Review – The Poppy and the Rose by Ashlee Cowles

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via NetGalley.**

Title The Poppy and the Rose

Author Ashlee Cowles

Description from Amazon

Death can take many things, but it can’t take your memories.

1912: Ava Knight, a teen heiress, boards the Titanic to escape the shadow of her unstable mother and to fulfill her dream of becoming a photographer in New York. During the journey she meets three people that will change her life: a handsome sailor, a soldier in the secret Black Hand society that will trigger World War I, and a woman with clairvoyant abilities. When disaster strikes the ship, family betrayals come to light.

2010: When Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program, something feels off. Not only is she greeted by a young, Rolls Royce-driving chauffeur, but he invites her to tea with Lady Mae Knight of Meadowbrook Manor, an old house with a cursed history going back to the days of Henry VIII.

Lady Knight seems to know a strange amount about Taylor and her family problems, but before Taylor can learn more, the elderly woman dies, leaving as the only clue an old diary.

With the help of the diary, a brooding chauffeur, and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own…

Release Date October 6, 2020

Initial Thoughts

I was bummed that I didn’t get to read this book before release day but, I’m so glad that my forever buddy reader @lianne_the_bibliophile and I decided to make this our next pick. I loved the idea of historical fiction mixed with a modern twist.

Some Things I Liked

  • Independent storylines. I really enjoyed that these main characters had their own stories with plenty of parallels. I liked the idea of each of them telling their own story and being so similar without feeling repetitive.
  • Cute and subtle romance plots. I also liked that the author managed to write two subtle but very believable romance plots into these stories. I loved both Caleb and Nathaniel and would read more about their adventures if given the chance.
  • A sprinkle of the supernatural. I loved that there was a very slight nod to historical fantasy / supernatural elements in this story. It was not the focal point of the plot but it made for an interesting addition.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • The two main storylines did not converge in a meaningful way until very late in the book. As much as I loved each storyline individually, I felt that they were almost entirely independent for most of the story. It was hard to see both characters as part of a larger plot without that element. I wish we had seen them connect sooner than we did.

Series Value

This story feels very Lara Croft – Tomb Raider meets National Treasure in the investigative journalism sense. I can easily see Taylor going on more adventures and I’d like to think that Ava and Mae had more adventures that they documented and Taylor could relive. I would read more of their adventures if Ashlee Cowles wanted to write them.

Furthermore, I am interested to read more of Ashlee Cowles’s writing. I enjoyed the writing style here and the characters were very engaging.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this book. It was a fast read and I loved the historical fiction mixed with modern contemporary elements.


Recommendations for Further Reading

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