Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)” as Want to Read:
Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cinders & Sapphires

(At Somerton #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  2,235 ratings  ·  407 reviews
One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies' maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can't help but wonde
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Disney-Hyperion (first published January 3rd 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cinders & Sapphires, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Asteropê It goes by both titles and both are correct.

Cinders & Sapphires is the title used by Disney-Hyperion, th…more
It goes by both titles and both are correct.

Cinders & Sapphires is the title used by Disney-Hyperion, the main US publisher for the book. The others use Secrets & Sapphires. (less)
NoRa It was clean in a sense that it doesn’t contain any violence or sexy stuff.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,235 ratings  ·  407 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Downton Abbey
5 Words: History, romance, upstairs, downstairs, responsibility.

If you like Downton Abbey, you'll love this. I definitely loved it. Secrets and Sapphires nicely filled up that empty gaping hole that's been sat inside of me.

I loved the intrigue and the lifestyle and even the class system. I loved the whole upstairs, downstairs relationships and how Rose was so torn by how those relationships were starting to change. She's such a loyal and proper young girl, such a gem of a character. She has all
Jun 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
All I'm saying is that when you see this book on a list of YA with LGBT characters and the cover features two girls canoodling while some pretty boy stands off to the side and the jacket copy talks about forbidden love, you're gonna assume you're in for a delightful Edwardian Gossip Girl ft. fledgling lesbians. AND THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS BOOK IS. It's just plain old boring Edwardian Gossip Girl. I feel betrayed. ...more
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Cinders & Sapphires drew my attention because of its superficial resemblance to Upstairs/Downstairs and Downton Abbey that I gathered from the synopsis and a review on a YA website I follow. The comparison isn't inaccurate, especially with Downton Abbey. At this point I'd almost call this kind of story a mini-genre.

The Earl of Westlake has only daughters, and has remarried a widow after being widowed himself, so there's a chance that new wife Edith will provide a son and the inheritance won't f
Tiffany (About to Read)
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted on About to Read. For Fairytale fashions, reads, and more visit


loved Cinders & Sapphires. Last summer I read a book called Manor of Secrets, which I was expecting to be like Downton Abbey but ended up just not being that great. You know what I should’ve read instead? Cinders & Sapphires.

This book has been sitting on my kindle app for a while now and I’m so happy I finally picked it up. It started off a bit on the slower side, but I was quic
Jun 22, 2012 marked it as to-read
Please please please be better than Wentworth Hall. It's probably not possible for it to be better than Downton Abbey, but AT LEAST be better than Wentworth Hall! ...more
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers

The year is 1910, the place the grand estate of Somerton. Lady Ada, her younger sister Georgina and her father, Lord Westlake, have left India amidst whispers of scandal and disgrace - Lord Westlake has resigned from his post without explanation, inciting the worst possible rumor-mongering - and return to Britain for the first time in many years. Despite the hints of scandal that follow them to Somerton, it is a happy return for the Averleys as Ada's fath
Aug 13, 2012 added it
Holy moly, what a fun book to read. If you need something to tide you over until the next season of Downton Abbey, this is it. The drama unfolds like a soap opera and can be a bit silly/ridiculous, but it is still a fun romp. I'm happily awaiting the next installment. ...more
OMG!!!!!!!! Highly recommended!!!!! Very sweet & not bawdy at all!!!! Still a breathe of fresh air as all the characters major & minor are so well developed that I feel like I’m right there with them & can for most predict what they might be thinking! I’m swept away with the details that I seriously finished this light fun novel in 2 days!!!!! With work & reality trying to intrude 😢😵😱🤯😂Can’t wait for the sequel I know where I am going after work tomorrow 😉😂🤩😍
Emma Rogers
Mar 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
I still don't know what to think. But I do think I disliked this book. I thought everyone was much too in love (about 90% of the total characters were in love with someone, often with little foundation for said "love") and much too serious. So many characters are nasty it left me with a sour feeling in my stomach while reading. I like this era and the characters could be solid foundations for more but they're sorely lacking. I thought Ada was almost stupid and immature at points and the love for ...more
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
There were some likeable characters, the writing was decent, and it had moments where it really explored things like women's rights, class issues, and the problems of India under British rule. Unfortunately this was buried under the other things: over the top scandals and drama, the "bad" characters, and my favorite, the insta-love. One of the main characters seems willing to risk everything after what, 3 conversations, a handful of kisses, and a few letters?

