Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Review: poison or protect (delightfully Deadly #1) by gail carriger
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. ~ Goodreads
Source: e-arc provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
I’ve always enjoyed Carriger’s books. They’re whip smart and a witty blend of historical/urban fantasy, steampunk and high tea.
Poison or Protect kicks off anew spinoff series set in the spring of 1867. 10 years after the Finishing School series (YA) and 10 years before the Parasol Protectorate series (adult). There is more emphasis on the romance but it still has everything you love about her previous works.
Preshea Villentia is a very stand off-ish but wonderful heroine. She is confident in her beauty and skills as an assassin. She’s known in social circles as the Mourning Star because of her 4 dead husbands. While she’s invited to parties and mingles with her peers, there’s a polite distance. People are afraid of her and Preshea likes to maintain a cold veneer and not form any relationships, finding it very difficult, for good reason, to trust others.
On her last assignment for Lord Akeldama, Preshea has a dual purpose – stop a blossoming courtship and protect her host from an assassination attempt.
This puts her squarely in the path of the very physically intimidating Scotsman, Captain Gavin Ruthvan. Preshea finds him quite attractive and intelligent but is he the assassin she’s been assigned to take out? And can Preshea ever fully trust a man with her body and heart?
Preshea and Gavin are evenly matched. Both experts in their professions, willing to take out the other if need be – but doing the verbal dance that brings them closer together. This novella is a bit sexier than Carriger’s previous works and the romance has everything I love. A nice guy and genuine intimacy.
Preshea doesn’t make it easy on Gavin because of her trust issues but he is so kind and patient, always letting her make the first move. He appreciates her for who she is, never trying to make her conform and is always willing to listen, and more importantly believe, the truth about her past.
Add in several delightful female friendships, a bit of drama and this is another delightful story from this world. All in all a rollicking fun time!
*Just a quick note – you don’t need to have read any of the previous books from either series. I have read several, but not all, from both and had no problems following along. In fact, this novella would be a nice one to try if you've wanted to sample Carriger's writing style. If you have read all her books, then there are fun cameos that will add to your enjoyment.