Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale and though I’m no connoisseur of the steampunk genre, it is one that I’ve enjoyed when I’ve come across it, so when I saw that both were combined it didn’t take much to convince me to give Beauty and the Clockwork Beast a go and though there were some slow stretches, I really liked it. The romance was sweet with a good dose of steampunk and murder mystery that had me questioning who done it until the very end.
On the outside Miles is very much the Beast. He cultivates an exterior of cold indifference with a hint of menace to keep people at bay so that they don’t attempt to look deeper and see just how weighed down he is by the earldom he never truly wanted, the mysterious deaths of his sister and wife, or of the secret that he’s been keeping. But once a crack does form one can see just how protective, caring and even charming the man behind the beast is.
Lucy is very much a woman of the time and more. She knows how to handle herself in any situation and has been well schooled in the social norms and niceties of the era and yet she is also an independant woman who can hold her own in a male dominated world. She is intelligent, quick witted and compassionate and a curiosity that makes it difficult for her to walk away from a mission until it completed to her own satisfaction.
Miles and Lucy’s romance falls firmly along the lines of more sweet than smexy and though nothing more than kissing occurs, there was still a sensual intensity that thrummed throughout their interactions. Though they don’t start off on the right foot, they are soon thrown together as they work to solve not only the mystery of Kate’s ailing health, but Marie and Clare’s death and through this they start to get to know each other and realize that neither is what the other expected. And as the story progresses they find that they are drawn to each other on a much deeper level. I tend to like my romances steamy, but this one worked just as well for me. I loved their interactions and seeing how they got under each others skins until even they couldn’t deny that they were meant to be together.
This was my first book by Ms. Allen and though there were a few parts that dragged a bit for me, I still really enjoyed her writing style and voice. The steampunk aspect was done well and didn’t overpower the story and I liked how the various mysteries kept me guessing and in the end were woven together and resolved. I’m hoping that she will revisit this world, not only because I’d love to get updates on Lucy and Miles (and see if she can make him less of a beast in the eyes of the public) and Kate and Jonathan, but I’m also really interested in Oliver, Daniel, Sam and Hazel’s pasts and what their futures could be.
~ ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
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?