The Architect of Song (Haunted Hearts Legacy #1) by A.G. Howard
Published: August 15th 2016 by Golden Orb Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.
For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.
To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.
International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book New Adult gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.
Recommended for ages 16+
I actually got this in one of my LitCube’s in 2016, and I finally just finished it last month. Oops. This is probably one of my first New Adult historical romance book with a paranormal element, and I hope it’s not my last!
“Love enters a man through his eyes, a woman through her ears”
The Architect of Song did take me a little bit to get into, but once I did I did not want to put it down! This story centered around Juliet who became deaf after a sickness as a child that also took her dad. A ghost who doesn’t remember anything except the name Thorton, and the viscount who wants to marry Juliet for reasons we don’t know. Somehow, Howard weaved in a love triangle that just worked for this story. I was a little skeptical about how that would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Looking back, my main problem with this book is how Juliet is portrayed. I think I am used to fantasy books with a strong female lead, and Juliet is a bit more on the damsel side. She constantly views her deafness as a reason that she can’t have a normal life or normal relationships. And she is constantly quick to believe the ghost over the viscount even though she just met both of them.
Although it was very different from books that I normally read, I was able to pick up the plot twist about halfway through. Once I figured it out, I spent the rest of the book wondering when Juliet would figure it out. It took her awhile, but Howard did a wonderful job of slowly revealing everything.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot even with the few aspects that bothered me. The writing was excellent, and the plot moved very well (in the second half). The ending did wrap up pretty neatly, so I wonder how the rest of the series will go.