Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Poison or Protect » Novella Review

Hooray for my first 2016-release read!

I am officially a die-hard fan of Gail Carriger's. I started off this year by reading her Parasol Protectorate series, and followed up with her Finishing School series. And I plan on reading her Custard Protocol series in July, which is when the second book Imprudence releases. I will read ANYTHING this woman writes. Also, not to toot my own horn, but she does follow me on Twitter and Instagram which made me squeal in delight when I saw my notifications.

I just adore her. And her cat is gorgeous, not that that's relevant to her writing...

The Novella

Poison or Protect (a stand-alone romance) is the first installment in the Delightfully Deadly series which will feature the graduates of Mademoiselle Geraldine's. Our first heroine is Preshea Buss, who was initially introduced in the Finishing School series. She was a catty, spiteful, unlike-able girl who has grown into a dangerous and wealthy woman. On her mission, she meets an attractive Scottish soldier named Gavin Ruthven.

Even though I knew I would enjoy the book because of the familiar world it was set in and the appearance of some of my favorite characters, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually LIKED Preshea. She is very self-aware, intelligent, and skilled at her chosen profession. She knows her flaws, and she makes no excuses for them. Her maturity and evolution throughout the novella was not reserved simply for Gavin, but allowed her the ability to form healthier relationships with others.

"Always, there was a tiny part of her that wanted to kill any man she knew. On principle."

Gavin was just a kind, gentle, and swoon-worthy character that complemented Preshea perfectly. Once I started reading the book and realized it was more romance-focused, I was briefly disillusioned. I expected a rake, or one of those regency romance rugged alpha Scotsman tropes that I had left far behind. But that's not who Gavin was at all, and I found it extremely refreshing.

Note: Not that there is anything wrong with the rugged alpha-man stories! I do enjoy a good bodice-ripper romance once in a while. It's just that as I've grown older and figured out my personal wants and desires in a partner, I realize that I actually don't find those kinds of men attractive in real life. And the feminist in me occasionally rages against their behavior.

"He liked knowing she could kill him."

The romantic/sexual scenes were well-written and enjoyable. And honestly, I don't really know what to say beyond that.  It's a sex-scene guys... fill in the blanks :P. I guess what I'm saying is, if I had the opportunity to have a little fun with Gavin, I would not turn it down. Every woman should be lucky enough to have a little Gavin in their lives. *swoons*

The espionage/mystery element of the book was not fully explored to my satisfaction. But I understand that with this being a novella, the author had to narrow her focus and not bite off more than she could chew. I encourage everyone to download a copy of this ebook. At the very least, it would give you an idea if this author is worth adding to your TBRs.

Happy Reading, everyone!



  1. I have the first 3 books to the Parasol Protectorate series, but I've yet to read them. I'm waiting until the mood strikes me. Lol.

  2. This sounds like good fun! And I really need to read more Carriger, especially because you love her, and you know how our taste aligns. (Near perfectly.) Do you recommend reading the Finishing School series first?

  3. Oh how fun! So it's like a spin off of the other? I love that!

  4. Mood is so important to the reading process! I hope you get to it so we can compare notes :)

  5. According to Carriger, it really doesn't matter. I went by publishing order, which started with the Parasol Protectorate, then the Finishing School. Carriger always leaves fun little Easter eggs around for readers familiar with the world, so I do plan on going back and re-reading the Parasol Protectorate to see what I've missed!

  6. Yes! I love that it's all set in the same world because I MISS IT SO MUCH.

  7. I need to read more Carriger - I've only read the first book in the Parasol Protectorate so far. Great review!

  8. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the rest of her series :)