Series: Scarlet

Book Review – Lion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A.C. Gaughen

Posted June 25, 2015 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2015, YA / 2 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Lion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A.C. GaughenLion Heart Series: Scarlet #3
on May 19th 2015
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
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The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard's life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can't refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won't allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he's stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

Scarlet series

Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen {My Review}
Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by A.C. Gaughen {My Review}

I’ve been quite the black sheep when it comes to the series as a whole so I might as well go out with a bang. I did not like this one. At all. There wasn’t anything seriously wrong with it, however, it was extremely uneventful and didn’t go out with the bang and/or explosive finale that I was kind of hoping for this whole time. Throwing a wrench in the whole Robin Hood tale by transforming Marian into one of the gang was definitely cause for excitement but the story itself continued much on the same trodden path and inevitably failed to live up to its potential. So, let’s break down my issues with this installment.


Scarlet continued to be problematic for me. I’ve gotten past her strange dialect, mostly because it’s not as prevalent considering Eleanor has “taught” her how to talk like a lady even though we all know she’s completely capable of it. She has to begin talking like a lady again because her father, King Richard has given her a bit of land thus making her Lady Huntington. The entirety of the story consists of Scarlet going all “oh woe is me” about nobody liking her. What? She acted as if people were constantly shooting spit balls at her or something. It felt very out of character considering she’s supposed to be some thieving badass yet she’s whining because nobody likes her. Get over yourself, Charlie Brown Scarlet.

And then there’s Robin Hood. So many issues here. First off, the whole PTSD plotline seems to have found its way under a rug or something because it’s never made an issue again. Even though they have many nights sleeping next to each other. Apparently, the “love can heal” message the author was going for in Lady Thief actually worked. Ha. Right. Then there’s the magic trick performed where Robin turns into a spectacular douchebag right before your very eyes! Sure, one of those douchebag moments ended up being a momentary lapse but DUDE.

First DB moment: I don’t know if you recall but when Scarlet was married to Gisbourne, Robin could barely even kiss her because *gasp* she’s married. You know, against her will. To a sadist. And then there was the subtle mentioning of her basically being no longer pure because of said marriage that took place against her will in order to save Robin’s life. But then in this installment, he changes his tune. All those awful things are never mentioned and he acts shocked that Scarlet is ready and willing to marry him. Well, if I was a douchebag like that I guess I’d be shocked anyone wanted to be with me too.

Second DB moment: Scarlet was gifted lands which essentially gave her more power than the other douchebag of this tale, Prince John. It comes in handy when he tries to re-kidnap her for the “crimes” she was already pardoned for. Scarlet keeps this bit of information from Rob until she has to, and why? Well, if you recall, Robin was Earl of Huntingdon before the lands were taken from him. So his lands are now Scarlet’s, not that it should matter… but it does! He has the audacity to actually be pissed about it like she alone stole his land from him. This fucking guy. Way to make her feel bad about something completely beyond her control.

I’ve spent so much time complaining about those two I actually forgot the major reason Lion Heart was my least favorite installment: Prince John. In Lady Thief, John was still relatively villain-y however in this installment he reverted to his animated version.

He became such a non-villain and every time he was in a scene I imagined a toddler throwing a tantrum that didn’t get his way about something. He was a spoiled brat and it was just ridiculous that he still managed to almost best Scarlet and Robin. Eleanor really needed to slap the shit out of that boy though.

Another small issue was the strange side stories going on that were seemingly thrown in there for filler since they lacked any sort of resolution. Please do not tell me there’s going to be a spin-off. And that “ending”! I’m convinced my ARC was missing the final chapter because what is up with that lackluster and completely inadequate end? I mean come on, Sean Connery King Richard didn’t even make an appearance! Boooooooooooooooo.



Book Review – Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by A.C. Gaughen

Posted May 29, 2015 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2015, YA / 5 Comments

Book Review – Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by A.C. GaughenLady Thief Series: Scarlet #2
on February 11th 2014
Pages: 321
Format: eBook
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Scarlet's true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet's love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet's past even she isn't yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman-a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin's cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet's tale will have readers talking once again.

Scarlet series

Book Review – Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen {PurchaseReview}

Someday. Definitely not in this installment though. Good grief, this was DARK. And sick. And just relatively hard to stomach. And here I was hoping to like this one more than the first installment when I actually think I liked this one less.

*spoilers from Scarlet will follow*

Lady Thief opens with Robin Hood suffering through the effects of the torture he had to endure leading him to him developing PTSD. On numerous occasions, Scarlet would wake in the night to find Robin in the throws of an attack, unaware of what he’s doing, but hurting her nonetheless. I understand that Robin isn’t doing any of these things maliciously but maybe sleeping next to him at night isn’t the wisest of choices? And then there’s the fact that Robin isn’t as apologetic as one would hope him to be. There was also the feeling that “love can heal” but Robin was clearly dealing with some serious mental issues at this point that would go beyond “love”. I’m well aware that there weren’t exactly psychologists during this period of time but the whole love heals message and use of PTSD as a plot-point just didn’t sit well with me. When she begins to blame herself for it all is where this one just about lost me completely. Adding to all that, Scarlet then agrees to pretend to be with Gisbourne in an attempt to get an annulment so that she and Robin can finally be together! But of course, Gisbourne is abusive too (the difference is he’s fully aware of what he’s doing) but at this point, Scarlet is transforming in my mind to Sansa and for fucks sake how much shit is this girl going to have to go through?

