Well, I am loving this series. It is the perfect combination of light, fun romance with a sprinkling of fantasy and a little nod towards Regency society.
Title: Ten Thousand Stiches
Series: Regency Faerie Tales #2
Author: Olivia Atwater
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group, Orbit
Publication Date: 21st July 2022
Rating: 4 stars
Effie has most inconveniently fallen in love with the dashing Mr Benedict Ashbrooke. There’s only one problem; Effie is a housemaid, and a housemaid cannot marry a gentleman. It seems that Effie is out of luck until she stumbles into the faerie realm of Lord Blackthorn, who is only too eager to help Effie win Mr Ashbrooke’s heart. All he asks in return is that Effie sew ten thousand stitches onto his favourite jacket.
Effie has heard rumours about what happens to those who accept help from faeries, but life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now, she has one hundred days – and ten thousand stitches – to make Mr Ashbrooke fall in love and propose. . . if Lord Blackthorn doesn’t wreck things by accident, that is. For Effie’s greatest obstacle might well prove to be Lord Blackthorn’s overwhelmingly good intentions.
The story of Effie Reeves is one part Cinderella, one part ??? There’s a fairy tale out there that I read once that involves putting stitches into a coat, and I’ve googled it and can’t find it and would be very, very grateful if someone could tell me what it was.
In any case, it’s all parts lovely – Effie, frustrated and angry by her belittled life as a servant in a house that can’t budget for its help properly, finds a kind gentleman in a hedge maze. No good could ever come of this, but especially when Effie realizes that the strange Lord Blackthorn is actually one of the Fae. He offers her his help and, although Effie knows she shouldn’t accept, her own frustrations lead her to accept not only his help but all of the trouble he brings too.
We’ve taken a few steps downstairs away from the elite in this book, and are instead focused on a maid. Once again there’s a lovely nod to the Regency period. Whereas last time there was a question of what it is to be proper and virtuous as nobility, this time we are thinking of what it is to be virtuous when you don’t have the advantages of a title, as well as what it says about a house in how they treat their servants.
This is the second book in the series and the building romance in this feels a little more ‘innocent’ that then last book. It’s also lovely to see a character that’s briefly mentioned in book one appear in this as one of the main characters, as well as for some references back to the first book in the series here too.
Another enjoyable and light insight into this period, with a little touch of magic.
I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.