I love love loved Half a Soul and so it’s only natural that I get to the next part of the story as soon as I was able!
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.
This story follows Euphemia Reeves, who is a housemaid at an estate called Hartfield. Life at Hartfield for a maid isn’t great. The Lord and Lady of the manor are awful, they do things like throw teapots at the maids’ heads. Euphemia dreams of something better and when, one day, she is greeted by Mr. Benedict Ashbrooke as if she is an actual person of rank, and not an invisible maid, well, she rather inconveniently falls in love with him.
Lord Blackthorn is trying to become more virtuous – or as virtuous as one of the Fair Folk can be. He has the power to help Effie win the love of Mr. Benedict, and so he agrees to try and help her. It’s not usually a good idea to make a deal with a Faerie, but this particular faerie really seems to only have the very best of intentions… so Effie makes a wager with him, that with Lord Blackthorn’s help, she will make Mr. Benedict fall in love with her within one hundred days and ten thousand stitches of embroidery on Lord Blackthorn’s jacket, or she will become the maid at Blackthorn instead.
And thus, regency faerie shenanigans are abound!
I loved this one just as much as I loved the story before it, as I knew I would. It’s a short read (or listen, if that’s your fancy, as it is mine) and in just an afternoon I had myself a nice heartwarming listen. Effie is such an easy character to cheer for, since she is in such a position that she doesn’t deserve to be in. She tries her hardest to do her job but she is being worked nearly to death and so it’s hard not to want something better for her (and all the staff at Hartfield besides).
Lord Blackthorn was an interesting character from book one that we met briefly as that story unfolded and I was glad to hear a story with him. I absolutely love how his good intentions just implode everything in their way. The way things happened was really well plotted and well thought out. This all happened exactly how I imagine a Faerie with good intentions trying to help a maid out would go down. It was wonderfully written.
I listened to the audiobook, and just like he was for book one, Rafe Beckley was a fantastic narrator for it. Even though this is told almost entirely from the point of view of a female character, it never felt weird that it had a male narrator. He just brings you right inside the story. Details like accents were on point (one character’s accent changes as the book goes on, and we find that she actually switched it with another character later on who has her original accent – things like that). Really well done.
I really hope that there will be more Regency Faerie Tales, because these are truly fantastic reads. 5/5 stars!~