Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast (Steampunk Proper Romance #1) by Nancy Campbell Allen

August 22, 2016 Review 0

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast (Steampunk Proper Romance #1) by Nancy Campbell AllenBeauty and the Clockwork by Nancy Campbell Allen
Series: Steampunk Proper Romance #1
Published by Shadow Mountain on August 2, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal Romance, Romantic, Steampunk
Format: Paperback
Pages: 318
Source: NetGalley
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kate
3 Stars

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?

Anybody who has read this blog for any amount of time knows how much I am in love with fairy tale retellings. And my favorite are always Beauty and the Beast. So when BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST showed up on Netgalley, I knew I had to read it! While I had some issues with the beginning of BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST, it did manage to improve, and by the end of the book I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I had a really hard time getting started with BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST. Some of the language felt awkward and stilted, and the world-building felt sparse. The two main characters didn't have much page time together to begin with, which is generally not what I expect in a romance novel. Plus, there were multiple mysteries that, at the time, seemed wholly unconnected. If I had one complaint that lasted the whole book, it would be that there seemed to be just too many plot threads. I understand that some were likely put in to throw the reader off the scent of the real culprit, but sometimes it just felt like there was too much going on.

Luckily, I persevered, and started getting to the good parts. Though BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST is light on the physical intimacy between Lucy and Miles, it does a good job of getting them into situations where they become intimate emotionally. Miles is plenty beastly, and Lucy is a wonderfully headstrong, two equals going against each other, each sure they know what's best. The gradual realization of mutual attraction was sweet, and the conclusion satisfying. The secondary characters were well fleshed out and interesting, and I can't wait to see who the next book in the series will be about!

Overall, the mystery plot was interesting and I felt like it added some to the story, but it also at times felt unnecessary. It offered lots of opportunities for Lucy and Miles to be thrown together, but there are plenty of romances without a mystery. However, the whole story was well paced, and once the action got going, I didn't want to put the book down. I seemed to breeze through the second half, finishing it in one sitting.

Honestly, the reason for my only giving BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST three stars is the fact that I almost gave up on it at the beginning. But, if you can get past what I felt was a clunky opening to the book, then there is plenty to reward a reader. It is a quick and fun read, with ghosts and vampires, and lots of steampunk-y goodness!

Series Titles:
  1. Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
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