Goldheart by Kenley Davidson

In this re-telling of “Rumplestiltskin,” a timid young woman must confront her deepest fears if she is to escape the chilling consequences of her father’s secrets…

Elaine Westover is a talented artist, but for much of her life she has hidden from the world. Now, jilted by her fiancé and left penniless by her father’s death, Elaine is desperate to resolve her financial difficulties and save her family home. Despite a deep fear of strangers, she feels she has no choice but to take up a public career as a painter of portraits.

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When she is asked to create a final tribute to wealthy banker Torbert Melling’s dying wife, it soon becomes clear that there is far more at stake than her commission. Disturbed by Melling’s revelations, Elaine refuses his request, but finds herself imprisoned by Melling and his sinister butler until she agrees to his impossible demands.

Held captive in a house filled with darkness and despair, haunted by sadness and secrets, Elaine must call upon every bit of her courage merely to survive. But can she do more than just survive? With her freedom and her livelihood at stake, Elaine has no choice but to accept the aid of a mysterious benefactor who may or may not have her best interests at heart.–from Goodreads

 

I LOVED this one! (I knew I would as soon as I read the first few pages–absolutely lovely writing!) In my personal opinion, it was even better than the first book (Traitor’s Masque).
Technically, it should be rated 4.8 stars–there was some profanity again, as well as a rather violent death. But 5 stars for everything else!

I loved the characters. Elaine is such a sweetheart–and an artist! Double points. Will and Blaise were great as well [SPOILER: But I really wish Elaine had ended up with Blaise. Oh well–I’ve got my fingers crossed that Kenley Davidson will write another book with him as the main character! END SPOILER], and the villains were spine-crawling creepy. As in the first one, the characters were the best part of the book.

Not much world-building in this one, but where I had missed it in the first, I didn’t notice the lack of it as much in this one.

The plot was great–I am not a fan of the Rumplestiltskin story in general, but this retelling was genius. It was very subtly woven in, and it worked perfectly. Even though Goldheart is significantly shorter than Traitor’s Masque, I truly didn’t notice. The plot was neither rushed nor incomplete, but was wrapped up well. It really is the perfect length for this story.

Last note: Goldheart was beautiful, suspenseful, and a perfectly lovely retelling. I loved this set of characters even more than the ones from Traitor’s Masque, and I really hope we’ll see more of them in coming books! [SPOILER: Especially Blaise. He deserves his own book! END SPOILER]

Rating: 4.8 stars

Recommended: 13 and up (mostly due to language concerns and one violent scene)

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Content guide (may contain minor spoilers):

Language: 4/10 (profanity used here and there.)
Violence: 7/10 (one character insinuates violence and abuse against another character. a violent suicide.)
Sexual Content: 1/10 (one light kiss, not described.)
*Many thanks to the author for providing a copy to review!*

For more reviews, see gabriellenblog.wordpress.com and fullofbooks.com

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