Title: A Lesson in Thorns
Author: Sierra Simone
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Synopsis: 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…
Review: I went into A Lesson in Thorns completely blind and I’m so very glad I did. Even though several people that I follow were talking about this book last month, I would skip over it whenever they did. This story does take a little time to get into, but once it did, it definitely didn’t disappoint. I really think that because I didn’t know anything about the plot of the story, I enjoyed it so much more.
A Lesson in Thorns does include about talk of rape and assault in the past, abandonment, and loss of a loved one so content and trigger warnings for those things.
The prologue of the story follows them when they are younger at Thornchapel. In the midst of the run-down chapel on the estate, they are performing a fake marriage. In an unexpected turn of events, the bride ends up marry two grooms. The story then follows them as adults when they have now all returned to Thornchapel for one reason or another.
“But I’m so susceptible to this kind of touch; I bloom like a rose when I’m handled like a weed.”
I think this is definitely one of those stories where it’s best to go into it not knowing much. I feel like I got more from the story and enjoyed it more because I did just that. There’s a very mysterious aspect to the story which lends well to going into it blindly.
“he wanted to shelter them from the rain and force them to kneel in the mud too, and he didn’t know what it meant or why it was happening”
A Lesson in Thorns does have a great deal of diversity when it comes to socioeconomic statuses and race, but I do wish there was more diversity with the sexuality of the characters. From reading the review that Melanie at meltotheany wrote, the author has confirmed that all of the six main characters are bi, but not tied to their labels. While reading the story, I definitely thought at least one, if not more, of the characters could possibly be pan. The update that Melanie posted at the end of her review is so important and I really hope that one day soon, there is more pansexual representation in the media.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and am excited to read the rest of the series. It was intriguing and sexy and kept my attention the entire time. A Lesson in Thorns was a solid 4/5 star read for me.