Her Sweetest Downfall (Bonus Novella from The Forever Girl Series)
by Rebecca Hamilton
Published on: July 2012
Ophelia’s been successful at hiding her true identity, until the mark of the serpent appears on her neck—a death sentence, should it be seen by anyone in her town. Hiding the mark might save her from falling victim to the witch hunts of her era, but the scorching sensation it carries can’t be ignored.
When the mysterious Ethan is sent to collect her for a life of something more, she learns concealing the mark is the least of her worries. She’s destined to don a new mask—to join a dark, supernatural world and protect the future of people she may never meet.
What she doesn’t know—what she learns too late—is that her initiation won’t be complete until she kills the man she loves.
Set in an alternate Regency England, ”Her Sweetest Downfall” is a standalone novella in the ”Forever Girl” series, written as a gift to fans of the Forever Girl series.
My Rating: 4 Coffee Cups
Ok, first and foremost, check out my review for The Forever Girl HERE. Onto the review. We met Ophelia very briefly in The Forever Girl (the one who helped Sophia escape). You don't necessarily have to have read The Forever Girl to get this novella, but it definitely gives you a better back story and understanding of what is going on and it also gives you that "aww" and "ahh" moment when the characters happen upon things that were remembered in The Forever Girl.
Ophelia was a scuttle maid trying to find her mother. Her mother is thought to be dead by most, but Ophelia doesn't believe it. The book opens with her finding a strange, burning mark of a serpent. She knows this means death to her if seen. While running through the woods on an errand for her lady (the awful, needs to get slapped, Lady Karina) she hears a hauntingly beautiful melody of a violin. Against her better judgement- being she's in the woods in the middle of the night- she follows the sound and comes face to face with a man who seems to know about her mark and understand it's purpose. Ethan explains to her who she is and what she is destined to do. He explains to her that her mother is dead and died protecting her. He tells her about Elementals (see part one of this blog tour HERE with descriptions), that the stories she was told as a child about creatures that drink blood to live, children who wield magic, ghosts that try to control the living are all in fact true and that not only are they true but she is one of them. She learns that her destiny and purpose in this life is to aid a girl who will basically be their savior. She will need to infiltrate the Elementals' council, the Maltorim, and lie in wait until she is needed. Oh and she will have to pretty much activate her dormant Cruor (vampire) gene in order to do it. She is, understandably, not all for this plan. She actually downright hates it. Not only because she has no desire to never see the sun again or drink blood, but she also doesn't want to leave Ethan who she is falling in love with- and vice versa. She ultimately agrees to this because a) she believes it is what her mother would have wanted her to do and b) it is the right thing.
After this is where more of the "awws" and "ahhs" came in for those who read The Forever Girl. We meet up with characters we know and in some cases love and in other cases despise. First, we meet Lenore, a Cruor, who Ethan makes a deal with: Turn Ophelia and he'll give her the magic to make her able to endure the sun. This interaction plays a large part, not necessarily in this novella, but in the big picture of things to come.
Being that this is a novella I don't want to review this blow-by-blow or I'll make it pointless for you to read this, and I so don't want to do that. Let's just go with Ophelia and Ethan's journey is by no means an easy one. And I almost teared up once (almost). I did go back and read the end of The Forever Girl again after reading this, mostly because Ophelia's appearance was so brief I was kind of fuzzy on the details. Loved this novella!