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Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy…

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast (2016)

by Nancy Campbell Allen

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9311204,523 (3.91)6
Like the classic "Beauty and the Beast," this steampunk romance features an unlikely love story.The Lord of Blackwell Manor, Miles, is plagued by a family curse that changes him into a shape-shifting wolf every month during the full moon.Lucy, a smart, attractive, and well-respected botanist, travels to Blackwell Manor to take care of her sick cousin, Kate, who is married to Miles' younger brother. For Lucy, the trip is a welcome respite from her work and recent discovery of a breakthrough serum that could eliminate the scourge of vampires from London. But Lucy finds more than she bargained for when she arrives at the Manor.Miles, who is brash and inhospitable, does not take kindly to visitors. He is still unsettled by the mysterious death of his newlywed wife. And then there's Marie, Miles' sister, who was attacked and murdered just weeks earlier. Miles is horrified to think that he might be to blame for the deaths. And who is the ghost that haunt the halls?Lucy is convinced that the death of Miles's wife and sister--as well as her cousin's mysterious illness--are tied together, but how? Lady Charlesworth has her eye on inheriting Blackwell Manor for her family. Could her daughter, Candice, or her son, Arthur, have had a hand in the mysterious deaths? The clues make a vampire suspect highly likely. During her investigation, Lucy finds herself caring deeply for Miles, but he fights to keep his distance in order to protect Lucy from his family's secret. And, yet, he feels attracted to the woman who is able to look past the fearsome-looking scar that has marred his handsome face. With no other option, Miles and Lucy must work together if they are to find the answer to the mysteries at the manor.But that's not all Lucy wants to solve. There's a deeper mystery behind Miles. Can she solve that too? Ultimately, she must decide if she can love the man--beast and all.… (more)



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Series Info/Source: This is the first book in the Steampunk Proper Romance series. I borrowed this audiobook through Audible Escapes.

Audiobook Quality: I really enjoyed the narration in this audiobook a lot. It’s very well done and I would recommend to those who enjoy audiobooks.

Story (5/5): This was a well balanced blend of a lot of story elements (mystery, action, romance, vampires, ghosts, shapeshifters) that I really enjoyed. It was a very entertaining, light read and I loved that it also included fairy tale retelling elements.

Characters (5/5): The characters are engaging and likable. Lucy is a professional botanist who is smart and witty and I enjoyed her. Miles has some issues he is struggling with but he is also smart, loyal, tough, and practical. The two have excellent chemistry together. I also really enjoyed a lot of the side characters, they have a lot of depth and add a lot to the story.

Setting (4/5): The world is a strange, yet fun, blend of vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and steampunk elements. It is set in an alternate history type of Victorian setting. It sounds like there’s a lot going on here, and there is, but it works really well for this story and I enjoyed it.

Writing Style (4/5): The writing flowed really well and was easy to read. The story was engaging and the dialogue and characters were well done. Very good writing quality throughout.

Summary (4.5/5): Overall I would definitely recommend if you are a fan of fairy tale retellings and/or steampunk romance. I loved this book and just thought it was such a fun read. I plan on continuing with the series, this is definitely one of the better steampunk romance series I have read. ( )
  krau0098 | Dec 23, 2019 |
In this steampunk novel, loosely framed around the Beauty and the Beast narrative, Lucy Pickett travels to Blackwell Manor to visit her cousin, Kate, who has recently married the younger brother of the notorious Earl of Blackwell. The Earl has a beastly reputation but Lucy is determined to stay at the manor to investigate the mysterious illness Kate has been suffering from ever since her marriage. But all at the manor is not as it seems and as Kate learns more about Miles, the intimidating Earl of Blackwell may not be so beastly after all.

I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings and I enjoy a good steampunk romp so I had high hopes for this novel. After reading it the best I can say is that if you share those interests, you'll probably find it a serviceable read but it's not going to knock any socks off. There's a Gail Carriger-lite feeling to the whole novel as we have dirrigibles, vampires, shape shifters, and ghosts wandering about the narrative. And while the characters are well-drawn they're a bit lacking in sparkle and charm. I also had some believability issues - if you're going to seriously injure your main character, you can't have her climbing and crawling over the place just days later. I also couldn't forgive the book for naming a housekeeper with a gypsy background Mrs. Romany - such a lack of imagination. I don't regret the read but it didn't really scratch my Beauty and the Beast itch as much as I'd like and I won't be seeking out more books in the series or by the author. ( )
  MickyFine | Aug 25, 2019 |
Lucy is an appealing heroine and Miles is the perfect blend of brooding and handsome hero. Set in a steampunk world with supernatural characters, Miles is literally a beast (werewolf). Lucy joins his household determined to discover who is behind her cousin's mysterious illness. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Nov 25, 2018 |
3 1/2 stars ( )
  wrightja2000 | Sep 6, 2018 |
A good read for a mind to escape to a different reality. ( )
  Baochuan | Jun 21, 2017 |
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     "You are very obliging," answered Beauty. "I own I am pleased with your kindness, and when I considered that, your deformity scarce appears."
     "Yes, yes," answered the Beast, "my heart is good, but still I am a monster."
     "Among mankind," said Beauty, "there are many who deserve that name more than you, and I prefer you, just as you are, to those, who, under a human form, hide a treacherous, corrupt, and ungrateful heart."

—Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont, 1750
To Kirk Shaw,
for planting the idea,
and to Pam Howell,
for finding it a home.
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It had never been proven that Lord Blackwell had killed his wife, but then the man in question hadn't actually denied it, either.
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