Reading level: Adult
E-book: 368 KB
Genre: Steampunk romance
Release date: October 22, 2012
Series: Gaslight Chronicles #4
Source: Review copy from Carina Press
Reviewed by: Jenn
Engineer Winifred "Wink" Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope when he swears to be a lifelong bachelor. Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead.
Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can't say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend's missing son. They soon discover that London's poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious "mechanical" men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen.
Fighting against time—and their escalating feelings for each other—Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it's too late...
I've been hooked on Cindy Spencer Pape for quite some time. I first discovered her through her paranormal romance series, Urban Arcana, which is set primarily in Detroit, but I'm over the moon about the Gaslight Chronicles, her steampunk romance set in mid-1800's England. In fact, the Gaslight Chronicles just might be my favourite steampunk romance series right now! Needless to say, I'm excited to be writing about the fourth story in this series, MOONLIGHT & MECHANICALS.
A quick primer on the Gaslight Chronicles: King Arthur's Order of the Round Table never actually disbanded. Instead, the descendants of these knights remain active, fighting the paranormal in a steampunked 1850s London. Some of the stories in the series are novels, some novellas, but they all feature characters who are involved with the Order in some fashion. The first book, STEAM & SORCERY, introduces us to the world and also to the Hadrian clan and Liam McCullough, who are once again featured in MOONLIGHT & MECHANICALS, much to my delight. In STEAM & SORCERY, the focus is on Caroline and Merrick Hadrian; now, we're focussed on one of their adopted children, Wink, a former street kid with an eerie gift for the mechanical, and the object of her affection, Liam McCullough, an inspector with the London Constabulary who also happens to be a werewolf.
Wink won me over from the moment she set foot ont the page in STEAM & SORCERY so I was delighted when I heard that she'd be the star of MOONLIGHT & MECHANICALS. She's a very modern woman -- she's an engineer, she defies convention, and she knows her heart belongs to Liam, even though he's doing his best to push her into the arms of a mutual friend. Liam, for his part, thinks he's not good enough for Wink and wants to get her married off so he'll stop wanting her. It's a classic trope for a romance but it feels fresh and fun in Cindy Spencer Pape's hands. Watching Wink and Liam realizes that their feelings are requited was exciting and lovely and I whizzed through the novel thanks to smart writing, a fast-paced plot, and wonderful characters.
If you haven't tried Cindy's Gaslight Chronicles, now's the time to start! You could pick up MOONLIGHT & MECHANICALS and be okay since the author's done a wonderful job of laying out the necessary backstory but I think you'd enjoy the book even more if you go back to the beginning and give STEAM & SORCERY a try. The books are available only in electronic format since they're from Carina Press, Harlequin's e-only imprint, so go and download your copy now!