Reviewed by Teresa Syms for Readers' Favorite
Arabella’s Assistant: Book 1 of the Raised All Wrong series, by Judy Lynn Ichkhanian is a historical romance novel that tells the tale of Lady Arabella Warwick. She is beautiful and refined but is a bluestocking. She is impoverished and must find money quickly to save her mother’s health from the smog-filled air of London. Arabella has two loves and passions. Her cat is one and her second obsession is with Assyriology, involving her lifelong study of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Arabella has two suitors vying for her hand. Viscount Justin Manning is a man more concerned with his appearance, combined with his own desperate need for money. To be in line for the three titles he wants, he has lied, stolen, and cheated. Now he is after something very precious that Arabella possesses. Justin believes this item holds the key to the House of Lords. In his attempts to win, Justin is willing to crush his cousin Gabriel, Baron Brynley. Gabriel believes he is the rightful heir to the titles and is missing the one piece of evidence that will seal the titles. He also understands that Arabella possesses this item. Gabriel uses his need, desires, and drive around his study of Assyriology to meet with Arabella. What he does not expect is what happens between them. However, Justin grows ever more dangerous. He and his father will stop at nothing to get what they want, even contemplating kidnapping, drugging, false marriage, and theft. Will it work out in his favor, or will Gabriel assume his right to the three family titles?
Arabella’s Assistant by Judy Lynn Ichkhanian is an outstanding book I did not want to put down until I had finished. The author has created characters that leap off the pages in their period clothing, in their beautiful ballrooms and sitting rooms of Victorian England. As the scenes unfold with well-ordered precision, the reader will feel they are in the story watching the characters act out their roles. Ichkhanian’s plot development and storyline are exceptionally well planned and nurtured. The story flows well, but every once in a while, a little twist of fate or turn of the dice is thrown in and puts the reader in a place they didn’t expect. Each of the main characters has been developed and written so well that the reader will understand their strengths, passions, and drive. I was completely captivated by this book, the characters created, and the storyline. Expertly written. Congratulations to Ichkhanian for writing such an exceptional story. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.