About the Book:
London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.
Now under the watchful eye of Lord Roy Pierson, one of most influential men in England, Julia begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well, and he is eager to assert his claim over her.
Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.
I really enjoyed Jessica's first novel in her "Price of Privilege" series, so I was looking forward to the second book. Julia Elliston had my heart for all she had endured, and being duped into thinking she had finally found a refuge only to discover she was as exposed as ever had me on the edge of my seat.
"Mark of Distinction" picks up immediately after events in the first book, so don't even try to read this one without going back to the beginning. You will be totally and utterly lost. I had a hard enough time keeping everyone straight in my head as I read, and I knew what had happened in the first book.
So, I suppose that would be my first issue with "Mark of Distinction": too many new characters coming at me all at once. This book would greatly benefit from one of those otherwise useless pages of 'who's who' in the very front, reminding me of which guy went with which name, and was a bad guy or a good guy.
Because, in Victorian times, it's hard to tell the white hats from the black hats, let me tell you!
"Mark of Distinction" also felt much longer in length than "Price of Privilege", but it was relatively the same amount of pages. So that would be my second issue: it bogged down a bit. But, don't most second in a series books serve as a bridge, and come across as a little heavy on the explanation and light on the action?
It also drove me crazy that I couldn't tell who was truthful and who was a player, who loved Julia and who wanted her as a trophy, or who meant her harm and who was there to protect her. But that isn't a complaint...that's just really good writing on Jessica's part.
So, overall, I only recommend "Mark of Distinction" as a means of finishing the trilogy...it's good, but it's not the best. And as one who isn't fond of historical fiction, it was a true feat for me to finish the book! My thanks to my friends at Tyndale House Publishers for printing the book, and for my library for carrying it in their stacks!
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