Regency housemaid Euphemia Reeves has acquired a faerie godfather. Unfortunately, he has no idea what he’s doing.
Euphemia Reeves has most inconveniently fallen in love with Mr Benedict Ashbrooke. Housemaids do not marry gentlemen, of course… but a faerie named Lord Blackthorn is only too eager to help Effie win Mr Benedict’s heart regardless.
Effie knows what a terrible idea it is to accept help from one of the Fair Folk—but life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now, Effie has one hundred days and ten thousand stitches to make Mr Benedict fall in love with her and propose… if Lord Blackthorn doesn’t wreck things by accident, that is. For Effie’s greatest obstacle might well be Lord Blackthorn’s overwhelmingly good intentions.
Aaaaah, I loved this book so much! I really just want to do an ‘incoherent screaming’ gif as this review and be done with it but that won’t really do, will it? 🙂
First off, Olivia Atwater writes EXACTLY my type of books. Lovely regency style romances in a fantastic setting with a lot of social commentary worked into the story. Because what good is a regency style romance without criticizing the 1%? Really, now that I’ve asked that question I might never be able to fantasize about Dukes again, oh well. 😉
One thing I really loved about this story is that you think you might know where it’s headed but then it takes a twisty turn and ends up in a different spot altogether. The main character, Euphemia, is a house maid in a great house where the staff is continuously overworked due to a shrinking budget–the same amount of work needs to be done but there are less and less staff to do it. She’s also a housemaid with stars in her eyes for one of the gentlemen of the household and so when a Fairy comes around and conveniently offers to bargain with her she can’t resist wanting to make her dreams come true. This is a classic Cinderella set up. But it takes those Cinderella tropes and smashes them to pieces because, well, eat the rich! Seriously when you think about it, why would you want to marry someone who would never even look at you if you weren’t a member of their own class? You’d be happy like that? Was Cinderella really shallow? This story has me questioning everything I thought I loved about fairy tale romances. And that’s okay! We should question our assumptions now and then–it’s good for us. 🙂
I’ll admit that I kind of suspected about a quarter of the way in (or maybe just hoped) the direction the story was going to go in and I was so happy when it turned out that way. Yay! Euphemia is such a fun character and even though it was frustrating sometimes to watch her get caught up in feelings that maybe weren’t quite what she thought they were, it was really great when she finally had her epiphany. You have to have those moments because then when the magic happens it’s that much sweeter. I also really loved Lord Blackthorn. Being a fairy and having read the previous book in this series, one knows how dangerous the fair folk are to humans. It was hard for me to entirely trust his character at first even though he does seem so well intentioned. His character also made for a lot of light hearted moments as he was trying so hard to learn more about humans and how they tick.
What more can I say except I loved this book! At this point I think I’ll read anything Olivia Atwater writes. Oh, and even though this is a sequel to Half a Soul, these two books both stand on their own so you don’t really need to read one before the other. They’re sort of like Howl’s Moving Castle and it’s two ‘sequels’ in that way. But you should read them both anyway because they’re excellent. 5/5 stars.