I received this book for free from Shadow Mountain in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Beauty and the Clockwork Beastby Nancy Campbell Allen
Published by Shadow Mountain on August 2, 2016
Source: Shadow Mountain
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When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border.
Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Could Miles himself be to blame for the deaths?
Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?
There is so much packed into this book. Steampunk, Victorian Era romance, paranormal elements, and plot twists on past storylines pulled from Beauty and the Beast and Jane Austen. About 2/3 of the way through the book I was hooked on main character Miles, earl of Blackwell Manor and his house guest, Lucy. Ms. Picket is trying to solve the mystery of her cousins mysterious illness and in the process meets with ghosts, vampires and automatons. I loved the botanical descriptions and use of old apothecary methods to heal with plants.
The plot took a while to get into. The reader may get lost in the world building if they’ve never read steampunk. Tesla was overused a bit. The only other hitch for me was convincing myself that Lucy was not a spinster, but rather a young woman of marrying age. For some reason, there was a lack of the physical and emotional elements that fleshed out her young personality. She was head strong and accomplished, but when the romance picked up I still saw her as 40’s or 50’s in age.
I did enjoy this one. Lots of suspense, mystery and rich descriptions. It was a truly one of a kind combination of well-loved tales.
Content: drinking, kissing and sensuality.