An intriguing and immersive historical
series starter with a suspenseful supernatural twist.
New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!
London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?
Goodman’s supernatural historical narrative is intriguing, immersive, suspenseful and engrossing. We meet Lady Helen Wrexhall in 1812 Regency London—a time when women lacked choice and instead were encouraged to focus on landing a distinguished, titled man to marry. Helen’s restlessness and verve burdened her aunt and uncle, who were intent on finding her an amenable suitor with whom to discard her. But it was that very inquietude which linked Helen to her mother, someone who had betrayed the crown and made her a living liability.
“Although never said aloud by her aunt and uncle, the fear that she would have her mother’s wild streak had sat heavily upon their faces when they first took her in. Even then, when she was only eight years old, the implication had been clear to Helen–she must be on guard against her own nature.”
Helen’s wayward nature was inescapable and she longed to experience other things beyond ball gowns and societal events, before giving in to a life where obedience to her husband dictated all. On the eve of her own debut before the queen, however, Helen learns that one of her maids has gone missing. After meeting the enigmatic, yet despised Lord Carlston, she is unexpectedly thrust into the lurid shadows of her time, uncovering a world she never imagined. More so, she discovers there is a wilder, supernatural connection with her mother, giving her abilities difficult to comprehend.
“I know it is hard to accept, but there are agencies other than human in our cities, and they require certain special abilities to contain. Our abilities.”
Before too long, her time is increasingly spent with a man accused of murdering his wife, a man whom she has more in common with than those around her, a man who unexpectedly heats her blood despite the secrets he hides behind his nearly black eyes. As a result, her world darkens considerably. Helen is given the choice of fighting in the shadowed London streets, or forgoing the exciting—albeit dangerous—responsibility with which she’s presented.
As the story unfurls, we realize there is so much more to everyone than meets the eye. Demons hide amongst the very elite of society and it’s up to Helen, Carlston and a few others to hunt and destroy them.
I loved Helen as a heroine, loved her fight and innate curiosity. I’m obsessed with Lord Carlston too…it’s clear he’s a misunderstood man with many a secret hidden. These enigmatic characters coupled with the fascinating historical period make this novel exciting to read. I would have loved a quicker pace, however, as parts of the narrative seemed to lag. As the romance and angst intensify, I’m betting the pace will naturally quicken too. Nonetheless, I very much enjoyed this unique, historical romance with a supernatural twist.
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