One of my most anticipated releases this year was The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton, so I'm thrilled to be part of the blog tour. Big thanks to Berkley for having me!
|Pub Date: 6-15-21|
Adult - Historical Fantasy/Romance
Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal prim and proper Victorian lady. She just so happens to also be a pirate and a thief. After a traumatic incident in her childhood, Cecilia was taken in by her overly cautious aunt where she was raised by the Wisteria Society, a league of powerful women crime masters. Here, Cecilia learned from the best when it comes to the arts of blackmailing, using magic to fly their houses around looting unsuspecting people, weaponry, and of course, etiquette. You know you’ve made it in the Society when someone tries to assassinate you, so Cecilia is overjoyed when she learns someone has put a hit out on her. She just wasn’t expecting to like her would-be assassin.Ned Lightbourne is a man of many names and many talents. Sometimes he’s a secret service agent for the Crown, other times he’s working for the dastardly Captain Morvath who wishes nothing more than to rid England of its free-thinking women. But his most recent job is by far his hardest: trying not to fall for the woman he’s been ordered to kill. The moment Ned looked at Cecilia he knew he was a goner, so when Morvath kidnaps the ladies of the Wisteria Society, he offers her his services. Naturally, Cecilia isn’t one to trust a man paid to kill her, but she knows there’s no other choice if she wishes to save her family and friends. And, if along the way, she’s able to rub her abilities in the faces of all who have underestimated her and prove that she’s just as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them, well, that’ll just be a bonus.
When I finished the first chapter, I thought, ‘Oh this is going to be funny.’ By the time I finished the second, I thought, ‘Oh, I need to harass everyone I know to read this.’ This is hands down one of my favorite reads of the year. Holton’s writing is razor-sharp, hilarious, and incredibly clever. One of my favorite protagonists is Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell, and Cecilia reminded me so much of her. Both are fiercely independent, take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred characters who approach anyone trying to kill them with a “Yeah, good luck” type of attitude that I live for. I loved the way she and Ned bounced off one another and their constant volleying of verbal jabs had me smiling the whole time. Everything about this, from the world itself to the feisty women brandishing a knife in one hand and a teacup in the other, was so enjoyable. This was such a fun creative mix of action, adventure, and fantasy and I’m dying to see where the series goes from here.