eARC Review – A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

Title: A Forgery of Roses

Author: Jessica S. Olson

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Publication date: March 29th, 2022

368 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Myra Whitlock has a gift. One many would kill for.

She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.

But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.

Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.

Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.

From Sing Me Forgotten author Jessica S. Olson comes a gothic fantasy murder mystery perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Erin A. Craig.

Review

A PORTRAIT IS WORTH A THOUSAND LIES

I wasn’t thrilled with Olson’s first book – but A Forgery of Roses was worth giving her writing another try. Olson is fantastic with unique magic systems, A Forgery of Roses includes Prodigies – artists who can paint and change the object of their painting’s physical characteristics. This could be for disguise, healing, or malicious intent. They are viewed by the majority of society as dangerous and would be killed or arrested if found so they must hide their talents.

Myra Whitlock is a Prodigy and orphan trying to take care of her younger sister who suffers from a GI condition they can’t afford to treat. She is just trying to keep her head over water when the governor’s wife comes in for a portrait and notices her magic. Myra’s given no choice but to complete the task she is charged with, otherwise her and her sister’s lives are in danger. But what she doesn’t expect is to find a murder mystery in the governor’s house and a handsome yet quiet boy who could be the best or worst thing that ever happens to her.

This book really was a ride the whole way. The fantasy mystery combination isn’t one I see often but I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was happening. I wasn’t really able to predict the events in this book which is always a great sign. I got the ending I was missing in her first book and was so proud of the characters by the end. I also sense a possibility of a sequel or companion novel and am hopeful that happens! I really enjoyed the experience of this book, definitely recommend.

Thank you to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review

Happy reading, folks!

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