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Tangled Webs by Lee Bross
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Tangled Webs

by Lee Bross

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Forced to work for Bones at the age of 5, an evil thief who forced children to steal for him, Arista and her best friend Nic grew up on the seedy streets of 1700’s London picking pockets and struggling to stay alive. Twelve years later, Arista has become Lady A – blackmailer of London high society. She and Nic roam masked balls trading secrets for money, which they hand over to Bones.

Trying to escape Bones’ evil clutches Arista decides to work for Wild, a more powerful thief, with promises that she will be able to live out her dream of moving to India and living a normal life with her best friend Becky. When she meets Grae, the handsome son of a ship merchant, she feels as if her dreams for normalcy are finally coming true. However, Wild has no intention of ever letting her go. Will love be enough to help Arista escape the plans Wild has for her, or will she be forced to forever be a thief?

Some of the exploits of the real life Jonathan Wild are explored, and the early life led by Nic and Arista is very similar to that of Fagin’s boys in Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” If you want a quick, light read, a sort-of love triangle, and a boy/girl romance that develops within 2 minutes, then “Tangled webs” is the book for you.

Recommended for ages 14 and older.

Book review link: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/tangled-webs-lee-bross/ ( )
  sunshinealma | May 21, 2017 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A very dramatic spin on how even the most notorious thief deserves to have a happy ending.

Opening Sentence: Lord Huntington made his way through the crowded ballroom with the poise and elegance of an over-fattened Christmas goose.

The Review:

When I read the title of this book I remembered something my English teacher quoted some time ago: ‘oh the tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.’ That fits this story perfectly. Arista has woven herself so deeply into the life of notorious, dangerous Lady A that when she finds a glimmer of hope and dreams of getting out, she can’t untangle herself.

Arista was a really good base character and I genuinely felt sorry for her because of the things she had to resort to, in order to survive. However, I thought she fell in love with Grae far too quickly. She’s practically head over heels for him at first sight, which was ridiculous for someone like her. One would think that Lady A has seen a lot in life, making her a ruthless, hardened villain but she ends up being a softie. I thought that was a tad unrealistic. How can someone whose reputation as a blackmailer is so esteemed be so empathetic? Surely those emotions would have got her killed within the first few years of working for Bones?

Yes, Nic helped her survive but he can’t have done all the work, can he? And if he did then he definitely got the short end of it. If Nic was the only reason Lady A survived then shouldn’t he be credited as Master N or something? Why did she get all the fame whilst Nic’s left just being the bodyguard?! I thought that was unfair.

The love story was sweet, romantic and perhaps too predictable. The way Arista bumps into Grae again and again, I thought it bordered on ridiculous. I mean, out of all the houses she could have stayed in, what are the odds that Wild picked Grae’s for Arista to stay at? Again, unrealistic.

“It’ll be okay, miss. I can tell already that they are good people.” Arista closed her eyes and sucked in a long breath. That was exactly what she was afraid of. Thieves, blackmailers, and whores were familiar territory. Arista knew what was expected of her, and what to expect in return. Here, she knew nothing-definitely not how to behave correctly.

I liked Nic, and I had hoped that he would be the one to save Arista from their life of crime, but his ambition got in the way of that. Grae wasn’t a bad guy, but he was way too good to be true. In his looks, personality, even his career. How come he just happens to travel to the one place Arista dreams of escaping to?

This wasn’t a bad read, I enjoyed spending my weekend on it. The storyline was interesting and the characters had potential but I’m afraid there was definitely a lot missing. One minute, everything is as perfect as it can be, and then the story takes a turn for the worst. I felt it was too dramatized to be believable. This isn’t a series I’m going to continue.

Notable Scene:

Arista took a step back and cradled her hand against her chest. Too many emotions battled inside her head. How many nights had she wished for someone to appear and give her a way out? But did she dare to trust someone like Wild! It would be like trusting the devil himself.

“You of all people should know, sir, that there is no such thing as trust among thieves.”

Wild laughed once more. “I like your honesty, Lady A. I dare say I like it a lot.”

FTC Advisory: Disney-Hyperion provided me with a copy of Tangled Webs. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Nov 8, 2015 |
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In 1725 London, Lady A is a seventeen-year-old orphan named Arista who trades in secrets and lives in fear of her abusive master, having to pass herself off as a boy to move safely through London's criminal underworld, but everything changes when she meets Grae Sinclair, who loves Arista for who she is and promises to help her escape the life of crime.… (more)

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