It’s the start of March (time does fly – it needs to be stopped) and I want to start the month off with a review!
Described as “Pride & Prejudice mixed with Buffy”, Lady Helen & the Dark Days Club (Alison Goodman) centres on Helen Wrexhall who’s about to enter society but encounters a world beyond her own and thanks to the dark (and hot) Lord Carlston and his demon-hunting Dark Days Club, she discovers that she has a gift that triggers a chain of events involving evil creatures known as Deceivers. Creatures that Helen’s destined to protect the world from. Something wicked is coming…
There are a lot of things to love about this book. One, it’s set in the Regency era, so think of Jane Austen (hence the Pride & Prejudice reference), pretty clothes and hair, and dashing gentlemen who turn out to be warriors. Of course, there are normal gentlemen like Selburn and Andrew. They’re sweet but I want the fighting type 🙂
Second, Helen reminds me of Elizabeth Bennett, witty, stubborn and has a sharp tongue. Now combined that with Buffy and you get a whole level of sass and awesomeness. Helen is a strong character, well developed and you get so much of her character through her actions and reactions. I love that she highly values her friends and the amount of her self-control overwhelmed me, experiencing the suffocating life of a Regency woman.
I wanted to punch her uncle who’s basically a tyrant. You would think that he’s a Deceiver. I have so much respect for women of the past.
Third, Lord Carlston.
Fourth, it’s rare to have people of colour in the Regency era, so I was surprised that Quinn has a significant role. Based on his description, he seems to be Pacific Islander or someone from the New World. And he’s more than just an assistant to Lord Carlston. He’s his partner and friend, his equal. I want to read more about him.
Fifth, suspense. A lot of it – though it does drag the story a bit and I found that some chapters didn’t give a cliffhanger feel and made me take a little break from reading. Don’t worry, I returned hours later anyway. I’m very curious about this Grand Deceiver the characters keep mentioning about.
Sixth, the fights. Lord Carlston…okay, I’ll stop.
Seventh, even though I love the intensifying relationship between Carlston and Helen, I love that romance isn’t a major thing. It’s here and there, being in the back of Helen’s mind. Arranging marriages to suitable suitors doesn’t count.
Eighth, the power of communication. Miscommunication happens a lot in the book and it causes problems and people overeact. There’s also spreading rumours and false accusations based on sketchy details, leading to false characterisation of characters. Like Mr. Darcy is arrogant, ruins people’s lives and has the emotional capacity of a pole. But no, he’s really a sensitive guy, still proud but hey, he’s sweet.
Lady Helen is well-written, rich in detail, enough to make me feel like I’ve been transported to the Regency era, the world of Jane Austen and Queen Victoria’s grandmother, uncles and aunts. I want to watch a period drama now, and buy Regency dresses and bonnets.
If you’re into classics, a Austenite or love classic-inspired stories or want to read ladies armed with more than just wit and elegance, I recommend Lady Helen 🙂