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Defy or Defend

(Delightfully Deadly #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,478 ratings  ·  276 reviews
A vampire hive descending into madness. A beautiful spy with a sparkly plan. The bodyguard who must keep them from killing each other.

New York Times bestselling romantic comedy author Gail Carriger brings you a charming story of love, espionage, and Gothic makeovers set in her popular Parasolverse.


Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, code name Honey Bee, is the War Office's best
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published May 3rd 2020 by GAIL CARRIGER LLC
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  1,478 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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This is such a frothy and delicious concoction of a book! It's Cold Comfort Farm with vampires and werewolves, along with the sweetest of all Finishing School graduates sorting them all out into their proper order with the help of a hopelessly besotted fellow spy. It was so much fun to read throughout, and I'm SO glad I did. The perfect comfort/escape read! "Delightful" is exactly the word for it. :)

(Quick note: there is just one content warning I think I ought to mention. There is a lovely sub
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful story! I couldn’t stop reading after I started!
Lisa Wolf
Hurray for Gail Carriger, the almighty parasol, and the ongoing legacy of the Finishing School!

In the Finishing School books (which are AMAZING and which you need to read RIGHT NOW), we meet a group of school girls who are trained in the fine arts of flirtation, social niceties, and assassination (among other important skills).

The author treated us to the 2016 novella Poison or Protect, the first in what I hope will be a long continuing series (Delightfully Deadly). Poison or Protect was all abo
Shelley Adina
This book was such a delight. Watching Dimity at work, cheerfully setting the [un]dead to rights and bringing, er, life back to dark and dangerous places kept the pages turning--especially with a worse kind of death overshadowing all. The romance between Dimity and her knight was charming, the secondary characters well drawn and engaging. Only Miss Gail can make redecorating Delightfully Deadly!
It sparkled! New characters and old friends. Dimity was her charming self. Ending and Epilogue gave me all the feels.
My May Fictional Hangover Book Club Challenge - Shaken not Stirred: New Take on an Old Story. I've never read Cold Comfort Farm, must remedy that.
💚💚💚💚💚 - First Impressions

On 2nd reading - A sign of Brilliant Writing - you turn right around, reread, and love it even though you just read and know what happens.

Also" As Justice would have it, we should all be so lucky as to go waft
Trigger warnings: manipulation?? Mentions of blood, death of a sibling (in the past), mentions of suicide (in the past).

This was utterly delightful from start to finish. Dimity was always a fantastic character in the Finishing School series, so it's great to see her as an adult and an intelligencer yet still the same in so many ways.

This had so many things I loved:
- Mutual pining
- Fake married
- There's only one bed oh no
- Vampire makeovers
- Puppy!
- Male ballet dancer who's also a posh gentlem
The Lit Bitch
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If there is one author that I have always had good luck reading—-it’s Gail Carriger. I discovered her Parasol Protectorate series years ago and fell head over heels in love with it.

Since then I have read may of her other spin off novels and series most set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate series. I adore her spunky and sassy characters that make up her world but I also love that many of her characters are LGBTQ, while others are not.

She isn’t afraid to write bold characters and does
Nicole Vann
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So, if I had any complaint about The Finishing School series, it was that there wasn't enough kissing. I was always anticipating something steamy and the steam went undelivered (but for the actual steam, due to genre). That said, each of the Delightfully Deadly novellas has followed through where the Finishing School left me aching for something more. It's so satisfying to see how the girls have grown into women and where their specialties have taken them.

I think of all the students with whom w
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dimity's story!!! This is absolutely delightful. If you're a fan of Ms. Carriger's Finishing School series this is not to be missed. And if you haven't read the Finishing School series, start with Etiquette and Espionage (book #1), read the rest of the series, and then read this. This is an A for me, so five stars here. ...more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Series Info/Source: This is the second book in the Delightfully Deadly series. I bought this for Kindle.

Story (4/5): Dimity, code name Honey Bee, has been assigned to enter a vampire Hive that is going goth. She must fix this horrible situation or a Sundowner will be assigned to eliminate the Hive. Sir Crispin has been assigned as her safety, a position he both hates and loves. This is a fun steampunk romp with a lot of humor and some light-hearted romance. This book was not as steamy as the pre
Wiebke (1book1review)
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun quick read with so many interesting ideas and good handling of insecurities and power dynamics in relationships.
Also, even though is the second companion novel to the Finishing School series this can be read as stand alone without spoiling anything in the series or any other series of hers.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wondrous brain candy!
Light and fluffy enough for ... not a beach getaway evening on a lake. Yes.
For Finishing School fans, this is an peak at Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott with a guest appearance by Pullover. We also get cameos from Lords Akeldama and Lord Maccon (different scenes).
Not sure what I can write that would do this justice, but I have been convinced to try Cold Comfort Farm (which until this book I did not realize was first a book before the film).
T. M. Kuta
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a goddamn delight and exactly what I needed in this time of COVID-19 hell. So good I read it twice, because it made me happy. Fluffy, witty, and funny, Defy or Defend transported to Nottingham for a delightful romp around a moody vampire hive with Dimity and Cris. There are a few old faces for those familiar with the Parasolverse, but nothing non-series readers wouldn't understand. There are plenty of new characters, too, which worm their way into your hearts. I already have a new f ...more
Tansy Roberts
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun, fluffy and utterly enjoyable story that melds espionage with home renovations and saucy romance!
Catherine Stein
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was perfect Dimity. Enjoyable from start to finish with lots of laugh-out-loud moments.
Carolyn F.
I loved this book. It was cheerful, funny and so non-judgmental of people's preferences. I would recommend this book/series. ...more
Connie (hoot reads books)
I received an earc in exchange for a review. Will post review soon.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A charming spinoff from her (YA) Finishing School series. This one features Dimity, Sophronia's best friend. Loved the premise and the sweet relationship she has with her protector. He was a true gentleman in behavior and demeanor. I know I can count on a satisfying read when I pick up one of Ms Carriger's books. ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dimity's back! Delightful story! ...more
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
What a fitting tale for Dimity!! Quite a lovely foray back into the Parasolverse!
Ann Brookens
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I adored Dimity in the Finishing School series and here we see her, all grown up and plying her intelligencer skills! It is a delight to see her busily redecorating a rundown hive house and managing all the vampires within with consummate ease. And I love that in the epilogue, we discover how Dimity finally overcomes her fainting over the sight of blood. A perfectly lovely book; one I know I shall reread repeatedly!
Lee (Rally the Readers)
Also posted on Rally the Readers.

