Published: July 19, 2022
Publisher: Orbit Books
Series: Regency Faerie Tales #2
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Regency housemaid Euphemia Reeves has acquired a faerie godfather. Unfortunately, he has no idea what he’s doing.
Effie has most inconveniently fallen in love with the dashing Mr Benedict Ashbrooke. There’s only one problem; Effie is a housemaid, and a housemaid cannot marry a gentleman. It seems that Effie is out of luck until she stumbles into the faerie realm of Lord Blackthorn, who is only too eager to help Effie win Mr Ashbrooke’s heart. All he asks in return is that Effie sew ten thousand stitches onto his favourite jacket.
Effie has heard rumours about what happens to those who accept help from faeries, but life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now, she has one hundred days – and ten thousand stitches – to make Mr Ashbrooke fall in love and propose. . . if Lord Blackthorn doesn’t wreck things by accident, that is. For Effie’s greatest obstacle might well prove to be Lord Blackthorn’s overwhelmingly good intentions.
Ten Thousand Stitches is the second book in the Regency Faerie Tales series and gives readers a whole new perspective. This time the book focuses on Euphemia (Effie) Reeves, a maid in an unkind noble household where she’s worked to the bone and the Family doesn’t even know her name. Strife abounds in the downstairs of the house thanks to short staffing, overworking, and feeling generally unappreciated much like the modern workforce. Effie also has a huge crush on Benedict, the handsome younger brother of their master but her feelings can never be requited because she’s merely a maid.
This is where the story really begins – during one of Effie’s emotional moments she hides away in the garden and runs into none other than Lord Blackthorn, a faerie gentleman who wants none other than to acquire proper English virtues and that includes helping the less fortunate. He and Effie strike a deal that he’ll make her a proper lady so she can try to woo Benedict and in exchange she will embroider ten thousand stitches onto his coat, but if she fails to succeed within the timeframe, she will have to become his servant in Faerie. Thus begins a series of dramatic hijinks that start out as perfectly sound plans.
Ten Thousand Stitches somehow felt more serious than Half A Soul and I think it comes down to the fact that if this whole charade goes wrong, Effie is either getting stolen away to Faerie or she’s going to be out on her ear with nowhere to go. It also examines the class divide between servants and nobility and how servants are objects in a room rather than truly seen as people. It has plenty of light, humorous moments but overall I think it’s a slightly more serious tale. It did highlight friendships, the power of unionization (I only joke a little), and that being treated as a person is the absolute bare minimum – love should be based on so much more!
Overall, I enjoyed this though not quite as much as Half A Soul. I liked the little character crossovers, and the slow burn romance. This can absolutely be read as a standalone story with no prior knowledge needed, though you’ll definitely miss out on the little nods to things from the first book.