Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.
Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.
Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for her herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.
Author: Lorie Langdon
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
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Lets get this out of the way: No, I haven’t read Oliver Twist. But I have a thing for genderbent classic stories (ie: Scarlet) and the overall twist (is that a pun?) to this classic story I have not read seemed fun.
Oliver (or Olivia) has grown up to be a young woman in society nearing the age to marry. Her uncle, who took her in after she spent years on the street, is getting older and she plans to marry wealthy to repay him for his years of kindness towards her. Her plans are halted when the Artful Dodger, who has also somehow entered society and is going by the name Jack MacCaron comes back from the past.
Again, as mentioned above, I didn’t know anything about the source material before or during my read. I didn’t even really know what this was about if I’m honest. However, it was fun. The plot was paced slowly, making me fear at times that I’d start to lose interest, then something would happen and snag my interest.
The characters were great, even the side characters were amazing, which is a plus. Olivia, Jack, the boys were fleshed out and had character. Yet, the chemistry between Olivia and Jack was the strongest aspect of the story. I’m not just talking romantically, they have a history and they bounce off of each other nicely. Though the romance did make me smile. The angst, the inner conflict between the two, the swoon. Normally I get tired of romance after the first kiss, but that doesn’t happen here. I was with it the whole way through. Their ending definitely made me happy.
The villain of the story was probably the weakest aspect here. I wasn’t scared of him, I didn’t have any strong emotions towards said person… I felt he was more of a… if I’m honest I didn’t think about him. I kind of don’t remember him. Overall, this was fun and damn near perfectly paced. I cant wait to read more by Langdon.