I have to admit that book 18(? 19? <--19 if you include the fanbook...) had a lot more happening in it than I expected, dealt with something that I've been wondering about for awhile, and for all that the main couple's now married and all, it's still lots of fun and maintains much of its charm (at least it does so far). I'd only read non-spoilery comments on the book before reading it myself, and I agree, it's a lot more serious than I'd expected, too. But at the same time, it was a lot funnier and sillier too. (Hmm... what was I expecting then...?) ^^;; Ah, Edgar, you and your silly comments sometimes! Raven! Raven, Raven, Raven... ^o^ And poor, poor Kelly. I *loved* watching what the poor girl was going through in this book. She'd accepted becoming Lydia's lady's maid and come all the way from the Hebrides only to be whisked away to France as Lydia and Edgar went on their honeymoon. So hearing how she was coping not only with Edgar and Lydia (which seemed to be the less difficult part of her job), but also learning to cope with the weirdness that is part of their everyday life, and trying to interact with Raven... ^^;
Very early on, Lydia finds a porno photo under one of the tables in the Paris hotel. She confronts Edgar about it when he enters the room, but Edgar just smiles and tells Lydia that her legs are much nicer. More to the point, he denies having bought it, and suggests it might be Raven's, so they should pretend they never saw it.
When Raven comes in, however, Edgar immediately asks him if it's his. Raven starts to deny it, but looking at the photo and seeing Lydia's expression, he stops. He then admits it's his. However, since Raven is lousy at lying, it's immediately obvious to Lydia that he's not telling the truth. Edgar then suggests that it might be Nico's.
"My lady." Kelly hurried down the stairs. "You shouldn't go out on your own."
"It's okay, Kelly. I won't leave the hotel."
"Please, let me accompany you. Otherwise, I'll probably end up being sent on an errand with Raven."
Lydia couldn't help laughing at Kelly's troubled look.
"You still haven't gotten used to Raven?"
"Ten minutes in the carriage is the most I can withstand. Our conversations don't quite make sense, and he doesn't react much when we talk. And when I talk on my own, because being quiet seems rather awkward, he says things like 'what is the purpose of this conversation' and glares at me!"
Kelly sighed, but Lydia couldn't help thinking that Raven was many times more confused than she. Because even though he didn't respond and even though he glared at her, Kelly was the sort of girl who would still try her best to talk to him and to try and lighten things up.
Kelly's eating with Nico when Raven comes in and sits next to Nico. Nico tells Raven that he'd thought that things between Edgar and Lydia would settle down now that they were married, but things were in fact getting more precarious. Raven agrees, but admits that the stress wasn't all bad. Kelly can't help noticing that Raven's expression when he's with Nico is a lot softer.
"Umm, you're quite close with Mr. Nico, aren't you, Mr. Raven?" Kelly said.
Raven looked at her in surprise.
"Miss Kelly, when did you come here?"
"Miss Kelly, do you look young for your age?"
Kelly's eyes widened at Raven's sudden question.
"Eh, why do you ask?"
"I was thinking perhaps you were really 30."
"By that...... do you mean I sound old for my age?"
"Mr. Nico mentioned that Mrs. Lydia seemed interested in galettes."
Edgar pounced on Raven's suggestion.
"That's it. We'll go to an unpretentious cafe and partake of Bretagne's cuisine. That's not bad, right? Kelly."
"Understood. I'll speak to her."
Kelly curtsied and left for Lydia's dressing room.
If she agreed to go out, most likely he'd be able to do something to bring her around. Edgar breathed a sigh of relief.
"My lord, are galettes a dish?" Raven cocked his head.
"Eh? They're not?"
"I heard that Mrs. Lydia wanted to see them fly through the air."
'......Most likely that's Lydia's misunderstanding.' Edgar wanted to think that. 'But she might be confused when she sees the dish and say "that's not it."'
"By the way, I haven't seen Raven for awhile."
"Ahh, I'm having him search for flying galettes," Edgar said calmly.
Lydia frowned. "They fly?"
"You said you wanted to see that, didn't you? --Flying galettes. Nico said so. If it's possible, I want to give you whatever you want."
"......That... I thought it strange when the fae were talking about flying galettes, but when I asked the hotel staff about it, they told me it's a dish. That Nico...... I was just nodding to the fairies' strange conversation!"
"Really? So Nico misunderstood, then. I thought it strange for galettes to fly, too."
Edgar laughed unconcerned. But since he'd ordered it, no doubt Raven was desperately searching for galettes that flew through the air.
"Hey, you should call Raven back."
"I don't know where he is."
"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be able to see flying galettes soon."
FWIW, this story takes place 2 weeks after the previous book. The SS in May's Cobalt is 4 days after the wedding, and reading this part in order (even though the SS is really, really short), IMO is better overall. It's really sweet to watch the characters' relationship developing here. ^o^
Oh, and I do have some Dreamwidth invites if anyone wants one. Just give me a shout. ^_^