Goodreads Synopsis: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
My Rating: 4 stars
In the beginning, the story was kind of slow, and I get why, because it is setting up a whole world for us to follow, with new characters, and customs, so the beginning of the book was mostly world-building, and getting to know Violet Lasting. I was determined to finish this book, not only because it was part of my Epic Reads Challenge, but also because I had heard really great things about this book. If it were not for that, considering I was just getting out of a massive reading slump, I don’t think I would have finished this book. But I am really glad I did, because once things got rolling, I could not put it down. I have high expectations for the next book, now that the story is all set up for the most part.
WARNING DO NOT READ THIS BOOK UNTIL YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE NEXT ONE!
The White Rose is supposed to come out October 6th, 2015.
Overall: I would definitely recommend this book, but keeping two things in mind: It takes a while to get going, and be emotionally prepared if you do not yet have the second book.