After the scandalous events at her presentation ball in London, Lady Helen has taken refuge at the fashionable seaside resort of Brighton, banished from her family and training as a Reclaimer with the covert Dark Days Club. She must learn to fight the dangerous energy-wielding Deceivers and prepare to face their master, the elusive Grand Deceiver.
As she struggles to put aside her genteel upbringing, Helen realizes that her mentor, Lord Carlston, is fighting his own inner battle. Has the foul Deceiver energy poisoned his soul, or is something else driving him towards violent bouts of madness? Either way, Helen is desperate to help the man with whom she shares a deep but forbidden connection.
When Mr. Pike, the hard bureaucratic heart of the Dark Days Club, arrives in Brighton, he has a secret mission for Helen: find the journal left by a mad rogue Reclaimer, before it falls into the hands of the Deceivers. Coerced by Pike, Helen has no choice but to do as ordered, knowing that the search for the journal may bring about Lord Carlston’s annihilation.
This second installment delves so much deeper into the Club, and for a society bent on saving humanity, it is just as corrupt as any other organization where people are the drivers. It makes the internal conflicts of the club difficult to watch as it pulls Helen in different directions, on top of her fighting a losing battle against so many who doubt and belittle her. Seeing how she works herself into a corner as she desperately tries to protect those she cares for becomes the bulk of the novel, and gives Helen a lot of choices in who she wants to be in her life.
Carlston’s affliction is stressful to watch, especially all the subterfuge it causes and the difficult positions it puts Helen and Michael in as they deal with personal loyalties and the organization they are bound to. I did enjoy watching Carlston open up to Helen and a deeper bond form between the two. We are finally getting to know both of them and their companionship and compatibility is undeniable.
The love triangle is irritating, not in indecision, but in the unavoidable stipulations of Carlston being legally married though with a missing wife of several years. And Selburn isn’t a bad guy, though he gets very irritating in his refusal to accept Helen’s decisions and basically stalks her. I can only see the more compatible relationship working out with death and a nice guy being hurt. . . I fear we won’t have a happy ending with this series . . .