Reviews

Review: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Review

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #4)
Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance, Historical
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Synopsis
A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?

What I thought
Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.  All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

Quick note:  This book can be read as a standalone; however, I highly suggest that you read these books in order.  You will not be lost by any means, but they build on each other just enough that you get so much more out of them in order. And…well…spoilers.

Hands down this is my favorite book in this series.  I now want to go back and re-read the first three books and then read this one again. This is a Steampunk, Proper Romance, Retelling of Cinderella.  Oh, and it’s a hate to love romance, my absolute favorite thing to read.  Once I started reading this book I did not want to put it down.

In this story, we focus on Emme and Oliver.  We get to see how they have interacted in the last 2 years, mostly through conversations and memories. There is a fine line between hate and love both are very strong emotions which they are discovering. There was just something about the way that Emme and Oliver integrated with each other that I loved.  I love how all of the people you have met so far seem to all come together in this book. I had all the feels while reading this book and it made me feel so much better in general.

My only concern is that I think because so much came together in this book that it may be the last one.  I really hope that is not the case.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #4)
Genre: Proper Romance, Steampunk, Fantasy
Expected Publication: October 6, 2020
Add to Goodreads

A steampunk retelling of Cinderella.

Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.

But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.

As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.

Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?

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Reviews

Review: The Lady in the Coppergate Tower by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Review

The Lady in the Coppergate Tower
by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #3)
Fantasy, Steampunk, Retelling
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Synopsis
Hazel Hughes has spent her life believing she is a Medium—someone who can talk to ghosts. But as of yet, that skill has remained frustratingly elusive. She is also suffering from a reoccurring childhood dream of someone who looks almost exactly like Hazel, but this dream version of herself is slowly going mad.

Sam MacInnes is a talented surgeon who runs in the highest social circles thanks to his family’s position and history. When Sam hires Hazel to assist him with his medical practice, he is immediately drawn to her intelligence, wit, and beauty.

Their potential relationship is derailed one evening when a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the truth about her past: she was abducted at birth and her twin sister has fallen dangerously ill.

Hazel agrees to travel to Romania with Count Petrescu in order to save her sister, and Sam insists on accompanying her. The count has secrets, though, and the journey grows more sinister with every mile that draws Hazel closer to her homeland. Even as her feelings for Sam become deeper and more complicated, she fears she might not survive the quest to save her sister with her heart intact, not to mention her life. She must learn to draw on gifts she doesn’t know she has if they are going to ever return home again.

Hazel and Sam must fight their way past dark magic, clockwork beasts, and their own insecurities as they try to reach her sister in the impenetrable Coppergate Tower before time runs out.

What I thought
This story is a Steampunk Rapunzel retelling. This is also a proper romance novel. I love Nancy Campbell Allen’s Proper Romance Steampunk Fairy Tale retellings. Even though this is the third part to this series these books can be read as stand-alones.

I really enjoyed watching Hazel and Sam together. Hazel believes her gift is being a Medium however she finds that she is a healer. Since Hazel works for Sam he knew that the balance of power was his so he was so very careful to not cross lines. My absolute favorite character from this book had to be Eugene. When things got tense you could count on him being the balance. He made me laugh so many times.

I guessed Count Petrescu’s big secret shortly after meeting him but there were sometimes when I doubted what I thought I knew. Even knowing what/who he was did not take away from this story for me. I was left guessing what I thought I knew enough times to keep me on my toes.

If you like a good character driven story than this is a great one for you.

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Review

Kiss of the Spindle
Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance #2)
Steampunk, Proper Romance, Retelling
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Synopsis
A steampunk Sleeping Beauty story from the author of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast.

Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date—after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.

In a desperate attempt to find Malette—the witch who cursed her—Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett’s private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she’s traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.

Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is a steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla’s death-like sleep becomes permanent.

What I thought
I have had this audiobook on my Hoopla list for a few months now and I am so glad I finally decided to give it a listen. You can read these books as stand alones or you can read them in order. They all take place in the same steampunk world that the author has created. Its steampunk with a mix of paranormal and I am living for it. A year ago I would have told you that I do not read any romance books and I would have been kinda right. I picked up books from Gail Carriger and that changed everything her books lead me on to these and I am so happy about that. I enjoy a good proper romance more than I would have originally thought I would. In this book, you get more of the build-up for the romance and it was very sweet. I know that this book seems like it’s fast but they are riding in an airship for the majority of it and the trip took weeks. You really don’t get a time frame until they talk about getting a faster ship later and saying it would still take weeks.

The cast of characters for this story was wonderful. I grew to like some of the side characters as much as the main characters. How they come together to support Isla felt organic for the group we had. For me, this just added another layer to the story. Isla had relied only on herself for so long and now she has a group that is willing to help her share her burden and find a solution just made the story that much better for me.

I can not wait to pick up the next one in this series. I have it currently on my shelf, but being a mood reader it may be a little while before I actually pick it up.

My Rating: /5

4 Stars

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Reviews

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Review

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

(Steampunk Proper Romance #1)
by Nancy Campbell Allen
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Synopsis
Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast. 

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. 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?

What I thought

I first saw this book as a suggestion on book depository but I really weary about it.  It’s not that I thought the idea sounded bad but the complete opposite.  This books takes two things that I absolutely love and combined them into one book.  Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite fairy tale since I was little and then the idea of adding steampunk elements I got so excited. So I had to take a step back because I just really hyped this book up and I realized that there was a bigger chance that I was going to be disappointed than not. So instead of buying the book I decided to check with my local library surprisingly they only had the audio version. So I added it to my wish list and waited about a month and went into this with really low expectations. A recent reading of a pride and prejudice retelling kind of solidified the thought of how much I may not like it.

I am very happy to say that I was surprised by how much I liked it.  I loved the characters and thought that Miles made a wonderful Beast.  He was not cruel, but had a good heart and that made me love the story that much more. I really loved the mystery element of this story.  This retelling has paranormal and steampunk elements and I felt that they were done very well. I loved how independent that Lucy is and how not once did have to rely on a man to save her, even though with this time period women are not seen as they can take care of themselves.   I love books that have strong women in them.

I would suggest this book to anyone that loves Beauty and the Beast and Steampunk.

My Rating: /5

4 Stars

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