A few people compared this to Downto
It wouldn't be a lie to say that I wanted to read this because of the cover and its obvious Downton Abbey inspiration, but it also wouldn't be a lie to say I probably would never have actively sought this out, because of those things, and because reasons.  But when its pretty self showed up* in my mailbox before Christmas, luring me in the packets of Walkers shortbread and Twinings English Breakfast tea - well, frankly it was just too tempting a scene to pass up. So picture me, curled up on
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars.

As a fan of well done historicals, I eagerly dove into Cinders & Sapphires. I was expecting drama and scandal, mostly revolving around the two characters mentioned in the summary, Rose and Ada. And we definitely get that, in spades. But I wasn't expecting all the other stories going on in this book. Pretty much every character mentioned, from Ada's family members, to her father's new wife and her children, to the household staff, have some sort of point of view moment in this book. W
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-own-read
4.5 Stars

Finally, authors and publishers are catching on to the Downton Abbey trend! Many readers are starved to read more stories about the glittering era in which Downton is set, and finally more books are being published about this time and setting. Is it jumping on the bandwagon? Sure, but I am glad for it, and hope there are more to come. This book fits the bill for readers wanting more of this type of story.

At first, I will admit that I wasn't getting into the story. There was a prologue (
What to say about this one? Hm. It hit all the Downton Abbey hallmarks for good and bad. It felt a bit like Luxe too with a bit of the tone of Gossip Girl. Are these good or bad things to me? I'll say this, it didn't make for the most surprising read but there were things that kept me turning the pages, so it couldn't have been all bad. I did like the historical nods to British Colonialism with regard to India. I think I'd have liked more emphasis on that aspect but this isn't a historical novel ...more
Katt Hansen
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
NetGalley's 13 chapter preview was certainly not enough - and leaves you hanging in the most awkward of places. Whew! Where to begin on this one.

Having just gotten though a handful of Austen novels, I can see the influence upon this writer. Think of this as a cross between Pride and Prejudice, Upstairs Downstairs, and a bit of Downtown Abbey thrown in for good measure. Meaning if you love vintage pieces, with lots of characters from varying levels of society, you'll enjoy this one.

The story move
This book has been on my TBR FOREVER! I picked it from my Kindle in my attempt to read the many unread books on there. It was a great period piece. I love a good old British colonial society story. The drama, betrayal, and intrigue. It's just too much.

This particular story follows both the ladies of the house as well as their staff. As you read, you get many different perspectives about each of the people in the house. There is a definite element of evil stepmother/evil stepsister trope in ther
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have to say, if the complete book is as good as the Sneak Peek, we have greatness coming!

Normally, I look at Sneak peeks and say, nope, not interested, but I took a chance and have definitely added Cinders & Sapphires to my "Gotta Have It" list!

The wealthy Averleys have returned to their country estate after a decade of being away. Tales of scandal have followed them, there is to be a new Lady of the Manor, meaning two families must try to blend into one.

Ada Averley must choose between love an
Sara Jones
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Poor Ava, who is all beautiful-but-too-innocent-to-know-it, is all about being a proper lady and upholding her family's honor, blah, blah. The problem is that she's actually kind of smart and she really wants to go to Oxford, which is NOT a proper thing for a lady to do at the turn of the 20th Century. Oh, and she has the hots for an Indian dude who isn't rich. Not cool. Throw in a lot more scandal, evil step-mother and step-sister, oh yeah and a GAY step-brother! (that's my favorite part) and y ...more
Review to come. I actually read a brief snippet of this book as provided from Disney Hyperion on NetGalley. I really wish it'd been the full book, so that I could've had a better grasp on the plot details, and that affected my enjoyment of this selection, but what little I read was a decent periodic story. Hopefully I can expand upon the preview in further reflection. ...more
Pam Pho
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down. It was full of intrigue and courtly gossip. Downton Abbey for teens with an East Inda Trading Company feel. The writing is super good and the characters well thought out and portrayed well for the time period. A completely lush and guilty pleasure read. Highly recommended. ...more
Daphne (Illumicrate)
An addictive little read, deliciously scandalous! Finished it in a day. Full review to come.

cinders & sapphires isn't good and i remember reading it for the first time and having this moment of clarity where my smooth 14-year-old brain realised that not only could things be bad because i don't like them but things could
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
Find this review and more on my blog Sometimes Leelynn Reads.

