From the hypnotizing cover image to the unique theme of magically altering a person thru art, A Forgery Of Roses is an outstanding and immersive read deserving all 5 stars and more.
Jessica S Olson’s writing is lush and dripping in atmosphere, the gothic overtones of the Rose manor providing the rich and dark background to the story. Myra Whitlock has a talent, she is a prodigy capable of altering a person thru her art. But times are dreadful with prodigies being hunted and vanishing one after another, her parents have also gone without a trace, leaving Myra with her sister to fend for themselves. Troubled and in dire financial straits to treat her younger sister for a medical condition, Myra accepts a project that takes her into the Governor’s house, the Rose manor.
The manor house looms larger than life with its deep mysteries and secrets lurking around corners, and the inhabitants, all of them behaving oddly, Myra finds herself embroiled in a mystery that produces more difficulties than its worth. Myra with the help of August tries to unravel the questions that seem to pile up one after another but a murderer is at their heels and for every single thread being unwound, several other gets added.
It has always amazed me how some authors make you sit up and take notice of more than one theme running in their story with some clever writing. Ms. Olson in A Forgery Of Roses uses art and painting for her fantasy tale and weaves an engrossing story of love and sacrifices and it is not just a romance or finding one’s soulmate but the potent devotion of one sister for another. Myra’s relationship with her sister is filled with such warmth and tenderness, that many a time in the story with the illness and such, I had to close my eyes and take a breath before continuing. There is also August and his anxiety issues which have been conveyed wonderfully, and I absolutely loved how the story progresses, there is no magical ‘everything is OK’ scenario for Myra, her battles are hard-won with blood and loss, and the ending even though with a hopeful tilt is not all tied up with roses and ribbons which was honestly refreshing and kind of realistic in a fantasy story.
Twists and turns with an intense climax, A Forgery Of Roses unfurls as the beautiful rose on its cover.
Myra Whitlock has a gift. One many would kill for.
She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.
But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.
Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.
Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.
From Sing Me Forgotten author Jessica S. Olson comes a gothic fantasy murder mystery perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Erin A. Craig.
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