Julia enters into an agreement with the eccentric Lady Foxmore in order to secure a husband for herself within the two month time span her guardian has given her. Lady Foxmore thrusts Julia into the life and home of a man named Chance Macey. Mr. Macey is more handsome beyond words—but wields a power that could ultimately destroy much more than Julia’s hope for the future.
Who is the liar and who is telling the truth? Who can Julia trust in the mayhem into which she has been forced to enter? One wrong move might just mean not only the end of her life but also the lives of those she loves.
Wow. Can’t say that I’ve been this captivated by a book in a long time. Born of Persuasion was breathtaking and thrilling. I can’t wait to read the next one! The book was told in first person from Julia’s viewpoint. When I realized that I was expecting something less….masterful I think would be the word. Born of Persuasion is a piece of art. The author says in the end that she began this novel when she was 19 and that it went through many transformations and stages before the publishing process. I can clearly see that she worked many years on it by the flawless way the plot and story as a whole are woven together.
Julia is only 17 when she loses her mother and fins out that her guardian—a man she has never met—is sending her to Scotland in order to attend an ailing old woman. I kept on wondering throughout the novel, “How much grief can this poor girl take?” Being an atheist—because her father was one—Julia herself had no faith to comfort her during her trials. Instead, she seeks to find security in the people around her. The one thing Julia craves is utter security. But every person in her life fails at one time or another. Her heart does soften more to the things of God but there was no outright conversion. However, the author could be saving that for the next two books in the series. I felt, though, that more godly influences could have been incorporated into the novel to give more of an element of faith in God. As it was, there was hardly any, save for Edward—the boy who pledged himself to Julia in his youth—who was a vicar. Even then, many times he didn’t act very vicar-ish.
The character of Chance Macey was absolutely entrancing. By the end of the book, I still wasn’t all too sure who he was. Imagine Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff, and Mr. Rochester combined into one character. The mix was positively intoxicating! I know what the author was talking about when she said she was trying to incorporate the feel of both Jane Austen’s writings and the Bronte sisters. I liked Mr. Macey far more than Julia’s Edward. Even though it appeared as though the former was evil I still didn’t want to believe it. Poor Edward kind of died in the shadow of the powerful and gorgeous Chance Macey. I will say this in Edward’s favor: he was there for Julia when she needed him for nearly the entire novel. I wasn’t quite sure what Mr. Macey was after when he swept Julia off her feet. In fact, the book never gives a reason as to why, exactly, he wanted to marry her. It gave a vague description, but I wanted to know why straight from Macey himself. But Julia never thought to ask that question amongst the millions swirling about in her head. I hope that Macey explains himself in the next novel and Julia ends up with him. Edward may be the man she fancied herself in love with for years, but Macey is such a strong, enigmatic character, that I believe all who read this book will agree with me.
My only complaint is that there was far too much kissing. Julia was in many compromising situations in which she made no move to extricate herself. However, since she had no Biblical or moral principles to start with, it gave me an understanding of how good it is to establish standards before entering into a relationship. If Julia had established standards, she would not have found herself where she was by the end of the novel. If she had given her life over to Christ, her circumstances could have been far less tragic. Born of Persuasion offered me a view of how the life of a person who does not trust in God looks in the face of death, tragedy, and ultimate despair. Julia was often crying because she had no peace, and was always seeking after love and fulfillment in the wrong places. She was always trying to fill the hole inside of her with something. But she never realized that only Jesus can fill that hole. And only Jesus will never fail her. For those looking for a lighter read, you will not find it here. The story has a dark, gothic feel. But it does have hope in the very end.
Born of Persuasion had so many twists and turns I scarcely took a breath before something occurred. I will certainly be looking forward to reading the second in the series, Mark of Distinction.
I give Born of Persuasion 4 out of 5 stars.
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers. The opinions and ideas stated are mine and mine alone. This review is an honest opinion of this book.