The Rose Master
By Valentina CanoBlurb: The day Anne Tinning turns seventeen, birds fall from the sky. But that's hardly the most upsetting news. She's being dismissed from the home she's served at since she was a child, and shipped off to become the newly hired parlor maid for a place she's never heard of. And when she sees the run-down, isolated house, she instantly knows why:
There's something wrong with Rosewood Manor.
Staffed with only three other servants, all gripped by icy silence and inexplicable bruises, and inhabited by a young master who is as cold as the place itself, the house is shrouded in neglect and thick with fear. Her questions are met with hushed whispers, and she soon finds herself alone in the empty halls, left to tidy and clean rooms no one visits.
As the feeling of being watched grows, she begins to realize there is something else in the house with them--some creature that stalks the frozen halls and claws at her door. A creature that seems intent on harming her.
When a fire leaves Anne trapped in the manor with its Master, she finally demands to know why. But as she forces the truth about what haunts the grounds from Lord Grey, she learns secrets she isn't prepared for. The creature is very real, and she's the only one who can help him stop it.
Now, Anne must either risk her life for the young man she's grown to admire, or abandon her post while she still can.
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publication Date: June 2014
My Rating: 2 stars
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Apparently this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I really didn't see that throughout the course of the novel, but it is.
This is more like a very dark paranormal Regency Romance. Now, I'm going to state flat-out in this review that the most likely reason I didn't like this book was due to personal tastes. I love retellings. But I didn't see this book as being one. I dislike very dark books, most paranormals, and I have never really been into regency romances, which as stated above, I found this book to be more like. So, if you do like those things? Well, go ahead and read this book. I think you'll enjoy it.
I however, found it not to my tastes. First, due to the romance. Lord Grey was a jerk. Whatever his sad backstory was, he was a 10 on the jerk scale. And so, I didn't love Anne and him together. In fact, I thought she was kind of stupid for liking him. I mean, he had his moments, but throughout the course of the book? Jerk.
Secondly, I wasn't prepared for how paranormal this story became. I know this sounds stupid, but bear with me. I thought that it would be more of a darker Disney and less...the Exorcism. This kind of goes back to the fact that I thought this was more of a retelling. I won't give anything away, because I don't want to be a plot spoiler and this is a pretty big aspect of the story, but the book got darker than I was expecting.
Third, I didn't love Anne. Her personality really never appealed to me. I liked that she wasn't simply a meek and humble serving maid, but I never really cared what happened to her. This book was told in first person, too, so there was no way to get away from her, and that probably resulted in me liking this book even less.
There were a few nice plot twists at the end. Nothing I was very wowed over, but I hadn't guessed them, and they were nice to read, because solving the mystery of the creepy Rosewood Manor is basically all I was reading this book for at the end anyways.
If you like really dark books (and don't mind some very proper romance) then I think you'll like this. If not...I'd skip it.