Those who ride on high horses have a long way to fall.

This book definitely had a lot of scandal in it. I don't really read "romance" novels or "contemporary" novels like this book was, so it was interesting to read. In essence, this book was about the two different worlds in the Somerton Court: the elite and the servants. Lady Ada, one of the main characters, is the daughter of Lord Westlake who leans on the more educated side of life.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bella Vita
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I loved this book. The suspence was everything. I had to rate it down because I don't agree with the lifestyle some of characters have. But overall a hreat book. ...more
Alice in Readerland
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Review originally posted on ALICE IN READERLAND ( For the first time in a long while, Lady Ada, her sister, and her father are returning to Somerton estate from India, though this time they’re also bringing along a new difficult step-family, new servants, and of course, plenty of secrets.

For the servants already working at Somerton, the surprise arrival (and additions of people) means working harder in the house as well as working harder to keep secrets. For Rose, a maid a
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it

Source: Received an ARC from Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

Wow-this book basically has everything! It has so many of the plotlines from "Downton Abbey" and similar stories, all jam-packed into a very easy reading style. I polished this book off very fast and felt quite accomplished as I've been a bit behind on my reading goals.

Since I mostly liked the book, I'm just going to point out a few criticisms, not to be a downer but in order to be more balanced. The book is narrated in third-person past t
Chelsey Wolford
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Downton Abbey are sure to relish in this fascinating new series that highlights life in luxurious London at an estate called Somerton. Lady Ada and her family have just returned back to London, England from India at the beginning of this novel, when Ada’s father announces his plans to remarry again to the elegant, prestigious Mrs. Templeton. Everyone in the manor is shocked by the news but understands that Mr. Averley needs the good name and fortune of Mrs. Templeton in order to save wha ...more
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, historical, 2013
I’m a fan of period film and television in general. I love all the various adaptations of Jane Austen’s books and my favorite movie is The Age of Innocence with Daniel Day-Lewis. Downton Abbey is my new favorite. I love the costumes, the intrigue, and the upstairs/downstairs intersecting storylines between the lives of the servants and the wealthy elite they serve.

Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed is a young adult novel made for Downton Abbey fans.

The blurb focuses on Rose, a servant at Somer
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Valkyrie (Valkyrie, #1)
  • 花樣年華 HYYH The Notes 2 (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, #2)
  • Easy Charm (Boudreaux, #2)
  • A View from the Bridge: A Play in Two Acts
  • The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4)
  • Belle Epoque
  • Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout
  • The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us, #1)
  • Revelations (Blue Bloods, #3)
  • The Ex Games 2 (The Ex Games, #2)
  • Falling for My Boss (One Night Stand #3)
  • The Ex Games 3 (The Ex Games, #3)
  • The Last Boyfriend (Forever Love, #1)
  • After the Ex Games (The Ex Games, #4)
  • The Last Husband (Forever Love, #2)
  • The Ex Games (The Ex Games, #1)
  • The Man in the Black Suit
  • Masquerade (Blue Bloods, #2)
See similar books…
Leila Rasheed has gained an MA in both Children's Literature and Creative Writing. She started work at Reading Is Fundamental, a children's literacy charity, before moving to Belgium. Leila now works as the children's bookseller for Waterstone's in Brussels. ...more

Other books in the series

At Somerton (3 books)
  • Diamonds & Deceit (At Somerton, #2)
  • Emeralds & Ashes (At Somerton, #3)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
21 likes · 3 comments
“I suppose I thought your mind would be full of dresses and dances."
"Well, it's not. It's full of Socrates and Euclid.”
“I think we all have to believe in something greater than ourselves. Something as distant and magnificent as the stars.” 2 likes
More quotes…