Candace Havens, Lily Lang, Patricia Eimer
Published March 25th 2013 by Entangled: Ever After
ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review
[caption id="attachment_1901" align="alignright" width="150"] https://www.netgalley.com/[/caption]
A riverting affair is an anthology with three Steampunk romance novellas whose authors I have never met/read before. The first good thing is that they could have published this separately, but instead: good guy publisher appears and publishes just one book. You made a redhead very happy!
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
This novella is pretty sweet, mainly because it touches a theme that I love: disfigured men. Rose wants to finish her dad’s experiment: a transporter. In order to do so, she will need the help of Sebastian Cavendish, her dad’s brilliant student. However, after the Civil War, Sebastian is not the man she remembered, especially physically.
Rose is a strong and clever character and the author uses her cleverness to get her closer to Sebastian instead of using her beauty. The author’s writing style works and the structure leaves the reader wanting for more.
The novella is great for those who like steampunk with a little more steam in it.
The world build was not fascinating (due to being just a novella), it shows enough to entertain and please the reader with some gadgets (for example Sebastian’s clockwork cleaners).
Rose Verney wants to fulfill her father’s dying request: to complete construction of the teleportation device he designed. Knowing just who can help her succeed, she seeks out Sebastian Cavendish, her father’s brilliant former student.Sebastian hasn’t left his home since he returned from the Civil War. He's a broken man, his prosthetics a reminder of the terrible destruction his inventions brought to the battlefield. He wants nothing to do with Rose and her father's masterpiece, but when she barges into his abandoned lab and begins construction, it’s everything he can do to resist getting involved. Especially when she charms her way into his monstrous heart.
The Clockwork Bride
My favourite. Action, steamy sex scenes and… obviously Steampunk. Aida is an engineer and she is abducted by Julian Chapsaw, an earl who is also an engineer and wants to follow the path of science and escape social conventions.
This novella has a je ne sais quoi du Manon Lescaut, making the reader struggles along with the characters/couple.
During the wedding first phase, the author managed to capture themes like social differences: while Julian manages to find a job, Aida must be contempt with commissioned work in order to survive. However that doesn’t really mean that Aida is left behind as a character actually it is the opposite. This novella suffers from what I call: monsieur in distress, where it’s the female protagonist who aids the male character and not the opposite. The Clockwork bride is eye candy for feminists and Aida becomes in the end a heroine.
When engineer Aida Mulvaney attends a masquerade ball at the home of a staunch Luddite earl with a personal vendetta against her father’s company, she doesn’t expect to end the night married to the earl’s son Julian Capshaw, a brilliant engineer in his own right. The marriage will allow both of them to pursue their love of science, without interfering parents and ridiculous social stigmas. Though they escape to the Continent to start new lives, Julian’s father will have none of his heir’s disobedience. Before long, a marriage begun for the sake of convenience becomes a union of passion, but will it survive the machinations of an earl determined to destroy everything they love?
The weakest novella inmho. Even though the characters have a good outline and the romance takes a while to get it on, i tis the absence of a real ending that lets the reader down.
Meet Maisy Clark, a professor, demon hunter specialist and whose only life goal is to catch the villain named Julian who is fella obsessed with her and her devil experiments.
So for Maisy having another person (meet Jake) wanting to catch Julian is a disaster.
The story had great potential for a novel where her romance with Jake could be further explored as her hate relationship with Julian. However, the ending is too abrupt, leaving the reader to wonder: is it over? Now?
Maybe the author will explore this story and maybe in a novel and if she will, then I will be reading it for sure.
Professor Maisy Clark, professional demon hunter, is on the trail of an evil scientist responsible for the deaths of hundreds. Julian is worse than the monsters he creates, but he's also obsessed with Maisy and willing to kill anyone who gets too close to her. Just when she thinks she has Julian cornered, the sexy marshall Jake Calloway insists the investigation is his, and everything goes to hell. Maisy came to Texas to corner the scientist whose macabre experiments have taken so many lives, and Calloway is just another distraction she doesn’t need. Julian is her responsibility, one she’s not about to share. Even if Calloway can help, Julian will know Maisy is falling for the marshall, and she's not willing to risk his life.
To sum up, “A riveting affair” is a good anthology for those who enjoy erotic/romantic steampunk packed with action, world build and small details that really can make a difference when you’re reading it.