The Architect of Song
by A.G. Howard
Series: Haunted Hearts Legacy #1
Published on August 15th 2016
by Golden Orb Press
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Romance
Amazon | Goodreads
Also by this author: Splintered, Unhinged, Splintered, Ensnared
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, nineteen-year-old 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 twenty-seven-year-old 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 gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.
New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.
The Architect of Song is my first book by Howard and it won’t be the last. Besides this being a historical romance – which I adore – what attracted me more about was the gorgeous cover. I’m a very visual person and a sucker for pretty covers 🙂
” Then I blinked, and the music was gone. Like a slice of winter wind the reality of Mama’s absence from my life sucked the breath out of my lungs. I bunched my knees to my chest and sobbed, willing, the pain away.”
You can get the basic premise of the blurb. Juliet is left deaf by a childhood disease, a fact that is wildly known as in those times it was perceived as an undesirable trait. After her mother’s death a viscount appears that wants to buy her home. At the same time, Juliet finds (steals more like it) a flower that brings forth a handsome ghost. The story is a Gothic ghost mystery and I loved it!
Juliet has been sheltered and cherished by her mother and uncle all of her life. She has made the assumption that she needs to live her life in seclusion, making hats and being taken care of. She has an uncanny ability to read lips which is at times unrealistic, I guess this is where her ghost came in handy. By the end of the story, she grew up as a character to not jump into conclusions and trust others.
On to the romance! There is a love triangle, but not really. I mean, can we call it that if one of the ‘points’ in the triangle is a ghost? The main characters have been through a lot, especially Chaine, who had a childhood full of horrors. My heart broke for him.
“She provided light in the midst of an inconceivably evil darkness. It burned her image into his… and altered his future. I could never have imagined a woman worthy of such reverence. Yet I’ve found you to be captivating and courageous, worthy of all that and more. Not despite your deafness, but because of it. If that makes me a fool. I will proudly wear the title.”
The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns, every time I thought I knew were things were headed Howard provided another masterful twist. There is also a lot of confusion created by both the viscount and Juliet’s uncle keeping so many secrets from her! Men think they know better and just create a dang mess! The writing is fluid, enthralling, interesting and lyrical in nature. I really enjoy the epilogue as it tied all the loose ends quite nicely.
Overall, The Architect of Song was a beautifully written tale of the power that hope has to change a life. I’m a little surprised that this is the first in a new series since this book has the most fulfilling ending. I guess I just have to wait August of next year and read The Hummingbird Heart, right?