The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary from GoodReads
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.
For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.
To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.
International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.
New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.
I have heard so much about A. G. Howard and her books, not to mention that many of my blogging friends have recommended her books to me. But "The Architect of Song" was the first book I've read of hers!
And was I amazed. Which one should I praise first? The background setting of the book? How wondeful all the characters were? Or the fact that Juliet is deaf, yet she finds a way to overcome her disability, despite the rules of society? (you really don't want to mess with the Victorian society).
Despite its dark atmosphere and the relevations which follow the book to the end, I liked how Juliet tried to help Hawk, even if that meant endangering her own safety. For a reason Thorton's name reminded me of "Jane Eyre" and even the plot had a tiny similarity to the classic.
The descriptions of the dresses and the houses and how hard it is for Juliet to be brave, despite her circumstances are the main points of the book, as also the mystery and the romance.
Despite having a love triangle, it's fairly resolved in a very quiet way you really don't expect. And some characters, despite being quite different in the start of the book, prove to be totally misunderstood!
I loved this series and I plan to get the rest of the books too! Not to mention that the upcoming release of A. G. Howard's is a retelling of "The Phantom of the Opera"! I really recommend all the books and I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did! ;)
About the author:
A.G. Howard is the International and NYT bestselling author of the Splintered Series, with a slew of other classical spinoffs and original stories in the works that she hopes will one day find a place on the shelves.
She was inspired to write her tribute to Carroll's Wonderland while working at a school library. Her pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.
SPLINTERED, UNHINGED, ENSNARED, and UNTAMED, the first four books in her urbanized /gothic Alice in Wonderland series, are now available from Amulet Books. Also soon to be available from Amulet is her Phantom of the Opera spinoff, ROSEBLOOD -- slated to launch January 2017.
THE ARCHITECT OF SONG, the first book in her New Adult historical literary romance saga, will be available in August 2016.