ARC Review ~ Tangled Webs

Author: Lee Bross
Series: GR says yes
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Page Length:  304 Pages
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: eARC via Netgalley
London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?
Nothing beats the crushing disappointment you feel when one of your most anticipated books falls flat. Tangled Webs had lots of promise yet failed to deliver all that it promised to give. The synopsis has everything I'd love to see in a book! The story hardly matches all that the synopsis claims.

To start, the setting of this novel is London in 1725. London is a fascinating city in my opinion. Send me to London in any book in any year, and I'll be pleased. The one stipulation is that you develop the story around the setting a bit or at least describe the setting! This book gives some references to London sights and places and talks a little about London society and fashion, but there's nothing to match this story with what's going on in London at the time. I feel like this book lacked any possible research to make the setting and story blossom. This book literally could have taken place anywhere at any time and still have the same exact story. 

I couldn't connect to Lady A/Arista at all. The poor girl has an identity crisis throughout this book. She doesn't know who she wants to be. She struggles to cut ties from the evil people who shackle her to a life of crime. Her flat character continued to beguile and charm others in the novel, and I just didn't understand it, neither do I understand how she managed to stay alive so long. Her naiveté and poor decision-making would led to an untimely demise. She's hypocritical at every turn, and it was grating on my patience.

I love romance that has wonderful development and sparks. This book contained neither. We're told repeatedly about the sparks between Arista and Grae and how they're drawn to each other. I didn't feel nor see any of this though. The romance was more of the author convincing us of the romance's genuineness than actually showing it. This book contains insta-love as well. I couldn't get on board with this romance. It was lackluster and dull. The romance was cringe-worthy and shoved down our throats.

Not much happened in this book. I didn't need action particularly, I just wanted something to hold my attention. I had to force myself to continue reading after each chapter. Overall this one was not my cup of tea. Perhaps you'll have better luck! 


  1. Sorry to hear this one was such a disappointment Rachel! It was a lil better for me, but not by much!

  2. I've been reading disappointed reviews on this one. London is always such an attractive setting but seeing that the author failed to really place a distinct time period for it (especially since it's tagged as historical fiction) is such a disappointment.. and the heroine.. ohmy, doesn't sound like a very good one. Great review, Rachel. Hopefully your next book will be better :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  3. Sounds like an utter disappointment and I have no idea how you managed to even finish this because I can almost feel how boring it's going to be even through this review. I'll just slide this down my priority list. Great review, Rachel! :D <3

  4. Oh no! i'm so sorry this one didn't deliver. I love book set in London (i practically lived in London for a bt) but when abook has an interesting setting (or an even more interesting time period) i'd love for that aspect of the book to be explored. It's a shame this one fell flat for you! Hopefully your next read is more enjoyable.

  5. Aww I'm sorry you didn't like it! I'm kind of hesitant to read this because of all the mediocre and bad reviews (I can't stand books that tell instead of show)... But the blurb sounds so promising! Maybe I'll just put it at the back of the list... Great review!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  6. Yikes, this sounds a mess! I cannot handle that- when a whole premise revolves around a particular setting, yet the setting plays NO part in it. Then why even bother? Also, I cannot handle that kind of character. At all. Everyone fawning all over her, and you cannot even tolerate her? NOPE. And then a cringe worthy romance AND nothing happening? Ugh, dodged that bullet ;) Sorry this was so disappointing for you thougH!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  7. I don't think I've seen a positive review for this yet. Which is really sad, because historical romance+great design is my favorite combination. *sighs* But I'll be going with the masses on this.

  8. Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear that this turned out so disappointing! I know, it's HORRIBLE when a book you're so excited for ends up falling short of your expectations. It's happened too many times. x_x I didn't read the blurb for Tangled Webs until your review, but omg, it sounds so good and original and so intriguing and arghhh. I'm sobbing for the lost potential.

    I would have expected Lady A to be more... I don't know, strong? Powerful? The blurb really painted her to be someone with whom you wouldn't want to mess around with, and now to hear that she had an "identity crisis" in the book? Doesn't really make me want to read about her anymore. Especially since she's supposed to be charming and unforgettable and all that but she doesn't come across as any of that at all. And bleh, being a huge romantic cynic, the undeveloped romance will probably bug me even more, too. I hate it when we're told that two characters are "attracted to each other" (isn't that what always happens? Oh my god, not every story ends with a kiss, please and thank you) but then we never get to see how. We never get to feel butterflies in our stomachs -- which I would love to feel whenever I'm supposed to ship two characters together. :/

    Really hoping your next read works out better, Rachel! But thanks for taking the hit so the rest of us won't have to, hehe. :P Awesome review!

  9. Oh GAH I didn't love this one either (although I think I enjoyed it more than youd id!) TBH I'm so surprised I even finished the book--I thought about DNFing it at least 4 times ugh. And SO MUCH AGREEMENT about Arista. She was so not fantastic

  10. I didn't particularly like this book so much, too. Arista also fell flat for me. The blurb is just so misleading! I enjoyed it more than you, but I don't think I'll be picking up the sequel.

    Julie @ Books and Insomnia

  11. What a disappointment! I've been reading mixed to negative reviews on this one, so I just steered clear away from it, teehee :D Lovely review!

    Ruzaika @ The Regal Critiques

  12. AWww, I'm sorry you didn't like this one! I absolutely adored it :) Hope your next read was better!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


I read, value, and cherish each and every comment. Although I don't have time to respond to most of them, I make every effort to comment back on your blog! :)