Book source ~ NetGalley
Charlotte Appleby is living a miserable life with her aunt and uncle. Sure she has a roof over her head and food to eat, but they treat her like crap. So when a Faerie shows up in her room on her 25th birthday and says she has to bestow a gift on her, what’s a woman to do? Pick one and get the hell out of Dodge, that’s what. Charlotte chooses the gift of metamorphosis or shape-changing. The best part is: it’s not just shape-changing, it’s life-changing for Charlotte.
This is one of those books that will grab your fancy and not let go until the end. Charlotte has to pick a gift and the Faerie bestowing it is not like the fairy godmother in Cinderella. She’s like the ones in Grimm Fairy Tales, she may have to bestow a gift, but she’s going to be cruel if she can get away with it. Charlotte is no dummy though and asks questions and carefully weighs her options before choosing her gift.
The year is 1805 and Charlotte’s options are limited. So she decides to shift into a man and apply as a secretary to a Lord from an ad she sees in the paper. She may be a poor relation now, but at one time her mother and father made sure their daughter had a well-rounded education. She’s confident she can do the job. She’s not so sure about being a man. Luckily, Lord Cosgrove takes a chance and hires her, uh, him, uh, Charlotte who is now Christopher Albin. Lord Cosgrove is having some difficulties that a mere secretary would have a hard time helping him to investigate. But Charlotte is in a unique position. She can change into any person or animal and sneak into places neither one could go. The plot is twisty, the characters are wonderful, and Charlotte’s adventures into shape-shifting are fun to witness. Add some romance to the mix (it’s complicated) and it’s the perfect storm. I had a hard time putting this book down. I couldn’t wait to see what was on the next page. Who was the one causing Cosgrove all the trouble? When would he find out about her shape shifting? What would happen when he did? The suspense builds at a steady pace until the big finale. Wonderful!