With her stepfather's sudden death, Lady Anastasia Covington goes from living a privileged lifestyle to selling vegetables in the village marketplace in the blink of an eye. Alone and at the mercy of her nefarious stepsister, she yearns for love and acceptance.
Disguised as a simple soldier, Prince Percival catches a dark-haired emerald-eyed beauty in his arms. He is bewitched. The more he sees her, the more intrigued he is by her contradictions. Forced to keep his identity a secret, he must somehow convince Lady Anastasia he is the right man for her.
But time is running out. Lady Anastasia's mother is determined to find a proper suitor and see her wed –and someone wants her dead.
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Average rating from 8 members
This was a new author for me. The plot and storyline were very well done. Such a wonderful story. I would definitely try another book by This author.
I love reading new authors and wanted to explore Virginia Barlow’s writing, The Wicked Sister. I love ‘fairy tale’ romances and there is a lot to enjoy in this book. One of my favorite parts was the ending, not to give it away, but the way the ‘tale’ is handed off is unique and interesting. The love and care of the hero, heroine, and most of their family is special. I just had trouble connecting with a not too smart heroine who allowed her step-sister, Rella, to pull her along with fear and bullying. The reasons for ‘going along’ with Rella just did not seem credible. And, why was everyone so completely fooled by Rella? Did not make sense. The relationship between Val and Anastasia seemed more lust than growing romance. I did not get that ‘feeling’ of true development of love. Val did take great care of Anastasia when she was hurt, but something was just off in their beginning connection. I think Ms. Barlow has promise as a writer. Maybe this should have been a novella rather than a full book helping it to not seem so contrived. I began to think of Rella as the wicked energizer bunny who just kept coming and coming! Please take my review with a grain of salt as I believe everyone needs to form their own opinion.
I love the cover. I love the book. I love the story and the ending too. I love the author. I love the fairy tale romance like no other read book. Therefore, for me this is a five star rating too!
This is my fair and honest review, voluntarily and in my own words, in return for this ARC. Remember the story of Cinderella?? Well, this is a different twist on that. Well done.
When Rella's Papa remarries and brings home his two new daughters, Rella acts sweet. When the adults are not looking she is horrible however. As the girls get older, Rella seems to hate Anastasia more than Beatrice for reasons known only to Rella. After their Papa dies, Anastasia, Beatrice, and Rella must take on more duties of the household to pay the bills. Quickly, Rella portrays herself as the poor abused step sister of the horrendous Anastasia, and everyone believes her. It is not all as it seems, and when Anastasia barely escapes two different near death experiences, it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. Val has been ordered to watch over the family of the late Lord Covington, cousin and trusted ambassador to the King. He does not expect to be draw in by the lovely Anastasia, middle daughter of said Lord. Nor does he expect to have to save her life twice in just a few short weeks. As he struggles with his growing feelings for Anastasia, he realizes two vital things: He must tell her the truth of who he is and he must save her from a hidden enemy before its too late. My opinions: This story was mediocre but enjoyable. I enjoyed the few plot twists, although as the reader, you see who is behind the attacks very early on. I disliked Val intensely. He calls Anastasia "little one" regularly and I find that 'endearment' belittling and insulting. Also a little concerning. If Val sees Anastasia as a child, why does he pursue her affections. Val is also very demanding and conceited, although given his position in the kingdom, that is not necessarily unexpected. I would have preferred a male lead with a bit more compassion and kindness in him and a female lead with a bit more steel in her spine (yes, I know that is cliche for YA, but it works - no one enjoys reading about the lion and the mouse). The third sister, Beatrice, is more of a background character than I think she needed to be. I would have liked to see a bit more of her character, more of her reactions to Rella's actions, more about her thoughts regarding the lies about Anastasia, and more about her own love story. She ends up with her own happily-ever-after, but with so little mention of it, the reader is left feeling like there is more to be said. Those comments aside, the Epilogue almost completely makes up for any lacking elsewhere in the book. Rella has lost everything, but she finds a way to get her revenge in the end and it is fantastic.
found some parts of the story to be rather clichéd or overdone, there’s perhaps too much winking, and the romance has quite a few references to “warmth” and “sensations,” which gets repetitive. Also, though this isn’t an insta-love story, the eventual jump to love still felt rushed to me, on one party’s part in particular, especially since they both began the story so opposed to marriage. Still, I very much enjoyed this read, ate it up in one evening,