Lady Helen’s adventures continue in the conclusion of Goodman’s (The Dark Days Pact, 2017, etc.) trilogy.
Christmas in Bath: Lady Helen and the brooding Lord Carlston are now the Grand Reclaimer dyad seeking the Grand Deceiver. But Helen’s impending marriage to Duke Selburn, who cherishes Helen and wishes to protect her, provides impediment after impediment to Reclaimer business. As with the previous volumes, this carefully researched tome mixes a cerebral examination of gendered roles in the Regency (and perhaps today) with an original fantasy premise. The previously introduced characters are all back, from Maori Quinn (one of the few characters who provides diversity in the white, wealthy world of Regency high society) to Aunt Leonore, who demonstrates that women can be powerful regardless of magical gifts. Goodman’s assured writing and masterful grasp of historical milieu create a world where doing one’s hair can take hours—and is done even when the end of the world is at stake. The slow burn, punctuated by murder, forbidden declarations of love, and surprising plot twists, provides readers who have come this far with exactly what they want; the explosions, literal and figurative, of the climax even leave room for a happy ending that also involves the wielding of great power while being female.
You’ll never see the Regency the same way again. (Historical fantasy. 13-adult)