I came across M. C. Frank on Instagram when one of my friends shared her book reviews and also directed the readers towards the ARC sign up sheet on her website. Needless to say, I signed up for an ARC in a jiffy, not exactly hoping for a reply since there are so many other bloggers and bookstagrammers out there. I was surprised when I received a very humble email asking me which one I would like the ARC for. All said and done, I think it’s only fair to mention it at this particular point but also a issue a disclaimer that this is not an influenced review. I’m pretty straightforward in my reviews, praising the ones I like and being blunt when I don’t. Let’s get on to the review!
When the notorious playboy, Dominic Edward Halifax, Duke of Ashton, interviews Ms. Beatrice Devon of Darbyshire for the post of the governess for his ward and niece, Lady Adelina Halifax, he is initially put off by her young age and inexperience but her wit and sophisticated mannerism soon overtake his doubts. Ms. Devon, with her love, care and delicate yet firm manner soon turns his spoilt brat of a ward into a young lady of enviable character. The once scandalous casanova begins falling for Beatrice but what he doesn’t know is that Ms. Devon hides a secret, responsible for her maturity at such a young age.
Let me clarify by stating that I’m not a romantic person nor do I read romance novels. I started this one with a little hesitation but also with intrigue because being a mystery buff that I am, I desperately needed to know the ‘deep dark secret of Ms. Devon’. I’m reading Jane Eyre alongside which coincidentally is the source of inspiration for this retelling and apart from a few similarities here and there, the author has made sure that it’s a story of its own characters rather than just another retelling. What made me enjoy it even more was M. C. Frank’s masterful writing attempt at the classic flowery language and the formality, decorum and mannerism so prevalant in that era. The story unfolds at a gradual, unhurried pace which, in my opinion was perfectly apt as opposed to a flurry of emotions and drama unfolding everywhere! It takes a lot of restrain and capability to write about a sensitive topic with grace without overdoing it or even generally using that in fiction with maturity and delicacy and it was one of the key reasons I absolutely loved the author’s writing style and handling of the topic. I received this ARC from the author and I promised myself to not let that influence my opinion of the same but I don’t think that was much of a problem. If it’s writing like this and a story of such great caliber and plot, I can’t commend the author enough or recommend you the book enough!
Overall rating : 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 .5
- ✔ Characters : 9/10 (Great character outlines. I think any story or any plot, no matter how good or extraordinary if the characters are unable to pull it together. The characters of Ruined are detailed as well as endearing!)
- ✔ Storyline : 9/10 (Even after it states its a retelling, it’s safe to say that this one was worth its own salt. There is a difference between inspiration and downright copy of the so called ‘source of inspiration’ and I’m happy to say that this one was a story of it’s own characters.)
- ✔ Writing Style : 8/10 (Flowery language, sophisticated decorum known in that era and easy prose is what makes this easier to read for everyone and anyone!)
That’s all for today folks!
Happy Reading !