The carriage drew closer to Booksellers’ Row, and Beatrice Clayborn drew in a hopeful breath before she cast her spell.The Midnight Bargain, C.L. Polk, Erewhon Books 2020
Sometimes when you work hard to get a book, and when it disappoints it hits even harder. Like a book (or film) has to deliver for the sole reason of me having invested in attaining it. I even e-mailed the library about this novel (gasp!).
Luckily The Midnight Bargain didn’t disappoint: far from it. I hoped for a Victorian romance with a hint of magic; I got a historical fantasy with a hint of romance.
Beatrice lives in a world where her path leads into only one direction: marriage and motherhood. Even though she’s got magic, women can’t use it and carry children as well – society made the choice for her that she will deny magic. It’s also necessary for financial reasons: her father made bad investments and a connection to a rich family is essential to prevent them from poverty.
But of course: Beatrice doesn’t want this. She wants to hold on to magic and help her family, not be sold like cattle.
Spirits, wonderful, kind heartthrobs and dastardly competition get involved – it’s all too much fun to spell it out. Well done, cute little romance/coming-of-age: you absolutely delighted me.