*A copy was provided by the author for review.

Sometimes you read a book at EXACTLY the right moment, and that was 100% the case with Gail Carriger’s Defy or Defend. This short novel is the second installment in her Delightfully Deadly series, which is set in the paranormal/Victorian steampunk world of Carriger’s Parasolverse works and follows the characters from the YA Finishing School series as adults. During this time of real world uncertainty, Defy or Defend w
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Anyone who knows me knows I am not a romance fan. Truly, I am not. Except for Carriger. And Forster, but that’s a different book. Anyway, in spite of myself, I love Carriger’s romances. This book was the perfect mix of steampunk, Secret Service, infiltration, fashion, the supernatural, paranormal, and romance. I’ve read that Diana Gabaldon wrote the Outlander series to defy genres. I could believe the same of Carriger.

This is the second book in which Crispin and Dimity, The Honey Bee, star, and
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This was a book of fluffy goodness with Carriger's trademark whimsical writing style. I think I say that in ALL my reviews of her books lol but this was true x's 100.

Dimity and Crispin have a bit of antagonistic relationship but when assigned to a job of investigating a hive of vampires gone goth, you see that the spy aka: the Honey Bee and her protector - Crispin, are wildly attracted to each other but awkward in how to express it.

They infiltrate the hive by going undercover as a marri
Emma Rose Ribbons
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dimity, fresh from Finishing School, is assigned the rather tricky task of coaxing a vampire queen back to life - sort of. Her mission proves infinitely more interesting when the dashing Sir Crispin is sent to look after her. Dimity doesn't need a bodyguard, but what's a girl to do when this muscled ballet dancer conveniently offers her his protection in the form of a fake marriage? After all, even spies can do with bedroom lessons from time to time.

Well well well. All I ever want and expect fro
Stephen Dole
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Similar to Gail Carriger’s other books, this is a charming, light-hearted romantic romp set in a steampunk Victorian era complete with vampires and werewolves. I particularly enjoyed this latest addition to the series. Dimity is a genuine delight and her approach to resolving the issue she is faced with in this novel is unique and delightful. Her counterpart, Cris, is great fun and I really enjoyed him. As a dancer, I always love the incorporation of ballet into a fantasy world and this was grea ...more
Julia Sarene
This book starts with a rather cute content warning, so I was already expecting it to be different to the main series it is a spin off for. I utterly loved the Finishing School series, so I definitely needed to read this, even if it was a different tone.

And while I definitely could have done with less sex and romance, it was at least done in the typical Carriger way of being fun and entertaining, and not the cringeworthy way it is so often done, so while it didn't add to the story for me, it als
Gail Carriger's Parasolverse is always a win!

I missed Dimity so I'm super glad to get a story for her. Wasn't disappointed. Felt the pacing was a little slow at points but I loved Dimity and Crispin's chemistry.

(view spoiler)

Makes me want to reread them now.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm reading books that are set after a series again. I should have read the "Finishing School" series first, because I'm sure things would make more sense. However, I did recognize some immortal characters who popped up in this book. I skimmed through Poison or Protect, the first Delightfully Deadly book. I got Defy and Defend in e-book format through the local library.

At first I thought Sir Crispin -- "Cris" -- was kind of a jerk, but he grew on me. I especially liked the way he interacted with
Pleasant. Light and a bit silly. A vampire nest is rescued from despair by redecorating. Kind of sweet. My biggest issue with these side books is the characters just didn't stay in my head. So they don't add the extra oomph they would add in a stronger series. But an enjoyable easy read with essentially no blood. 3.5 of 5. ...more
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Gail Carriger writes comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance (and the sexy San Andreas Shifter series as G L Carriger). Her books include the Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School series. She is published in many languages and has over a dozen NYT bestsellers. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea. Join the Chirrup for sneak peaks of upcoming gigg ...more

Other books in the series

Delightfully Deadly (2 books)
  • Poison or Protect (Delightfully Deadly, #1)

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