May 3, 2020 by TinyNavajo
*Thanks to Gail Carriger for providing a digital ARC for review!*
Defy or Defend (Delightfully Deadly #2) by Gail Carriger
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*Published May 3, 2020*
This was a sweet novella and it was one that I had been waiting for a while to come out! I am so glad that Gail Carriger decided to reach out to me about reviewing this book for her. While she did provide a digital ARC, the following review is my honest opinion.
A vampire hive descending into madness. A beautiful spy with a sparkly plan. The bodyguard who must keep them from killing each other.
New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Gail Carriger brings you a charming story of love, espionage, and Gothic makeovers set in her popular Parasolverse.
Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, code name Honey Bee, is the War Office’s best and most decorative fixer. She’s sweet and chipper, but oddly stealthy, and surprisingly effective given the right incentives.
Sir Crispin Bontwee was knighted for his military service, but instead of retiring, he secretly went to work for the War Office. Mostly he enjoys his job, except when he must safeguard the Honey Bee.
Neither one is a vampire expert, but when the Nottingham Hive goes badly Goth, only Dimity can stop their darkness from turning bloody. And only Crispin can stop an enthusiastic Dimity from death by vampire.
In a battle for survival (and wallpaper), Dimity must learn that not all that sparkles is good, while Cris discovers he likes honey a lot more than he thought.
“This intoxicatingly witty parody will appeal to a wide cross-section of romance, fantasy and steampunk fans.” ~ Publishers Weekly, starred review (Soulless)
Spinning off from the Finishing School series, featuring deadly ladies of quality, this story stands alone, but chronologically follows Poison or Protect before the start of the Parasol Protectorate Series. It’s Cold Comfort Farm meets Queer Eye meets What We Do In The Shadows from the hilarious author of the Parasol Protectorate books, perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Jodi Taylor, or Meljean Brook.
Contains fraternizing vampires and one very curious young lady, who asks about seduction, sometimes in detail but mostly in retrospect. May also involve excessive use of velvet, melodramatic poetry, and the strategic application of interpretive ballet.
Like I said, this is a sweet book and it gives the epilogue to Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, one of the girls from Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series. It’s a epilogue I had been waiting for for a while and it was well worth it! I loved Dimity and her bubbliness while she was in school, and I love how well that bubbliness helps her now as she works for the War Office in fixing situations that seem to have gone awry.
When Dimity’s skills are called upon to bring a vampire hive back from going Goth, it will take all of Dimity’s skill, both decorative and espionage, in order to bring things to rights before a Sundowner is called to deal with the matter. Nothing will stand in her way, not her safety, a man trying to be a knight, or a drone with thoughts of being center spotlight.
This was so cute and it definitely the ending that Dimity wanted and needed. Dimity has never been one to love the espionage game, but she was extremely good at the game. What she truly wanted was to settle down with a husband and maybe become a society matron. But before she can do that, she must convince her knight that he’s actually her knight, and a vampire hive that going Goth is not the way to do. And she does it all by being herself, not the Honey Bee or Sparkles.
I love all of this story and I love how all of ties together, not only with some of the Finishing School stories, but with some mentions of characters from Gail Carriger’s other series as well. I love Dimity, I love Crispin and his morality, and I love how much a change of scenery can change not only a person, but their outlook on life as well. If you’re looking for more of Gail Carriger’s writing, or just want to know what happened to the girls after Finishing School, then you need to read this book next!