London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.
Now under the watchful eye of Lord Roy Pierson, one of most influential men in England, Julia begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well, and he is eager to assert his claim over her.
Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.
Book two of the Price of Privilege trilogy moves the action from rural England to Victorian London. The social season is about to start, and Julia must be convincing as Lord Pierson’s rightful heiress. The specter of his late wife hangs over the household even as his mother-in-law swoops in to educate the young woman in the ways of society. Julia must know the intricacies of social etiquette, including deportment, conversation, rivalries, titles and even how to properly use silverware at dinner. Not everything can be taught in three weeks, however, and Julia’s lack of language and music skills could still trip her up.
The majority of the book consists of Julia finding her way in London while she pines for a man she loves who should be lost to her. Her father alternates between cold and lukewarm toward her. Her escort is encouraging, but has occasional lapses of impropriety. It also appears she might be a key to his political advancement. A newspaper man alternates between insulting her and kowtowing to her father. It’s almost impossible to know who to trust and Julia is essentially a pawn between Macy and Pierson. The descriptions of London are interesting, especially the observations between rich and poor. The payoff for getting through this middle book is in the last few pages. It is there that I feel the trilogy’s plot moves along the most. A major event takes place and important information is revealed.
A major issue I had with this book is the connection between Julia and Macy. I was confused enough that I returned to Born of Persuasion to find something to help me. Is a marriage legal if the license was burned after the ceremony but before the wedding was recorded in parish records? In Mark of Distinction, Macy believes it is, while Lord Pierson and his cohorts are determined to see Julia married to another. Furthermore, if vows were exchanged before a man of God is it a marriage in the eyes of God? I’m hoping I missed something that maybe answered my questions. If not, I hope there are answers forthcoming in the final book in the series.
Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for my complimentary copy of Mark of Distinction, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read Mark of Distinction? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: 01 May 2014
Page Count: 448