Book Review: “Her Sweetest Downfall” by Rebecca Hamilton
It’s no secret that I absolutely love Rebecca Hamilton and The Forever Girl Series (I talk about The Forever Girl in every other blog post) so it can’t be that great of a shock that the minute I saw that Rebecca was having a virtual book tour for Her Sweetest Downfall, I signed up to be one of her tour stops!
For anyone that’s wondering: I downloaded Her Sweetest Downfall during one of it’s free for everyone promos on Amazon months prior to the book tour!
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 worries. She’s destined to don a new mask—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 she loves.
Set in an alternate Regency England, “”Her Sweetest Downfall”” is a standalone novella in the “”Forever Girl”” series, written as a gift to fans of the Forever Girl series.
HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, fantasy, and vampire fiction.
How much I enjoyed the book: 9/10
How good the book was: 10/10
I’ve never been a short story/novella fan. The lack of description, detail and plot makes me feel cheated and unhappy – not to mention the frequently used cliff hangers! Additionally, there’s simply not enough time/description for me to be invested in the characters and their story. With that in mind, I didn’t expect to enjoy reading Her Sweetest Downfall as much as I did. Particularly since the book is a standalone within The Forever Girl Series (and not considered book #2), equivalent to bonus material; interesting and useful, yet not quite necessary in the grand scheme of things.
So of course I wondered whether it would have the same obsessive effect on me as Book #1: Sophia’s Journey. I wasn’t expecting much but in the short space of what Rebecca Hamilton had intended to be “5000 words”, she managed to grab me and have me wanting MORE.
I loved Ophelia from her name down to her straightforward countenance. Her personality is amazing and highly unexpected for a working class, subservient woman of her era (though it is of course an alternate depiction of the 1800s). The first chapter of Her Sweetest Downfall had had me wondering if Rebecca had written something resembling a classic. But once Ophelia is liberated by Ethan from her life as an ignorant servant, Ophelia becomes empowered by the knowledge he passes on to her. Without giving too much away, I felt like Ophelia really stepped up as the protagonist of the novella after accepting the realities of the world. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating to read than a protagonist in denial!
I love that Ophelia’s life comes back round to somewhat of a circle. She returns to a life of fulfilling the tasks of a servant, yet this time she is a force to be reckoned with. Ophelia utilises her outward appearance of innocence and becomes a double agent, despite her unfamiliarity to the supernatural world.
My only gripe with the novella is the ending. I don’t enjoy open endings – particularly cliff hangers grrr – and I couldn’t help but feel like the ending was left with too much unexplained. My mind needs everything to be wrapped up in pretty bows so I can have closure after finishing the book and move on with my life. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the bow ends up clumsy and unpleasant (I’m talking to you Deathly Hallows’ epilogue!!!) but done just right it can leave the reader with a pleasant warm feeling. Instead, I felt a mixture of emotions resulting in an interesting and informative twitter conversation with the author, Rebecca Hamilton in which she puts my mind at ease and clarifies the ending:
I actually love her that much more simply for taking the time to deal with my fan girl heart. Also, yay for possibly getting scenes I want to see in future books! ^_^
If you’ve read The Forever Girl Series: Book #1 Sophia’s Journey, then this is of course something to take a look at. Otherwise I’m confident enough in the novella to state that it works just as well as a standalone book to a reader unfamiliar with The Forever Girl series! If you enjoy fantasy, paranormal and supernatural genres this is an excellent read!