My mom tells me she doesn't like to read romance novels because she always knows how they are going to end. In other words, she always knows which two people are going to get together by the end.
That is not true of the Price of Privilege Trilogy, a retro-gothic, historical, Christian fiction mystery/romance. I just finished reading the second book in this series, Mark of Distinction. Throughout this book, Julia has three suitors. And, technically, shes married to one of them! Though a change in identity has, at least temporarily, taken care of that. As Lord Pierson's daughter, the Emerald Heiress, instead of Julia Elliston, orphaned daughter of a controversial atheist, Julia has a whole new world of challenges to overcome in this second book.
Further, she still has no idea who is trying to help her and who is using her for his own ends. Readers have no idea either, and thats what makes this series so brilliant.
The ending to Mark of Distinction perplexed me, though. Everything seemed to resolve itself just a little too quickly, too easily, too perfectly. If this were the end to the series, which it actually could beexcept that I know it's not, I would be dissatisfied. Instead, I'll just have to wait to see which cornered miscreant comes out swinging in protest when the final book comes out next Spring.
The second book in the Price of Privilege series was just as exciting and suspenseful as the first book. Julia Elliston's life completely unraveled at the conclusion of the first book and she is trying to put the pieces back together and figure out the new male figures thrust into her life. I can't wait for the third book to see what happens to Julia!
Mark of Distinction was as good as the first book in this series. In this story, Julia is in London and she is involved in a dangerous scandal which may destroy not only her life, but also her reputation. She is under the protection of Lord Roy Pierson who is also pretty powerful in London but Chance Macy is doing all he can to regain control over her again. While Julia feels trapped in the power struggle between the two men, London views her as a celebrity. With the help of a man she is leery to trust, she takes steps to become free from the two men but will she succeed?
I'm not entirely sure what to think of this book. You definitely need to read the first book to fully understand what happens in this book. I found Julia a little too wrapped up in herself. By all appearances, Lord Dalry had gone through some very tough things in life as well and had used the trials to refine him and make him a man of compassion and grace. Julia seems to be using the tough things in her life to let her grow bitter and self-absorbed. She yearns for the approval of her father, Lord Pierson, but yet doesn't really seem to make much of an effort to perform according to his wishes. She mourned the loss of her true love, Edward, and in the end was able to marry him, but I still wonder if her character wouldn't have been much improved had she simply submitted to the culture of the day and allowed herself to be married to Lord Dalry who truly loved her and was very protective of her and good for her as well. The story was well-written and interesting and definitely kept my attention to see how it was going to end. I will also be on the look out for the final book in the series to see how the story ends.
Mark of Distinction is the second book in the Price of Privilege trilogy. I cannot say enough about how much I love this series! I wish I could put my finger on what makes a book excellent, but this one has whatever that it is. The characters are well-developed, believable and intriguing. There is a great amount of tension, and it is absolutely unpredictable. I still dont know how this series will eventually end! I liked how this one was written retrospectively by the main character, Julia, reminiscing in her old age about these events.
Many of my critiques in reading books labelled Christian fiction is the lack of Christianity. Other reviewers, I note, complain that the religion aspect of some books is too overbearing and blatant, which can frequently be true. I think Ms. Dotta has achieved a good balance, as she has very gently brought Julia to a knowledge of God.
The only thing I hate about this series is the fact that I started it before it was complete. The last installment is not due until Spring of 2015. It shall be a long wait, but an opportunity to work on developing some patience.