The League of Gentlewomen Witches by India Holton: Delightful

Miss Charlotte Pettifer belongs to a secret league of women skilled in the subtle arts. That is to say—although it must never be said—witchcraft. The League of Gentlewomen Witches strives to improve the world in small ways. Using magic, they tidy, correct, and manipulate according to their notions of what is proper, entirely unlike those reprobates in the Wisteria Society.

When the long lost amulet of Black Beryl is discovered, it is up to Charlotte, as the future leader of the League, to make sure the powerful talisman does not fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, it is most unfortunate when she crosses paths with Alex O’Riley, a pirate who is no Mr. Darcy. With all the world scrambling after the amulet, Alex and Charlotte join forces to steal it together. If only they could keep their pickpocketing hands to themselves! If Alex’s not careful, he might just steal something else—such as Charlotte’s heart.

Having not read the first in the Dangerous Damsel’s series, The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels, I can already say I regret missing it and will rush out to my nearest library to fetch it as soon as possible. This delightful journey into the world of English Witches is some of the best fun I’ve read in quite some time. Quite madly mixing Jane Austen and Shakespeare and a sheer delight in the English language, author India Holton has created the perfect blend of derring-do and romance, adventure and extraordinary characters. 

Once you begin reading, you realize if you are the unusual, the prickly, the unpopular, you will immediately crawl into Charlotte’s head and not leave. And let’s not forget Alex, who while a pirate and a rogue, is not nearly so stern of heart as he pretends. Charlotte yearns to unleash her spirit while Alex yearns to open his heart and on their mad adventure to steal Black Beryl’s amulet, they soon find they have more in common than expected between a pirate and a witch. 

India Holton has done a beautiful job of playing in the tone of a historical period novel but combining it with adventure, witches, pirates, and magic. She has created a plot that drags the reader in with the first few sentences and keeps you there as you fall in love with her fantastic and darling characters. Despite Charlotte’s prickly nature, the fun is in how competent and dangerous she truly is and how powerful a woman can be. The story also illustrates that while a woman may not need a man, she may need love and friendship in whatever form it arrives in. I do dare any reader who loves pirates, witches, or the English language to walk away from reading this book. 

I found every word delightful, every argument a joy, and the story wrapped me around it’s little finger until I finished in the wee hours of the morning. I truly look forward to the next novel in the series and am off to find the first.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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