Magic! Murder! Shipboard romance!
Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She expected plenty of it when she volunteered to serve as an old lady’s companion on an ocean liner, in order to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy that began generations ago.
What she didn’t expect was for the old lady in question to turn up dead on the first day of the voyage. Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham, who’s also returning home to England. Violet is everything that Maud has been trained to distrust yet can’t help but desire: a magician, an actress, and a magnet for scandal.
Surrounded by the open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must first drop the masks that they’ve both learned to wear before they can unmask a murderer and somehow get their hands on a magical object worth killing for—without ending up dead in the water themselves.
In the sequel to “The Marvelous Light”, Freya Marske explores female sexuality and love in a brave and daring manner. Picking up with a new set of protagonists, Maud Blyth and Violet Debenham, Freya Marske continues the narrative of The Last Contract while simultaneously developing both characters and setting up a simmering romance between the pair. She juggles all the fantasy and romance elements with a bold dash of intrigue and mystery. And just as with the first book, you fall in love with both Maud and Violet, despite their flaws and imperfections.
In the process, Freya Marske also develops many of the secondary characters, creating a larger world involved in the mystery of the contract and further shares the story of how the Forsythe club found the three items in their possession. While the immediate problems are resolved by the end of the novel, there are enough loose ends to keep readers coming back for the next novel. I have my suspicions as to who the third book might feature but I can’t wait for the next story in the series. The world is well developed, it’s fun, full of threats but also a wonderful blend of romance and magic. The sex scenes and romance between the women is brave and daring, sharing a meaningful relationship and steamy exploration.
If you love romance and magic and you liked the previous novel, I highly recommend A Restless Truth. The magic and intrigue will hook you but the romance will keep you coming back for more.
Rating: 5 out of 5 ghosts.