Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Author Nancy Campbell Allen does some really great world-building in Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. This book has romance, mystery, gaslamp, and paranormal elements—something to make all readers happy!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beauty and the BeastTitle:  Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Author:  Nancy Campbell Allen
Series: A Steampunk Proper Romance
Publish Date:  August 2, 2016
Genre:  Paranormal Romance/Gaslamp
Source: From the publisher at BEA 16

Publisher’s Description: 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?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: I spent a fair amount of time at the Shadow Mountain booth at BEA16. They have some really great books in their current catalog and coming out yet this year! They currently have a brand of book called “A Proper Romance.”

“This new brand of “proper” romance allows readers to enjoy romance at its very best—and at its cleanest—portraying everything they love about a passionate, romantic novel, without busting corsets or bed scenes.” —from the Shadow Mountain website.

With Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, they are launching a new branch of this brand, “A Steampunk Proper Romance,” which, if I remember correctly, will be romantic steampunk stories with a classic fairy tale influence (author or publisher–please feel free to correct me in the comments!).

I like steampunk, I like fairy tale retellings, and I also like the idea of a “clean” romance, so I decided to give it a try.

What kept me reading: Ms. Allen does a great job of world-building in Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. Her Victorian England feels both historical and modern at the same time: there are airship flights available at all hours; solders suffer from PTSD and other forms of trauma; Tesla’s work has provided electric light and instant communication one can carry in a pocket or reticule; and some women are allowed to hold jobs and be independent, though it’s not common. The fact that there are ghosts, vampires, and werewolves just adds spice to the mix.

Though the de rigueur elements of a courtship, romantic angst, a proclamation of love, and a HEA are present, the story is also a double murder mystery. The mystery element really sucked me into the story along with the world-building.

badge4v4Why I recommend it: Though I’m not typically a fan of romances in general, I really enjoyed Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. The characters and the world were well-written and felt real, the plot was compelling, and I found myself rooting for the two suitors. And I really did appreciate that, while there were some tender romantic scenes, I didn’t have to play the voyeur. 😉

Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

This is a combination of a young Miss Marple and a werewolf Jason Bourne playing a vintage game of Clue.  The story was an fun trip into a supernatural regency romance with clockworks and airships as well as mystery and suspense.  There was no cliffhanger, it is a standalone, there is no sex, and there is a little tiny bit of gruesome death plus a ghost.

badge4v4I liked the characters.  The mystery wasn’t hard to figure out but that isn’t the point of the book.  It was the combination of all those things I listed above.  The story kept me interested because of the unconventional female protagonist.  She is singular because she is a scientist, researcher and a lady who is not hidden away in a lab, but respected by her peers…in regency time.  It was refreshing and enjoyable.

I had fun with this book. It kept me turning pages and engaged.  I would read this author again.

If you like this book…

…you might try Crown and Key series by Clay and Susan Griffith

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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About Invested Ivana

I'm currently a freelance line editor, a book blogger at One Book Two, and lifetime reader. I like geeky things. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Red Adept Editing or any of my clients, the other reviewers on this site, or this site as a whole.

Posted on August 1, 2016, in 4-Good, Historical Fantasy/Gaslamp, Invested Ivana, Nervous Nellie, Paranormal Romance, Review, Romance and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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