A Lesson In Thorns by Sierra Simone
Published March 19, 2019
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.22 Stars
My Review: 5/5 Stars
When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…
As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…
From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes…
This is only second read by Sierra Simone but I am left with the same emotions I experienced after reading Priest by her last year. A Lesson In Thorns is dark, sexy, twisted, grimy and feels all kinds of wrong, but feels so damn good.
This is their story but we mostly follow Poe, the dreamer.
“I’m jealous of Delphine and yet turned on by Delphine. My skin is hasted by the ghost of Saint’s lip ring…and I haven’t even felt it yet. I wonder if Rebecca is willing to take me on as a sub, and I wonder if Becket ever breaks his vows. I can’t stop thinking of the expression on Auden’s face when he was hoisted over Saint and me on the gravel, I can’t stop thinking about those hazel eyes and how they would look burning over me in the heat of power and play.”
Simone reunites this group of friends and creates the perfect gothic setting. Old inherited house. Library filled with old books and secrets stuck amongst the pages. She creates the perfect dreary setting and amidst all of that, a group of friends with tension in every room they enter.
“The darkness outside feels like a living thing, seeping inside the windows and settling in the tucks and corners of the house. It’s awake, aware–but it’s not sinister, and there’s nothing baleful in its observant gloom as I push through it to get to the tower. It’s more like the night has decided to keep watch with me, as if it wants to wrap itself around my shoulders like my blanket and follow me around. Except when I finally emerge into the tower, I see that the Thornchapel night is already keeping watch with someone else.”
It almost feels like a spoiler to discuss the romance in this book because there is more than one and you really have to just go along for the ride to see who ends up with who. There are surprises but it’s more so, characters coming into their own and I really liked seeing their evolution.
This story does have a but of a mystery element to it that I hope we get to see a bit more of in the books to come. I thought even with all the other craziness going on, Simone did a wonderful job of not letting you forget the small mystery element to the story.
I think if you don’t mind your romances a little darker and sexier, you’ll enjoy this. In true Simone fashion, she challenges you morally. The same vibes I felt with Priest, I felt with this book too but as wrong as it feels, she weaves everything together so beautifully. It is beautiful and whimsical and dark, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I need the next book asap.