About the Book:
Title: Ten Thousand Stitches
Author: Olivia Atwater
Series: Regency Fairy Tales #2
Page Length: 288
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Publisher: Orbit books
Synopsis: 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.
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Ten Thousand Stitches is the second book in Olivia Atwater’s Regency Fairy Tales series, and it follows Effie, a housemaid who makes a bargain with a faerie to win the heart of a gentleman she’s in love with. Lord Blackthorn is very willing to help Effie, if, in return, she sews ten thousand stitches onto his favorite jacket. Effie knows she shouldn’t make a bargain with a faerie, but she is desperate, and though Lord Blackthorn’s intentions are true, it seems as if everything that could go wrong does.
It took me a while to get invested in the characters, and at the beginning, I only had a mild interest in their journeys. Effie was interesting, and I liked that she wasn’t the typical historical romance heroine, but she was angry all of the time. Though I understood why, it didn’t make her the most likable protagonist when the story first began. Lord Blackthorn seemed vapid and too charming, and I didn’t love him either, nor did I like Effie’s love interest or his parents. However, as their characters become more fleshed out, I became more interested in their stories, especially Effie’s and Blackthorn’s.
Effie is relatable in many ways, especially in her anger and righteous indignation over the way she and other employees are treated. Effie often feels invisible and unimportant, and her bitterness and anger permeate the story in more ways than one. Lord Blackthorn is a little harder to understand, though his bumbling attempts at helping Effie are charming. He’s a bit of an enigma, and I wondered throughout the story if he was trying to help or hinder because his intentions seemed unclear.
Effie and Blackthorn are so different. He is naïve and eager, and he always seems optimistic. Effie is much more of a realist, and she is not as positive and optimistic. Their contrasting personalities complement each other well, and I like that both Effie and Lord Blackthorn grow and change as they learn more about themselves, their situations, the people around them, and each other.
I also liked the social commentary throughout the book. Fighting for causes you believe in, working together to demand change and fair working conditions, fighting social inequities, and more are woven through this seemingly simple tale. The story also has some major Cinderella vibes, which I enjoyed.
Thanks so much to Orbit Books for gifting me a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The social commentary.
- The character growth.
Men who thought they deserved things were always capable of the worst sorts of violence.
You can grow. You have already grown, in fact. You simply have not noticed it because you are constantly looking at the sky and not back down at your roots.
Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book, Half a Soul.