Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Sunday, June 7, 2015 12:00 AM
Tangled Webs (Tangled Webs #1)
by Lee Bross
Release Date: June 23, 2015
London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.
Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.
But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.
Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?
My Thoughts 4 Stars
I knew nothing about this book going in! I mean, nothing.
- I didn't know it was historical fiction set in 1725 London.
- I didn't know it was about political games and blackmail scheming.
The first two chapters of Tangled Webs really pulls you right into the story. We meed Arista, an orphan, who is a pawn/slave to a notorious blackmailer named Bones. She was raised by him to be the middle man, the one who delivered secrets and retreived payment.
Arista is one tough cookie, as she should be. She was raised in a very abusive situation and what she wants most in life is freedom. Freedom from seeing the ugly side of the upper class, free from being Bone's pawn, free to live life for herself.
Arista has a special skill at being able to pick up on other people's body language and she can anticipate their next move. Whether it's to run, to fight or to cower she knows it before it even happens. This is a fun skill and I enjoyed reading about it.
Arista's "job" is to be is sent out, as the infamous Lady A, on assignments with Nic, her best friend and bodyguard. He's always been there to protect her. As the story progresses things gets quickly changed and Arista's life is totally turned upside down! She meets a mysterious highway man at a party, and life as she knows it completely changes.
The Dirt and the Grime:
One thing I LOVED about this book was the grittiness of Arista's life and life in the bad parts of London. The violence and ugliness of humanity are quite shocking at moments, and I love being shocked while reading.
The romance in the book started off hot, but then changed to more realistic love interest. I would have liked a little more steamy moments but I love it when affection grows gradually. It was a bit insta-love BUT there was enough tension in this book to make it acceptable.
POC in the book!
I am SOOOO happy to have realized that the main character is NOT WHITE! Yay!!!!!! She is called gypsy by her friend Nic and others throughout the book refer to her as "gypsy". I'm so so so happy to see the main character portrayed as something other than white.
(I found this picture online that I thought captured the feel and vibe of Arista.)
I enjoyed this book very much! It was full of lots of twists and turns that kept you guessing on how Arista would escape her desperate situation. I give Tangled Webs 4 out of 5 stars.