Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 with 4 comments
Title: Tangled Webs
Author: Lee Bross
Series: Tangled Webs, book #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?

This was...a bit of a disappointment. It started off well and then went downhill around the halfway point...maybe even before. I should have DNF'd it. I don't know why I didn't, to be honest. The premise intrigued me from the moment I read the summary, and I guess I just wanted to see it through.

I'm a sucker for a girl who gets by dressed as a boy. Usually that girl is fierce and good and what I want from a heroine. But Arista rubbed me the wrong way from the very beginning because she seemed to enjoy her role as Lady A, at least at first, just as her friend and bodyguard Nic did. She liked that power trip...knowing that once she returned home, she'd be just another street urchin. I get that. And I also get that above all else, she did truly want out of that life and to have her freedom. But she also has serious trust that she trusts ALL the wrong people and pretty much runs head-first into danger at every opportunity. She plays right into everyone else's hands, all the while thinking herself the one on top. Considering her line of work, she is entirely too naive.

She's also a dirty double-crosser, though in that at least, her intentions were slightly honorable, even if the deed itself was more to benefit herself than to assuage any guilt she might harbor over what her blackmailing might have led to. Everything she does is in an effort to rid herself of her Lady A persona, but she endangers the only people who have ever truly cared for her in the process, including the handsome and very forward Grae Sinclair.

Grae was a nice love interest. But he also was a bit of a pushover. Arista lied to him time and again, and every time he excused it and all but told her he'd forgive her anything, give her anything. Even though she'd always thought herself in love with Nic, who'd been her protector up to this point, she has this instant connection with Grae. And he wants to take her away from this life and have adventures on the high seas with her and he's so swoony, etc., etc., etc. And as everyone kept pointing out, she deserved a life like the one he could provide for her. But I can't get over how everyone, especially his mother, was excited about his engagement to a thief and notorious blackmailer, especially when she'd caused their family so much grief already. I just find it very difficult to believe that anyone would have found their union acceptable in the time period this story takes place, no matter if she did end up saving the family's good name or not.

For my preferences, this book spent entirely too much time focusing on their romance and not enough time tying up loose ends, necessitating the need for a sequel. Though if you ask me, a sequel is not warranted and it's very doubtful I'll be picking it up. The writing in this book was just all over the place, so messy and it didn't flow well at all. The characters were flighty. And the ending was too quick and wrapped up too easily for my liking, making me think that it was really only supposed to be one book and not a series initially. I had such high hopes for this book, especially with that gorgeous cover and the interesting story idea, but it just did not live up to my expectations, sadly.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Lee Bross is the author of the Fates series, written under the pen name Lanie Bross. She also writes new adult novels under the name L.E. Bross. Lee was born in a small town in Maine, where she spent the next 18 years dreaming of bigger places. After exploring city life, she and her husband and two young sons ended up coming right back to the wilds of Maine where they now live just one house down from where she grew up. Fate, perhaps? She loves chasing around her rambunctious kids, playing tug-o-war with her 95 pound Lab, and writing for young adults.

Find Lee:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads


  1. awh pooh, I was really looking forward to this one and so far I have seen your review and one 3 star review. What a bummer.

    Great Review though

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  2. I quite liked the look of this one, but from what you've said in your review Arista sounds like a character who is going to annoy the hell out of me. Maybe I'll avoid this one.

  3. Oh nuts. I liked Fates okay. It wasn't my favorite but it was worth reading.


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