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Her Sky Cowboy: The Glorious Victorious…
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Her Sky Cowboy: The Glorious Victorious Darcys (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Beth Ciotta

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553214,390 (3.5)2
Member:dk_phoenix
Title:Her Sky Cowboy: The Glorious Victorious Darcys
Authors:Beth Ciotta
Info:Signet (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012
Rating:***
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Her Sky Cowboy: The Glorious Victorious Darcys by Beth Ciotta (2012)

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Steampunk can be a tricky business, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm persnickety about what I like. For the most part, I seem to gravitate to darker versions of the genre, Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas or Lilith Saintcrow’s Bannon & Clare. Gail Carringer’s Parasol Protectorate series is the only one of the lighter, more overtly comical series that I made it through (and that can be contributed to how often I laughed out loud).

HER SKY COWBOY has glimmers of goodness, and I made it about 100 pages in before giving up. I like Amelia once she was on board with Tuck and his crew. I was a little disappointed that the only overt manifestation of her mechanical skill was whacking things with a wrench, but I presume she’s get a chance to dazzle later on in the book. The supporting characters were interesting, if not particularly deep. And underneath the flowery period jargon, both Amelia and Tuck seemed like they’d develop into real, relateable characters.

My sticking point with HER SKY COWBOY was the world building. Freaks and Flatliners and Peace Rebels, Ciotta took an interesting concept and just about rammed it down my throat. I was already struggling to adjust to the Victorian-flavored dialog, having to comb through dense paragraphs of politics and factions brought the narrative grinding to a halt. Rather than absorbing the world organically, I felt like I was cramming for a test that was coming too soon (every time Ciotta changed to the villain’s POV, I felt like I was scrambling to apply all that I had learned so I could give a damn about his plots).

Too much too soon, HER SKY COWBOY never got off the ground for me.
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
4.5 stars

Review to come soon ( )
  Irishcontessa | Mar 30, 2013 |
Despite the terrible title, this wasn't half bad! The cover was what drew me at first -- show me steampunk and SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY -- and the description decent enough, so despite constant teasing from El Husbando over the title, it was worth the read. The premise is that the daughter of an eccentric inventor heads out on a quest to restore her family's fortune and reputation after her father dies, secretly joining a competition to find an invention of historical importance for the Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.

I should mention that this is paranormal romance, so expect some sex scenes (not too many, and they're not too involved, considering the time period the book is set in). Thankfully the story took center stage over the sexual relationship, which I appreciated, and the character development is surprisingly thorough for the genre. While on the one hand, the relationship development happens quickly, the circumstances surrounding Amelia's decision to get involved with someone make sense, consider the trauma she has just gone through.

As for the steampunk aspect, it was certainly relied on throughout the novel, and didn't just become a prop of insignificance (as it tends to do in some bandwagon-jumping steampunk novels). I thought the author's reasoning for technology in Victorian England made sense, added an extra layer of intriguing, and was a little different than how I'd seen it introduced before.

Unfortunately, because this is paranormal romance, it means we won't be following these same characters in the next book, but moving on to someone else in Amelia's family. I do hope we get back to her eventually, but regardless, I do think I'll continue reading these so long as the plot & tech continues to play a pivotal role in the storytelling. ( )
  dk_phoenix | Dec 9, 2012 |
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To my husband, Steve, the inspiration for all my heroes, and the love of my life. Thank you for building this world with me and for inspiring a flying horse with heart!
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"Amelia Darcy has no interest in marrying well. Her heart belongs to the sky and the dirigibles of brass and steel that swoop over Victorian England. But when her father, an eccentric inventor, dies, the Darcy siblings are left with scrap metal; and not a penny to their names. Their only hope to save the family reputation and fortune is to embark on a quest to discover an invention of historical importance in honor of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Armed with only her father's stories of a forgotten da Vinci workshop, a mechanically enhanced falcon, and an Italian cook, Amelia takes flight for Florence, Italy. But her quest is altered when her kitecycle crashes into the airship of ex-Air Marshal--and scandalous dime novel hero--Tucker Gentry. Tuck agrees to escort Amelia to her destination, but the two are challenged by political unrest, a devious sky pirate, and their own sizzling attraction. Soon the pair is dragged into an international conspiracy that could change the course of history--again."-- P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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