Mysteries, conspiracies and scandals have captivated audiences across the globe and time sprouting gossip and internet forums to answer; why? Another thing that tends to enthrall the public is something spooky, something dark and utterly dangerous. It’s not uncommon for the two to intertwine and create something truly bewitching; like a novel. Well, prepare to be amazed by Alison Goodman’s newest book The Dark Days Club which the beginning to an astounding new series! One that deals with one debutante whose attempting to overcome such scandal bestowed upon her by her Mother.
Alright, let’s set the stage in 1812 London right as the summer season draws nearer and nearer our leading lady Helen is about to present herself to her majesty the Queen and is dutifully practicing her curtsies and rehearsing a scripted answer for if anyone brings up her scandalized mother. Life is normal and the bookish lady Helen is merely trying to appease her gracious extended family and atone for her Mother’s scandal by marrying in her first season. But obviously that’s not the whole story… Lady Helen is introduced to a distant cousin, Lord Carlston. A man accused of murdering his wife but with no body ever being found he remain innocent. Although lady Helen is still advised to maintain a length of distant from the Lord. This doesn’t stop Lord Carlston as he weasels his way into Lady Helen’s life and ultimately turns it upside down. Lady Helen is then thrust into the espionage and conspiracies kept under wraps by the “nonexistent” Dark Days Club that works directly under the crown in order to protect the public.
So, the characters are to die for. They are all intelligent, funny, witty and quick. Perhaps too quick… At least lady Helen Wrexhall who is notorious for stealing four hour candles so she can read well into the night since all she wishes to learn and satisfy her not-so-feminine curiosity. Lady Helen also has a little quirk about her, aside from her substantial height, and that is her acute ability to read faces and see into the hearts of those she stares at. As a protagonist lady Helen thrives! She is level-headed, conservative, loyal and realistic with her escapades and also in her being a woman of the Regency era. A time that was the height of the ideal that Women’s’ sole purpose was to produce heirs and be obedient. Obviously, lady Helen disagrees with this ideology but knows to never voice her opinions and this constantly restricts her to her own and the reader’s frustration. Overall I absolutely adored Helen and can’t wait to see how her character further develop. Alright our main sidekick is Lord Carlson the man shrouded in scandal and mystery. In one word he could be described as commanding, enigmatic or disturbing… He carries a dangerous intensity but lady Helen automatically trusts and is infuriated by him. Now, in this novel we don’t learn too much about the history of Lord Calston but it is quickly understood that he is a respectable and virtuous man who believes in protecting everyone even at the expense of himself. Watching this duo bounce off each other was quite captivating since they have a lot of similarities but there is an obvious chasm between them due to their genders that either free them or hinder them. There is a plethora of other amazing and enticing characters who could keep me typing for pages upon page, but that would spoil a lot of the fun in the novel. You should know though that I adore Darby the best darn Lady’s maid who may not be as well at Lady Helen but she is just as smart and passionate as her Lady. There is also Duke or Selborne, Lady Helen’s brother Andrew and Lady Margaret who are worth mentioning too.
Read this book, please just read it! My ability to formulate sentences or reviews could never possibly do justice to the masterpiece that is this book. This novel is significantly different from any of the Regency era books that I have ever read and that is a lot of books. The only books that it is somewhat similar too is Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate or Finishing School series with the same century and witty female protagonists. I adore the writing, I admire the characters and was astounded by the story. Let me tell you that I cannot wait for the next installment in this series.