WWA Book Review
The Twisted Rose, Lor E. Lynn
Historical Fiction (Adventure, Romance), 240 Pages
Page Publishing, 2022
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed by Gloria Johntel
Lor E. Lynn’s fifth installment of the Home Office Lords series, The Twisted Rose, was an entertaining adventure with a little tasteful romance. This story follows our protagonist, Juliana Greaves, as she escapes her heinous stepmother’s clutches and retreats to a finishing school where she learns to be a productive member of society before she stands to inherit her late grandfather’s shipping company. Our co-protagonist, Lord Edgar Cortland, is sent on a mission to deliver Juliana a letter from her father as well as to investigate the upstart Twisted Rose Shipping Company, run by, whom we may suspect, is Juliana’s cousin.
The author seems to know her stuff about London society in mid-1800s, but this is no romantic romp. Much of the time, the main two characters simply express their distaste for the frippery of society, and the outcome of that, while predictable, is still intriguing to watch the back-and-forth dance of their relationship. The “cat and mouse” element of this book is remarkably done as there are many instances where Lord Cortland could have descended into a woeful attitude, yet he never does. Juliana, being the mouse in this story, is understandably agitated, but not wholly because she is being pursued. The small plots that weave around the larger plot of the story are very interesting, and honestly fun to experience.
The world of this book was written in a comfortable manner that drew the reader through descriptions without being overly dramatic or telling. Everything blended into the scenery, so to speak. There were only a few points that left me wanting clarification. The physical descriptions of the main characters were done in a way that made sense to the story and built upon each other as the tale wound out.
The main catching point for the story is the introductory chapters. The prologue moves right along, but the first couple chapters are very word- and name-heavy in a way that is somewhat difficult to follow at points. A lot of titles and first names are used interchangeably, which is a little confusing at times.
Overall, Lor E. Lynn’s book was delightful in the sense that it was much more adventure than romance, but still had elements of both. There is a fine line between these two genres that many writers cross when they shouldn’t, and Lynn walks it without slipping into cliché. I really enjoyed the book, and I would like read more of her stories!
Gloria Johntel is a UW-River Falls alumna. With a dual major in Creative Writing and Professional Writing, she has dabbled in screenwriting, business writing, blogging, creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and rhetorical essays.
Gloria has worked on several editing projects, a mini web series, and has written a score of novels, one of which she has self-published. She currently resides in South Central Wisconsin and works for her local library.
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