Book Review

Review: The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2) by Alison Goodman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: YA regency/paranormal, very little language, some romance, violence
Length: 496 pages
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Viking Books
Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.


I thoroughly believe Goodman won’t let me down. The Duke is totally the Grand Deceiver (my personal opinion, not a spoiler because I have no actual idea) and this whole forcible nature he takes on drives me crazy. HELEN SAID NO, WHY CAN YOU NOT RESPECT THE NO. Men. Sheesh.

Also let’s talk Delia, why is she in this book? She’s too sly for me. I haven’t liked her from day 1. So she’s in on the GD business with Selburn (The Duke). I stand by this assumption. Speaking of people I don’t like, y’all, I hate Lady Margaret. She’s petty, jealous and throws tantrums like my toddler. I was pleased when she dropped out of the back half of this book practically.

“Amore mio.”

Just STAHHHP. If your heart didn’t feel like bursting when this happened. Don’t even tell me. Because mine did. I’m obsessed with Lord Carlston (and subsequently watched Pride & Prejudice because Darcy). His dark, brooding, protective nature has me swooning. And he actually thinks Helen is a capable woman. I live for this slow-burn.

“Yes,” he said, unnecessarily. Was he, too, looking for the chance to touch? Maybe they both wanted to play with fire.”

What’s also the best? How many balls are attended. I thought it very clever how much dancing + eloquent verbal warfare was occurring throughout the book. I love all things regency and this is so great. Goodman has clearly done her research and I love the author’s note at the end that explains the “characters” that are historical figures. I’m impressed by the way she’s added in this Deceiver realm to London 1812.

This book does start off a bit slow (which was my main reasoning for 4*). I marked in my notes that at 55% we still hadn’t fought any demons, or done much of anything besides make threats and plans. Not long after that point, everything picks up. Though, Helen could gain more of a back bone. I think she bothers me sometimes because of the time period so I can’t fault the author for this. It’s really very well to the time period. Helen is continually struggling with being a woman in a man’s world (true I do feel this way now sometimes). Things were more complicated back then for that kind of stuff so I wanted Helen to buck-up and not do the right thing and actually voice her concerns.

Tiny tid-bit. I’m low key obsessed with Darby and Quinn. They are so precious and I hope they get a happy ending too. Darby is one of my favorite side characters. She is faithful to Helen like no other.

“In my experience, life is always a question of courage. Which way do we run when we see danger: away from it, or toward it?”

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult paranormal [demons], regency
  • A little language
  • Violence: physical, knives, guns, demons
  • Romance: an intense kiss
  • Trigger warnings: intense descriptions of brothels, torture, grief

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