Leanna Renee Hieber has created a fantastic and spellbinding adventure in THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE MISS PERCY PARKER. Her writing is positively captivating. She creates a lovely and believable glimpse into a genteel Victorian-era London plagued by ghosts.
The foggy streets of London are lit by gas lamps and the hope of the The Guard to find the missing piece of their group, Prophecy. Ghosts have always haunted the living, but in this world, they can be deadly. It is the responsibility of The Guard to turn these ghosts away, and make the city safe for those who cannot see the dangers of the specters.
When they were children, it was prophesized that another would join The Guard later, and she would be the one to complete their circle of power. Professor Alexi Rychman, the leader of The Guard, feels he will know who it is somehow, some way, but also knows that there will be traps and pitfalls along the way. When two extraordinary women—Miss Persephone Parker and Miss Lucille Linden—both become potential candidates for the part of Prophecy, The Guard must discover which of these ladies is truly the missing piece of their group, or risk the end of the world as we know it.
This is a truly lovely paranormal romance. Percy Parker bears resemblance to a ghost in that her skin is ashen pale, her hair snow white, and her eyes a strangely luminous blue. During this era, it was not uncommon for an outsider to be abhorred for looking or acting differently than society expected, and that is made quite clear in how Percy constantly covers herself up. Alexi is the first person who has ever demanded that she not cover up before him—and she adores him for that (amongst other things). Their growing admiration of and desire for each other is a joy to watch unfold.
This book is not about Boobs and Explosions™ so don’t go into it expecting it to be full of that type of action. Instead what you see are subtle power struggles, unrequited love, and a delicate, magical touch at world building that will leave you dreaming of a chance at finding your own Alexi someday. To be sure, there is drama and intrigue, magic and action, but it is not done with the flamboyantly heavy hand of most paranormal novels.
Overall, this book was beautifully done, and I’m very much looking forward to reading the next in the series!