself.
The air between Ethan and Ophelia heats up quickly, and Rebecca Hamilton’s writing gives it this warmth:
“As he kneeled in front of her, the fire casting his shadow over her small frame, her heartbeat quickened. Given his sudden proximity, his shoulders seemed wider, his physique more rugged. Ophelia repressed the urge to touch his arm and instead clasped her hands tightly in her lap.” Yeah, Ophelia’s trying hard to be a good girl, demure and polite when she wants to jump this guy’s bones.
I loved this paragraph, and it kept me reading as Ophelia’s story unfolded. Soon Ethan is telling Ophelia: . “You smell like rain and strawberries.” Phew. Whoa. Kinda hot. Now that’s a feelings guy, know what I mean?
Ophelia is a strong character, swept away from what she knows, thrust into the unknown with this large and overpowering man who seems to know too much of her story. Of course, every good heroine has experienced loss, and Ophelia has known her share of grief. But so has Ethan, it appears, as they dance around one another and share their stories. As Ethan starts telling Ophelia why he grabbed her, it becomes clear that Ophelia has a hard road ahead of her.
I’m also fond of the character Lenore, a smart talking bad ass that I learned to appreciate for being tough as well as mouthy. Yeah, Lenore’s got some secrets too, but you are going to have to read this novella to find out what they are! Lenore also has her frailties, but that would be giving too much away!
Of course there has to be more evil in this story, and Robert is another character you just want to see come to a bad end. But Robert is Peter Pan-sh compared to Queen Callista. Ophelia’s got her hands full with the Queen.
Interesting characters, tight dialogue that keeps the story moving along, evil folk, and enough heavy breathing to keep the story hot.
Her Sweetest Downfall is a fast and fun read, leaving me wanting more Ophelia/Ethan/Lenore adventures. And what’s going to happen with Ophelia and Ethan? And what’s Queen Callista’s next move?
I’m going to read The Forever Girl next, and then wait impatiently for the next story to be published. Five stars for Her Sweetest Downfall. More please!