Blurb from Goodreads:
Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
Having recently read The Fall by Bethany Griffin and the fact that I love EAP, I thought this was going to be a 5 star read. For some reason, this just didn't catch hold for me. The romance was the focus of the book. I wanted to learn more about the plague and how it impacts life. Other than the inconvenience of having to wear a mask, the characters didn't seem too bothered about the plague. At times they even rip their masks off usually to engage in kissing. Nothing says romance like someone ripping away their life saving mask.
I wanted more Prospero too. He was the main bad guy for the first half of the book, and then we find out that there is a minister who is the actual bad guy. Prospero showed such promise. He is the kind of evil that is inherently evident. He has no compassion and is a total narcissist. A combo that is always entertaining for the reader (not so much for the characters).
So I loved Araby's name. I thought it was beautiful. I felt she would be master of her own destiny in one passage, but then would allow other people to decide for her in another. Sometimes it was Elliot, others Will and her parents. I understand she had to let Prospero dictate his terms. I wanted her to just scream at everyone to leave her alone and let her decide for herself.
This was a good book, it just missed the eerie atmosphere and wonderful world building of The Fall. I will be reading the second book because I believe that Prospero will play a larger role, and I want to see his get his comeuppance.