Source: tbr pile
Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a stand-alone romance novella set in her popular steampunk universe full of manners, spies, and dainty sandwiches.
Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment.
It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn’t anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven – massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and… working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart – a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.
Buy Poison or Protect today to find out whether it’s heartbreak or haggis at this high tea.
Warning: Contains men pleasing women, and ladies who know what they want and ask for it, sometimes in detail. May also contain plaid, appearances from favorite characters, and the strategic application of leather gloves.My thoughts:
I love this world even though I have yet to read the Parasol Protectorate adult series, however I have read the Finishing School series which I loved. This novella set in the same world and is the first in a series of novellas. You can read it without reading any of the other series but this book is set in the time between the FS series and the PP series.
The story is a novella but it is a complete story. Preshea was not the easiest person to like when we first met her in the Finishing School series but she is a full adult now and with several dead husbands in her wake which leads to a rather unflattering (but acceptable in her line of work) moniker, the Mourning Star. She is hired out to both stop a betrothal (without killing someone) and protect an important Earl who is important to the paranormal community in secret. However, Preshea doesn't count on Gavin to be either her equal or distraction. Luckily they are on the same side.
As this is a novella, the romance is quick and hot. However, it didn't bother me that they fell for each other so quickly. The way the author handled the romance was believable enough and it enhanced the storyline and mystery surrounding our couple. They are well matched and what each other had been seeking even if they didn't know it consciously. I love how each felt they were unlovable for different reasons but found trust and true love with each other.
I give this novella 4 1/2 stars. The mystery and romance could have used a few more pages, but that is because I would have wanted more. In truth, it was well balanced and a well told. I highly recommend it to those that have enjoyed this steampunk world and those that enjoy a good paranormal romance.