review post

A book set in Europe

Warning: This review will contain spoilers

Ruined by M.C. Frank

Star rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Summary: In a Regency retelling of Jane Eyre, Beatrice Devon is hired by the duke of Ashton as governess to his young ward. Beatrice hides a dark past that Ashton eventually helps her to overcome.

Reasons behind picking this book: I saw an opportunity to recieve a free ARC of this book and jumped at the chance. Jane Eyre is my favorite book so I was immediately drawn to the description of this book. I looked over my challenge list and found a spot where it would fit. I had to rearrange what I was originally planning for this category but I’m pleased with the results.

Review: I received and read an ARC of this book. I didn’t want to put this book down. I was hooked very quickly into the story and the characters. I wasn’t sure what a retelling not that far from Jane Eyre’s time would have to offer and I was very pleased by the results.

I think one of the greatest things Frank did here was to give the secret past to her heroine Beatrice. It was a smart switch in my opinion. Ashton is great and flawed, keeping some of that rakish qualities I like in a love interest.

The language can be a bit stilted at times. I understand why, Frank is attempting to emulate the writing style of the period. There are a lot of places where this works really well. Extraordinarily well, actually. The few times where the language feels a little awkward are not enough to distract from the overall story. As a whole the writing is great.

One thing that confused me is that Ashton’s ward is sixteen and the daughter of a woman he loved and wanted to marry. But Ashton himself is only twenty eight which would have made him twelve at the time of her birth. This detail confused me, maybe I got it wrong but it was always in the back of my mind as I read.

Frank did an excellent job of handling Beatrice’s sexually abusive past. I thought the use of flashbacks, to show how little seemingly insignificant could trigger a memory was great. It also wasn’t too blatant or in your face. I thought overall it was done well.

Something I always love is a POV switch in a book. I really like seeing the story from different perspectives. I enjoyed how there would be a little bit of overlap between switching POVs but never in a way that felt repetitive.

I had a good time reading this book and I will be checking out other books written by this author.

Recommendation: I think if you enjoyed historical novels and romance with a flair of drama that this would be a good book for you.

Up next: Rosemary’s Baby – A book with a protagonist who has your occupation

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