Book Review

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

I’ve been meaning to read the Price of Privilege series for quite some time.  This particular novel, Born of Persuasion, has been on my kindle for awhile now. The third book of the series was just recently released, and I have my review copy waiting, so it gave me the needed push to start this series. I have to say, I’m disappointed that I waited so long to start them!

**This is a novel from my personal collection. I am not being compensated for this review**


The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

“I knew far better how to navigate stormy waters than calm ones.”

-Julia Elliston, Born of Persuasion

Characters: Right away, I was impressed with the characters of this book. Julia, who is the main character and narrator, is extremely developed. Due to the first person narration, I nearly felt as if I was a part of her in the story. Her hopes and fears also became my own. Other characters also were developed pretty thoroughly–except for a few characters who become more mysterious the more we/Julia learn about them.

Storyline: The book opens up and dives quickly into Julia’s circumstances. A love interest is introduced early on and tension builds as Julia’s grip on her situation becomes more and more tenuous. There wasn’t too much down-time in the action of this book, which makes it quite difficult to put down.

My Thoughts:  The style of this novel reminded me so much of reading Jane Eyre. The narration breaks that fourth wall at times, making it feel as if Julia is really the one telling us her story and acknowledges that we are there. Rather than being an interruption, I think it added to the story. I really enjoyed reading the book because of this.

There were times that I felt the novel was slow. But it was a good slow… the kind that builds anticipation. Every sentence left me feeling like something big was coming, and once things started to unravel around the character, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, it has left me eager to read the next book.

About the Author:
Jessica Dotta has always been fascinated by the intricacies of society that existed in England from the Regency through the Edwardian era. She writes in a manner that blends past and modern fiction techniques. She lives in the Nashville area and works as a free lance media consultant and publicist. Her first novel Born of Persuasion releases in September of 2013.

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