"Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon is the scandal of the London season.
Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampire are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.
While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively, more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires - and they're armed with pesto."
This third Parasol Protectorate book picks up shortly after the end of the previous one, Changeless. Alexia, having been kicked out by her husband, has been forced to move back in with her mother, half-sisters and step-father, somewhere she'd really rather not to be. But it doesn't take long before she realises she's unable to remain there, and with all vampires seemingly intent on her death thanks to her 'infant-inconveniance' she departs for Italy with Madame Lefoux and Floote to help and guide her. Some madness ensues, there and back in London, with Lord Maccon drunk and heart broken, Professor Lyall forced to control the issues left unattended by his alpha, and of course the vampires aren't satisfied with Alexia simply being out of the country.
I loved the first two books in this series. They were smart, funny, full of drama, intrigue and very entertaining. This one was no different. I hated the cliff hanger of Changeless and was very excited for this book. It wasn't a let down at all. Like the previous two, it's told in third person, from a couple of different points of view, mostly Alexia and Professor Lyall's. I just love the writing style for these books. It's short and sharp, bringing together the manners and customs of Victorian England with vampires and werewolves and plenty of action. It's got plenty more laugh out loud moments but still holds a serious edge at times.
I love this series because it's so vivid. All the characters have strong personalities, the setting very well described, along with the various inventions Alexia comes across. It's not hard to imagine what it's like to be there with Alexia and the others. I really felt for Alexia as she struggled to deal with Conall kicking her out, refusing to believe that the baby was his, but at the same time I love how tough she is about it. Refusing to bend to societies pressure that, with such scandal, she should head for the hills. And Lord Maccon, drunk? *snickers*. I love Conall Maccon and his loud, rash nature. The way he and Alexia play off each other and even how Lyall handles him as beta never fails to entertain.
This book moves at a pretty good pace. I thought there were a couple bits that were a little slow, but I've not been too well reading this, so it may just have been my struggle to focus that caused it. There were some good twists and turns and although you can see somethings coming a little ways off, others do come out of nowhere. Really great addition to the series and I'm very excited for the next one, Heartless out July 2011.