Friday, March 29, 2013

ARC Review: A Touch of Scarlet (Unbound, #2) by Eve Marie Mont

The compelling heroine of Eve Marie Mont’s novel A Breath of Eyre returns to find truth and fiction merging through the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter…

Emma Townsend is back at prestigious Lockwood Prep, but her world has altered immeasurably since her tumultuous sophomore year. The best change of all: her boyfriend, Gray. And though Gray is leaving for Coast Guard training, Emma feels newly optimistic, even if the pain of her mother’s long-ago death still casts a shadow.

Yet Emma isn’t the only one who’s changed. Her friend and roommate, Michelle, is strangely remote, and old alliances are shifting in disconcerting ways. Soon Emma’s long-distance relationship with Gray is straining under the pressure, and Emma wonders if she’s cracking too. How else to explain the vivid dreams of Hester Prynne she’s been having since she started reading The Scarlet Letter? Or the way she’s found herself waking in the woods? As her life begins to echo events in the novel, Emma will be forced to choose between virtue and love. But can she forge a new future without breaking her heart?

There's growth in this's the main thing I came away with after I finished the last page.  I know a lot of people expect to retelling of an age old classic when they pick this title up, but they'd be wrong.  While Mont uses old stories in her work, its not the same.  Instead she weaves the classics into these fresh story lines in order to deepen the meaning, help her character develop and ultimately create a unique spin on not just her work but also the way readers might view these literature staples.

I'll admit that the series opener, A Breath of Eyre remains my favorite within the series, but I still appreciated where Mont took her characters and readers with this sequel.  There certainly was enough going on with the characters this time around and not just Emma.  I have to admit that I would have liked to have seen and read more about Gray this time around.  I felt like I was experiencing the long distance relationship first hand right along with Emma.

I'm eager to see what Mont brings to the series next in A Phantom Enchantment and must again tip my hat to her for her creativity, fresh outlook and fun characters.  I loved watching the characters grow throughout this installment and look forward to more.

I gave A Touch of Scarlet (Unbound, #2) 3 shamrocks!!!

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