Emma Day and her two cousins, Gretchen and Penelope, are uninterested in their debutante lives. All the boring balls, tiresome curtsying and polite conversation leave much to be desired.
Then a girl is found dead, frost clinging to her lifeless body, and the murder is traced to Emma. As their world is turned upside down, Emma discovers more about herself and her cousins, from her connection to the murders to the secrets of her family legacy.
Now the girls must embrace their true Lovegrove inheritance in order to stop the chaos, even if that means risking their lives.
Dangerously handsome Cormac Fairfax wants to help Emma – but, with secrets of his own to hide, can she trust him?
I’ve had this book on my shelf for quite some time, but I’m glad I read it. Having been a fan of Alyxandra Harvey for a good few years, there was no doubt that I’d be sucked into yet another of her worlds. Although I suppose sometimes you can’t always be sure.
I needn’t have worried, though. Set in Regency London era, we’re immediately introduced to a character that has a part to play through out, although in retrospect, it would have made more sense to show Emma first, as she is the main character and what the story is set around. Moira is a madcap, a sort of homeless person but who practically lives on rooftops. She steals from the rich and, well, anyone who has anything worthwhile to steal.
Then it goes straight into Emma Day story. She’s a witch, but she doesn’t know it at first, and it’s such a natural journey as her and her cousins, Penelope and Gretchen discover their true heritage. And then there’s Cormac, a Keeper – someone who works to keep the nature of witches a secret from regular humans, and acts as a sort of protector to Emma. He’s also a really charming love interest who made me swoon quite a lot, also made me want to smack Emma because of how stupid she was. I mean, it was so obvious WHY he was acting aloof about his feelings towards her, because if the Order (kind of like the Witch police) they’d see him compromised. But then Emma would think he hated her, even when it was clear he didn’t. I wanted to slap her and tell her to get real!
There are plenty of amusing moments, mostly coming from Gretchen. Also Cormac’s sisters who make appearances occasionally. The girls are feisty and rare, never bowing down to authority and it’s so refreshing. I couldn’t describe any of them as weak or pathetic.
As far as keeping true to the settings go, I was a little put off at first because there were certain words the British wouldn’t use – like ‘blocks’ to describe an area. We don’t do blocks here. And the spelling of words in the American way…In fact there were quite a few Americanisms that bugged me, otherwise I’d have rated this five stars. I guess that if you’re an author and you have a lot of American readers, you’d be inclined to make it easy for them to understand, but it just doesn’t suit the story to do that.
The pacing and writing style were good, although on the odd occasion I found myself wanting to fast forward because certain chapters involved memories. And the change of font doesn’t help either. I hear there’s a second book to this so I look forward to getting my hands on that soon. Definitely worth a read.