Contact email: mesreads AT
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Review: A Clockwork Christmas - A Steampunk Christmas Anthology

Happy ticking! Four stories with mechanical gear work and Christmas cheer.

A Clockwork Christmas - A Steampunk Christmas Anthology
Authors:  Gail, Stacy; Forte, PG; Schwartz, Jenny; Coi, J.K.
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 692 KB
  • Publisher: Carina Press (December 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Z1C47Q
ISBN:         9781426892752
Genre:  Sci Fi, Fantasy, Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Publisher Website : click here{A0A6E711-1982-40B9-AD94-47256F4D3B04}
We Wish You a Steampunk Christmas

Changed forever after tragedy, a woman must draw strength from her husband's love. A man learns that love isn't always what you expect. A thief steals the heart of a vengeful professor. And an American inventor finds love Down Under. Enjoy Victorian Christmas with a clockwork twist in these four steampunk novellas.

Anthology includes:

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail
This Winter Heart by PG Forte
Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz
Far From Broken by JK Coi

Stories also available for purchase separately. 117,000 words
Review: All four stories are fun and different, engaging reads. Sometimes it is hard to get a full story in the shorter works of an anthology. These stories are all nice lengths that allow completion for each tale and a good feel for the voice of the authors. I would enjoy more stories by any of these authors. 

Crime Wave in a Corset
by Stacy Gail
Setting: Turn of the Century, Boston
Cornelia is a sleek, sexy thief preparing to celebrate Christmas. She didn’t decide on that career at school but rather as the result of childhood training and limited options.  She is a survivor from a life as a street pick pocket. She has a kind heart and tries not to hurt people who can’t afford to lose things but she still is a first class thief who steals from the rich.

Roderick is a Professor of Engineering at Cambridge University. He has made a point to capture Cornelia to make her return a Faberge egg she stole from his family. He shackles Cornelia with a timepiece that will explode in seven days, midnight Christmas eve, if she doesn’t steal back the egg and return it in time.

Roderick works with Cornelia as she locates the egg and formulates a plan for the heist.  His contempt for her profession begins to turn to respect for her intelligence, survival instincts and ingenuity - not to mention being drawn to her sexually. He helps her build the airship they will use for the dangerous plan. A twist of irony reveals that the egg is now in the possession of a sick child. When it comes time to steal the egg will Cornelia be able to pull it off or will she sacrifice her life?

This story has good intrigue, vibrant characters and some light “naughty” fun. Rating 4.0

This Winter Heart by PG Forte

Setting: 1870, Santa Fe.
Ophelia Winter is the daughter of a brilliant inventor. Dario was interested in her father’s work and willing to invest in his projects. When Dario met Ophelia it was love at first sight. They were  soon married but shortly after the wedding Dario leaned the devastating truth about Ophelia. He demanded that she get out of his life since she had lied to him and she would never be able to provide the family he desired.

Eight years later Ophelia dares to return with a her son, Arthur, in tow. Ophelia’s father has died and her step-siblings refuse to honor her share of the inheritance. To protect Arthur and give him the things in life he deserves she determines to introduce Dario and convince him to provide for his own son. Ophelia is disappointed to return to the estate and find the magnificent mechanical garden that had been built for her totally abandoned and in disrepair.

Dario hasn’t celebrated Christmas, or much of live at all since he cast Ophelia out. He has had a lot of devastating deaths in his family.  Dario is still drawn to the beauty of Ophelia but doesn’t believe that Arthur is his son and doesn’t believe that Ophelia can give either of them true love. Will it cost the life of one of them for Dario to recognize the strength of her love? Once he realizes Ophelia’s true feelings what steps can he take to convince her that he will never doubt her again?

I really liked the strong emotional tugs and revelations in this story. Ophelia is a surprise but her emotions are clearly genuine. This is a nice “reunion” love story. Rating: 4.25

Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz
Setting: 1895 Swan River Colony, Australia
Suffragette Esme doesn’t want a man for a husband. What she needs is a scoundrel who can pose as a gentleman to be accepted in society and to go into the men’s clubs where she cannot enter. He must be willing to argue her views in her stead.

Esme’s Uncle introduces her to Jed as just the man, a card shark, fresh from America.  Jed immediately notes Esme’s remarkable beauty. Before long he is appreciating her independence, fairness, kindness, determination and other admirable qualities. He enjoys having her show him the community and explaining the Christmas holidays that occur even though it is summer in Australia.

Esme is being pursued by an arrogant, social snob, Bambury, who thinks he could tame her to be a quiet and acceptable wife. Jed isn’t about to let Bambury succeed in his advances even before he determines that he might have to convince Esme that he would be the right man for her after all. Jed is a hero on more than one occasion and is able to use some abandoned inventions to save the day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the history of Australia and political arguments woven into this story. The story flows easily. I loved the characters and the sweet romance. The underlying humor is a hoot!  Rating: 4.5

Far From Broken by JK Coi

Setting: Manchester, England
Jasper is a spymaster but he had hidden that part of his life from is wife, Callie, a beautiful ballerina. Callie is captured by Jasper’s enemies and brutally beaten. She has survived with the help of government doctors who have patched her together with mechanical limbs and implants. She is not sure she is glad to be alive in this condition.

Jasper has been away for four months tracking down the monsters who attacked his wife. But Callie thinks his absence was a rejection of her broken body. The government has invested a lot in her recovery and they have plans to use her as a new weapon. 

Jasper still loves his wife and doesn’t want her to be a tool of the war office. How can he convince her of his continuing love and help her overcome her physiological trauma that has kept her house bound? He had failed to protect her once. Can he accept her new strengths and protect her when they come under attack together?

I liked how this story pulled me into the horror and fear of Callie’s situation right from the beginning descriptions. Although I didn’t agree with Callie’s depression you can feel her pain. I liked Jasper’s warm love and how he was determined to help Callie move beyond the tragedy and rebuild their life together.

This is an entertaining story with fast action and a renewed love that brings the strong characters  together as a team. Rating: 4.25.

Learn more about the book and authors at:

I received this book through NetGalley for an unbiased review. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails