A Touch of Scarlet (Unbound #2)

A Touch of Scarlet (Unbound #2)
Age Range
Release Date
March 26, 2013
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The compelling heroine of Eve Marie Mont’s novel A Breath of Eyre returns to find truth and fiction merging through the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter… Emma Townsend is back at prestigious Lockwood Prep, but her world has altered immeasurably since her tumultuous sophomore year. The best change of all: her boyfriend, Gray. And though Gray is leaving for Coast Guard training, Emma feels newly optimistic, even if the pain of her mother’s long-ago death still casts a shadow. Yet Emma isn’t the only one who’s changed. Her friend and roommate, Michelle, is strangely remote, and old alliances are shifting in disconcerting ways. Soon Emma’s long-distance relationship with Gray is straining under the pressure, and Emma wonders if she’s cracking too. How else to explain the vivid dreams of Hester Prynne she’s been having since she started reading The Scarlet Letter? Or the way she’s found herself waking in the woods? As her life begins to echo events in the novel, Emma will be forced to choose between virtue and love. But can she forge a new future without breaking her heart?

Editor review

1 review
Mont Does it Again!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Eve Marie Mont does not disappoint! A Touch of Scarlet is not a retelling of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Emma ends up in the parallel world of The Scarlet Letter. She does not physically enter the novel but instead witnesses the world in a dreamlike state. Unlike “A Breath of Eyre,” where Emma slips into the role of Jane Eyre, this time Emma interacts with Hester and her daughter as herself. These encounters offer a different yet sophisticated twist on The Scarlet Letter. But for readers who either haven’t read this classic or didn’t care for it when they did read it, it helps to see the plot unravel alongside the modern one.

Emma faces a lot of changes in A Touch of Scarlet but she isn't the only one. Each of the characters, like Michelle, Grey, and Owen, struggle with growing up and accepting change because of the fear of ridicule, isolation or simply making the wrong choice. One bad thing leads to another as Emma tries to keep everything the way it’s “supposed to be,” not understanding that people and relationships aren’t meant to stay the same forever.

A Touch of Scarlet deals with some mature themes, similar to The Scarlet Letter. The story centers on high school issues – cliques, bullying and relationships. While not appropriate for all ages, its carries an important message: Stay true to yourself and fight for what you believe is just and right. People should follow their hearts even when it’s safer to remain a nameless face in the crowd.

Overall, A Touch of Scarlet is excellently-written, page turning novel from Mont. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in A Phantom Enchantment, and its incorporation of themes and plot lines from The Phantom of the Opera.
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