Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate)Blameless
Lady Maccon, the former Alexia Tarbotti, is in big trouble. Queen Victoria has dismissed her from the Shadow Council and she’s left her husband’s house to reside with her parent’s and step siblings. Worse. She’s pregnant. A condition she was certain would never happen to her. A condition her werewolf husband is nearly certain he couldn’t have gotten her in. A condition vampires are trying to kill her for.
After her family hears the tragic news and the paper implies unsavory things, Alexia makes the only decision she can: she decides to head for Italy and the only people who might have answers on how this could possibly have happened to her: The Templars. Sure, the Templars have pesto, but they also plan to use her in the war against the vampires, ghosts and werewolves.
And they don’t need her alive to do it.
Blameless starts would with Alexia’s world in a great deal of flux. I thought perhaps this might just be me, as I read the books out of order, but fortunately Ms. Carringer’s skill quickly explained the crux of the matter and I fell under the spell of the story. Deprived of her pack, Alexia begins to build a new one as she sets out on her latest adventure. Some characters return and new ones are introduced, but always there is Floote, her butler from the last book. There are delightful new steam machines that keep the story moving and wonderful twists and turns.
But what I missed most in the story was Alexia’s husband, Lord Maccon. Where has my alpha hero gone? Sure, he comes back about a third of the way through, but for the most part, we’re left in the head of his Beta, Professor Lyall. And I admit, while the good professor is funny, he is not Conall. I hope the yin and yang returns in the next installment, Heartless, as their dance is part of the fun of the story and actually gives soulless, Alexia a bit of, well, soul.