*This title will be released on December 26, 2012*
The second book in Karina Cooper’s stunning steampunk series featuring fearless heroine Cherry St. Croix, in which she is faced with two men after her heart—and one killer out for her blood.
In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary . . .
Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family’s legacy.
Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie—to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt—to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.
GILDED is set in a wonderfully detailed world filled with an assortment of steampunk gadgets and high society politics. There are happily no lengthy recaps from TARNISHED, which allowed for the action packed GILDED to take off from page one. Cherry has so much on her hands in this book including trying to find the mysterious Ripper and the traces of an alchemical formula, along with working on a murder mystery for her patroness, Lady Rutledge.
Murder, mayhem, and alchemical formulas aside, Cherry also has to contend with the societal pressures to marry. Traversing through Society seems to be just as dangerous for Cherry as her journey to the Midnight Menagerie and the seedier parts of London. I was more nervous for Cherry when she was forced to deal with some very nasty women at parties than when she was chasing a murderer down an alley.
Steampunk and Jack the Ripper may not be every one’s cup of tea, but Karina Cooper’s St. Croix Chronicles is capable of winning over even the most reluctant reader. TARNISHED set an excellent stage, but it’s in GILDED that Cherry’s world starts to truly rip apart at the seams. Consider me first in line for the third installment in The St. Croix Chronicles.
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