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Steam & Sorcery

by Cindy Spencer Pape

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21221102,465 (3.71)4
Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magic and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.… (more)
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Originally posted at Once Upon a Chapter


Sir Merrick Hadrian is a member of the Order of Knights. It is a secret society of descendants from the original Knights and King Arthur. Men can only join if they are blood related and have the gift. It is usually the oldest male sibling in the family. Merrick takes his responsibilities seriously. He watched his mother grow farther and farther away while his father was on assignment for the Order. The last thing Merrick wants is a wife and children at home to worry about and worry for him.

One night Merrick comes across two vampyres while getting information from an informant. He easily takes care of one but the other is almost upon him when a rough and tumble group of five children come to his rescue. Tom, the oldest at 17, refuses to let Merrick go on his own to the next point of the operation. The children help him take out a party of thugs and more vampyres and then disappear into the night when Scotland Yard shows up. Vampyres never work together and it is enough for Merrick to think about that he doesn't think of the danger the children might be in until a few days later.

The children have a hard time believing their luck when Merrick takes them in. Merrick can hardly believe that in one day he becomes the guardian of five children. His household quickly becomes a zoo. The children who lived on the street before are having a hard time adjusting to their new surroundings. Staff are also having a hard time adjusting to caring for five children.

Caroline Bristol can't remember a time when she wasn't supporting herself. It's been a rough life but she has taken it in stride. Caroline has held many positions as a governess. Unfortunately her employment ends abruptly. It usually coincides with the time that the father in the family can no longer keep her hands off of her. Caroline never invites the attention but can never seem to escape it. She can't believe that she has found another position in another upstanding household very shortly after being dismissed from her previous employer.

Once she meets the children she can't say no. They are truly wonderful. Each one talented in a different way but devoted to each other unconditionally. Caroline accepts the position and tries to ignore Merrick as much as possible. The attraction they feel is impossible to ignore and quickly insinuates itself.

Merrick has been assigned to find a betrayer within the Order. If Merrick can't find out who is leaking information the world as they know it will change forever. Merrick didn't plan on the search bringing harm to his new wards and he will do anything to protect them and Caroline.

My Thoughts:
Oh my! This book was amazing. As it is a Carina Press title it is only available as an ebook. I am VERY glad that I have my Nook. If you have an ereader, heck even if you don't, you can't miss this book! It is a steampunk. For those who may not know it means that it is set in a somewhat alternate historical time period. It is alternate in that there are clockwork machines to ease everyday life and steam is a very valuable power source. I'm sure there's much more to it than that, but that's my basic definition.

There is a lot going on in Steam & Sorcery. The relationship between Merrick and Caroline is an intense one. They both want to ignore it fiercely. Merrick doesn't want the responsibility and Caroline feels like Merrick is above her touch considering she is in service. It is fun to watch them dance around each other. The children are a great addition to the story. They play a large part and I found myself becoming quite attached to them myself.

The mystery was hard to solve. Like I mentioned before, there is a lot going on in this book: betrayal, secret societies, a new adoptive family and a romance. Cindy Spencer Pape does a wonderful job balancing it all. I never felt like one aspect of the book was dominating the entire plotline. If you are in the mood for a read that will sweep you away and into a different world for a little while this is the treat you have been looking for! ( )
  stephaniedloves2read | Aug 8, 2021 |
Steam and Sorcery
By: Cindy Spencer Pape
Narrated by: Helen Stern
This book has a governess hired to teach/care for a handful of street orphans that each have special gifts. The man that hired her was saved by the kids when they helped fight off vampires! He took them in and needed someone to care for them. It's a fun story. Each kid is a special character. Has a happy ending. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Jan 2, 2021 |
A fun read! Very steampunk. ( )
  mirihawk | May 21, 2020 |
This is the first book in the Gaslight Chronicles, there are eight books in this series. This was a sweet and fun read, set in a unique world. I loved that there were a lot of different elements blended together here. You have some Arthurian mythology, vampires, werewolves, sorcery, steampunk elements, and romance. There is also a lot of mystery and some action.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook is very well done. I actually got this through Audible Escapes and was impressed with the narration quality. There have been some complaints that later books in this series are more novellas than full length novels.

I really enjoyed the blend of topics and genres in this story. I thought the book was well written and fun to listen to. I really enjoyed Caro's relationship with the children she is governess to. I thought the interactions between her and Merrick were well done too.

Overall this was just a fun little steampunk romance read. It had engaging characters, a sweet story, an intriguing mystery, and creates a world that’s an interesting blend of different genres. I plan on continuing the series and would definitely recommend if you are into steampunk romance with some unique Arthurian and fantasy elements. ( )
  krau0098 | Oct 1, 2019 |
A fun read, I'll definitely be continuing the series. Romance, adventure, a bit of Arthurian connection, mechanical pets and more. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
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Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magic and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.

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