I received a free copy of this book and volontarily chose to review.
A second chance at life? Who wouldn’t want that, to correct a mistake or several ones for that matter?
Elaina certainly deserves one for all that her half sister Sonia has done to her. I was shocked by the first pages when Sonia killed Elaina and her unborn baby just because she was madly jealous of her sister‘s social standing, the privileges that come with being the legitimate daughter. I can understand, of course, how hard it must be to always come second, to be, more often than not, ignored at social gatherings of noble people even though you are born to a noble family. Weren’t there the tiny detail that your mother were just the mistress and not the actual wife of the noble you are born to and weren‘t there a legitimate sister who constantly outshines you. Yes, that’s a bitter fate, I can see where the deeply ingrained grudge comes from. To a certain degree I can even sympathise with the young woman. But she is taking it too far. Sonia has made it her life’s ambition to tarnish Elaina’s reputation in a way that it ruins her life for good, that there is no possibility for her to ever get in Sonia‘s way again. In her first life, Elaina was quite naive. She ignored her sister’s obvious calculative personality, her apparent attempts to do her harm. When she’s send back in time shortly before her live goes downhill, Elaina is set out for revenge. A battle between the sisters ensues. From the first page onward, Elaina had my heart beating for her. The bond created between the reader and her is quite strong the moment Sonia shows no mercy at all and kills mother and child. Revenge is not the right path to take, that’s for sure, but you want to see Sonia suffer, no matter that she hasn’t done the horrific deed yet. Still, she is far from being an angel and stops at nothing to make Elaina’s life miserable. Her main goal is to force her sister into a marriage far below her status and to keep her away from Evan, the young man they both love. A simple touch between man and woman can do that in their world, even more so when there are witnesses present. But this time around, Elaina fights back. I was cheering for her, hoping that she would find happiness. Sadly, Sonia is very good at what she is trying to do, so it is quite a difficult fight, albeit an exciting one to observe. It had me hooked so much that I simply wasn’t able to stop reading. I needed to know if a happyend for Elaina was possible.
Although Elaina’s wish for revenge is pretty strong in her, who can blame her really, there are coming up a few things that make her change her priorities bit by bit. Soon it isn’t just about her and Sonia anymore because there seems to be another purpose behind her time travel. There is a threat to the empire she has to unravel and stop. In addition to that, Elaina has another problem to face: Mendes, the husband she hated in her last timeline, has somehow traveled through time and space with her. With the knowledge of past events, he seems to have his own agenda he follows, one that makes him want to reclaim Elaina as his wife, too. I loved the many mysteries that waited to be solved, the surprises behind every corner Elaina turned.
There was a constant tension present, because you never could be sure what desaster would be thrown at poor Elaina next. The only thing you could be sure about is that there certainly would be one. I still can’t trust the happyend. The possibility that Sonia could get a hold on the means of getting a second chance at life as well; I really dont’t want to think about what that would mean for Elaina. So the book has me on edge even after I’ve finished reading it. I like that very much.
All in all, I loved this book. It is full of things I haven’t foreseen happening. The strong bond to Elaina was created at the beginning and only grew stronger. I cheered for her and wished her the very best. Her battle with her sister Sonia kept me awake at night, because I needed to know if Elaina would win. I liked how much effort has been put into the development oft he characters, too. There is nothing black and white tot hem. I could relate to their motives, could sympathise with the villains to a ceratin extent because of that. If you want to read a masterpiece of deceit, revenge, a plot against the throne and a heartbreakingly beautiful lovestory, then you should read this book.