Regency balls, rebellious heiresses, and demonic creatures feeding on humans: not your mother’s Regency romance.
Lady Helen Wrexhall, a traitor’s daughter just beginning her Season, learns she is special for reasons beyond parentage or inheritance. She is a Reclaimer, one of a handful of gifted humans who fight Deceivers, humanoid creatures that feed upon human life force through, variously, suffering, bloodlust, sexual climax, and creativity. A proper young lady of the Regency period, the scope of the Deceivers’ desires shocks Helen even more than the onset of supernatural abilities. Despite the commercial premise and promise, this is neither entirely page-turning adventure nor romance. Goodman’s prose is assured; her impeccable research shines through on every page (sometimes to the detriment of pacing) and brings to life questions of freedom and choice for women. Helen is torn between two men, one who speaks to the powerful, somewhat unnatural, and certainly societally unacceptable side of herself and the other who offers a life of privilege and propriety; the question of which self she will choose creates more tension than the question of which man (too, this is first in a series, which rather telegraphs her ultimate choice).
Readers willing to embrace the deep, deliberately paced journey will find the pace and tension increasing until the end leaves them eager for the next volume. (Historical fantasy. 13 & up)