I’m a sucker for a fairy tale, and Nancy Campbell Allen has started her Steampunk Proper Romance with one of the best ones. Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, please read on for my audiobook review of
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Take one fairy tale, play up the romance, add a dash of mystery and bring in the novelty of steampunk elements all while playing with the Victorian era theme and you get this. Yes, there were more than a few moments of overly-flowery prose and passages that felt more tortured than romantic, but the concepts and the characters were amazing.
Lucy Pickett is wonderful: she arrives to help an ailing relation and finds herself in the midst of a mystery with werewolves over the border, a ghost in the house and a very cranky (and wholly inhospitable) Lord of the manor.
Miles has more than a handful of secrets and questions: grief at the deaths of his wife and sister, tales of werewolves and vampires and, of course, the ghost. He’s more concerned with providing himself with a quiet and remote life – where he can live in peace.
The chemistry between these two fairly sparks from the page, as they come to some tentative agreements in their investigations. Lucy is beautiful inside and out, and it is her being and intelligence that convince Miles to work with her, start to trust her, and his feelings develop from there.
I’ll be honest and say that often I found the writing in need of some serious editing – it wasn’t so much what the sentences were saying, but the way in which it was said: flowery, over-emphatic and often repetitive. But- the mystery was glorious, and Lucy and Miles do develop and grow as the story progresses. Steampunk elements are mixed throughout to wonderful effect, the mixing of new ideas, thoughts and imagery was both intriguing and imaginative. For those reasons alone, I’m curious about the next in the series. Not perfect by any matter, the story will excite readers wanting something new and unique to read over a few days.
Narration for this title was provided by Saskia Maarleveld, and her narration managed to enhance the story flow: characters were unique and distinct, her presentation and enunciation were clear and there were no blatant hesitations to take listeners from the flow. Pauses for effect were clearly presented, tone and pacing varied from “interior” to “conversation’” to “suspenseful” moments without misstep. The first I’ve listened to from this narrator, I’m sure to be returning for more of her work.
Stars: Overall : 4 Narration: 4 Story: 3
Title: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Series: Steampunk Proper Romance #1
Genre: Fairy Tale Remix, Ghosts, Gothic, Historic Elements, Mystery Elements, Paranormal, Science Fiction / Steampunk, Victorian
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Published by: Self-Produced, Self-Published
Published on: 2 August, 2016
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 30 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
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?
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.