Book Title: The Midnight Bargain
Author: C.L. Polk
Goodreads Link: Click here
Release Date: 10/13/20
Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was already pretty partial to books by C.L. Polk ever since I read the excellent Witchmark. So when I was approved for this new standalone novel I was very excited, and for good reason because it is excellent!
Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.
In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.
The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken? – Goodreads
As a HUGE period drama/BBC/Masterpiece theater fan I love that this book is set in a Regency era type world. Carriages, and balls, and magic all in one fantasy story!? Yes, please. As a plus, it is feminist as hell! In this world, just when a young woman comes into her magical abilities she is married off and has a collar put on her neck that completely dampens her abilities. It’s horrible. But Beatrice is not one to go down gently into that good night. She will fight it.
Beatrice is an excellent character, spunky but in a realistic way. She makes friends with a spirit named Nadi (who I am inordinately fond of and steals every scene she is in), who can help her to retain her freedom but what will be the cost? Other characters like the Lavan siblings are interesting and easy to love. As always with novels by this author, the LGBTQ community is well represented. It’s a fun novel, with a lot to say but never feels preachy. It is completely fun and a really nice easy read for a weekend. The only bad thing I could say about it is that it isn’t part of a series! I would love more Nadi!! I hope you enjoy the book, it made me happy.