When Julia discovers that Lord Roy Pierson, her guardian and one of most influential men in England, is the father she has never met, she begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well.
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.
Review:Some books are hard to review. This is one of them. It’s just so unique. Mark of Distinction is dark, Gothic, and complex. Whereas the first book in the series, Born of Persuasion, centered around Julia and Mr. Chance Macy, this book centered around Julia, her father, Mr. Forrester, and Lord Isaac Dalry.
I will warn anybody with the intent of reading this series that it is rather joyless. Humor is almost nonexistent, though the author can pain lovely word pictures. Julia—who is just seventeen—is continually manipulated and pushed around by nearly every man in her life save her beloved Edward. She is miserable for most of the novel because she believes that her father does not really want her and that everybody likes her simply because of her vast dowry.
Roy Pierson is one of the most complex characters I have read about this year. He has a strict moral code which he expects everybody else to follow, though nobody can guess every time just exactly what that code entails. Poor Julia’s first real meeting with her father was extremely awkward just because he thought she had entered the room wrong! Though he wants his own way, Lord Pierson truly does love his daughter deeply. He doesn’t usually show it and is more often cold and formal towards her than he is loving and kind. But Julia and her father both did have sweet moments together throughout the novel.
Lord Isaac Dalry was a sweet, selfless character. He was always helping Julia and was continually solicitous toward her. He saved her time and again from predicaments that her stubbornness or ignorance of manners in polite society put her in. However, though I don’t think he meant to, Isaac did play a part in manipulating Julia throughout the story. However, I liked his character. I wished that his sister, Kate, had been in a greater part of the novel as she was a joyful, bouncy young woman who liked Julia the instant she saw her. I believe it would have relieved a greater part of the novel’s solemn aura.
If you read Born of Persuasion and disliked Mr. Robert Forrester there, you shall utterly loathe him in Mark of Distinction. He was an utter beast toward poor Julia! He threw innuendos at her every chance he got and never stopped trying to make her as miserable as possible whenever she was in his company. However, he ends up being a key character and nearly redeems himself in the end as he actually helps Julia. Granted, it was to get something he personally wanted, but he still helped her.
I wished for most of the book that Julia would grow more of a backbone. She has a very stubborn character, but she could have stood up for herself more. But she is so very young I can forgive her that. And she does learn to speak for herself near the end. The end of the novel is rather ironic as Julia ends up with what she wanted, despite how her father manipulated her. She grows closer to God near the end. Julia’s spiritual transformation was interesting to watch. She went from an atheist in the first novel to a deep realization of God and His presence in the second. I can’t wait to read the third novel to find out how she grows even more spiritually!
Macy was surprisingly in only about five scenes of the novel. However, nearly every time Julia encountered him, he took care of her and was kind toward her. Once, when she was injured Macy tenderly took care of Julia’s wounds. It was as if he truly cared for her, which surprised me, since it seemed as though everybody thought he was a man without conscience or feeling. The author led me to believe that Macy only loved Julia for her inheritance, but I’m not sure if I quite believe that.
My only complaint is that Julia’s remaining with just her father and Isaac for nearly the entirety of the novel grew rather tiresome. She was miserable, cold, at times cruelly treated, and manipulated. It formed a sort of pattern. I wished many times that Edward or Macy would show up more. Especially Macy. Even though it appears that Macy is evil, I still think he can be redeemed. I like him even more than Edward. Though he didn’t show up much in Mark of Distinction, Macy is still my favorite character of the entire series.
Not every secret hinted at in Born of Persuasion was revealed in Mark of Distinction. I cannot wait to read Price of Privilege to discover just exactly who Mr. Chance Macy is and what will happen to Julia next.
I give Mark of Distinction 4 out of 5 stars.
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers for my honest review, which I have given. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.