And since I brought up Game of Thrones, the newly introduced character of Prince John is an exact, spoiled replica of Joffrey.

He’s a horrible, miserable human being but Scarlet is determined to suffer through it all just as long as she can get that annulment. Which, seriously? Thievery is cool. Murder? Sure, why not. But heaven forbid you allow yourself to kiss the love of your life because you just so happened to be forced into marrying a sadist.

Morals. Whatever. Moving on.

Lady Thief is the second in a trilogy and suffers from middle-book-syndrome. The plot doesn’t consist of any forward-moving progression, choosing instead to focus on stuff like pain, torture, pain, and some more pain. Seriously, I don’t understand why Gisbourne was even still alive at this point since they were able to swiftly deal with the sheriff in the last installment. Would have saved everyone a whole lotta torture (and pain) if he just ceased to exist. And alas, that ending failed to hint at any happily ever after in the near future. I enjoyed the continued expansion on Scarlet’s backstory but this poor girl just can’t catch a break. Lion Heart is the final installment and last hope for a HEA… we’ll see if it actually happens.



Book Review – Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen

Posted May 28, 2015 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2015, YA / 8 Comments

Book Review – Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. GaughenScarlet Series: Scarlet #1
on June 7th 2012
Pages: 305
Format: eBook
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Posing as one of Robin Hood's thieves to avoid the evil Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Big John and Robin Hood know the truth-that the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. It's getting harder to hide as Gisbourne's camp seeks to find Scarlet and drive Robin Hood out of Nottinghamshire.

But Scarlet's instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it's not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople. As Gisbourne draws closer to Scarlet and puts innocent lives at risk, she must decide how much the people of Nottinghamshire mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles and temper have the rare power to unsettle Scarlet. Full of exciting action, secrets, and romance, this imaginative retelling of the classic tale will have readers following every move of Robin Hood and band of thieves.

‘I do what I do because I will always believe that no matter how awful life gets for however many of these people, there is something I can do about it. There is something I will do about it.’

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a huge fan of Robin Hood tales. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is one of my all-time favorite movies and never fails to give me the swoons. I mean come on, just look at those two.

*cue Bryan Adams*

When I first heard about this twisted retelling, I was a bit hesitant. I expected a love story and (hopefully) an interesting backstory leading up to how Scarlet became a member of Robin and his band of thieves and why she’s posing as a boy in the first place. There was definite potential there but my initial hesitation was dead-on seeing as I did not love this as most have.

In regards to Scarlet’s backstory, I really liked this aspect and somehow managed to not see the twist that was clearly coming from a mile away. But once all is revealed, there were some things that failed to add up for me. Primarily, her speech. She talks like Osha from Game of Thrones, it was ridiculous. It’s highly uneducated and once you realize who and what she actually is it begins to sound incredibly forced. I understand that speaking in such a way served only to put her in less of a spotlight and allows her to blend in with the village folk, however, if she was trying to stay out of the spotlight maybe she shouldn’t have constantly been taking so many highly unnecessary risks? She was constantly putting herself and the band in danger and after the first couple of times, I was ready to kick her out of the band myself. But the fighting was awesome and badass! Except… more things failed to add up. Like where Scarlet picked up those awesome fighting/knife skills. It couldn’t have all been self-preservation and learning on her own. There was zero mention of any of that and there should have been since her past would have never included any knowledge related to fighting/thievery.

And now for the love story. I’m sorry but… it irritated me.

While I’m fully aware that a love story happened in my previously mentioned favorite movie, this love story still managed to come off as completely ill-fitting. There just seemed to be entirely too much going between the Sheriff of Nottingham killing villagers and the new thief taker brought in from London for there to be a legit romance let alone a freaking love triangle. WITH JOHN LITTLE. I could have accepted the romance but the love triangle pushed me overboard. There was also the fact that I just didn’t swoon over these too as much as I would have liked. Then there were lines like this:

“You called me a whore, Rob. You said awful things.”
“Ah,” he said, and his hand took mine again, tight. “Hurting you is the best way I know how to punish myself.

Ha! Change of Robins. But seriously, I don’t even know where to begin with that line.

One last and final issue is the fact that this is a historical novel that failed to feel anything like a historical novel. I missed the detail and the feel of this medieval time period being brought to life. But this is definitely one of the smaller issues I had with this novel.

Scarlet was, unfortunately, a massive disappointment for me. I went into this one with high hopes and maybe that was the problem. It intrigued me enough to continue this series with the hope that it will improve.