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.
Born in the wrong century – except for the fact that she really likes epidurals and washing machines – Jessica Dotta writes British Historicals with the humor like an Austen, yet the drama of a Bronte.
She resides lives in the greater Nashville area—where she imagines her small Southern town into the foggy streets of 19th century London. She oversees her daughter to school, which they pretend is an English boarding school, and then she goes home to write and work on PR. Jessica has tried to cast her dachshund as their butler–but the dog insists it’s a Time Lord and their home a Tardis. Miss Marple, her cat, says its no mystery to her as to why the dog won’t cooperate. When asked about it, Jessica sighs and says that you can’t win them all, and at least her dog has picked something British to emulate.
Mark of Distinction, book 2 in Jessica Dotta’s Price of Privilege series, won the 2015 Inspy Award for Historical Romance. With its incredibly complex characters and plot and excellent writing style this novel rates a highly recommended read from me. Be sure to read Born of Persuasion first though — this series must be read in order.
Mark of Distinction finds Julia in London at the home of her father and in the middle of an elaborate ruse to allow her to take her place in the center of society as the mysterious Emerald Heiress. Julia is very much alone — her father is cold and distant, Macy is still a threat and family and friends cannot be trusted. Only Isaac seems to take Julia’s interests to heart, thus causing Julia’s struggle with staying true to her love for Edward.
Dotta tells Julia’s story from a past tense, first person POV, but the story is revealed in bits and pieces allowing the reader to experience the tension of secrets, plots and deceptions. This novel is very Victorian with its sensibilities, restrictions and position of women as property. Characters continue to be complex — one never knows just whom to trust. The contrast between Macy and Isaac is powerful. Macy exemplifies the allure of evil and the deception of counterfeit love; Isaac is a picture of Christ (and I have to admit that I rooted for him to win Julia’s affections).
Mark of Distinction was a page turner for me; I was furiously reading to find out what would happen to Julia. And then wham! — Dotta slams on the brakes with Julia’s encounter with God. Her conversion is very moving, and I found myself reading the passage again and again.
A must read for fans of historical fiction, Mark of Distinction is truly a winner!
To purchase this book, click HERE.
(Thanks to Tyndale for the complimentary copy of this book. All opinion expressed are mine alone.)