Just like the name suggests, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen is definitely a beauty and the beast type of story!!
This book is the 1st book in a 4-book series!!
If you read the name of this book series than you'll know a few things about this book even before you read.
Steampunk is a new to me type of romance, but not a boring one.
Steampunk is a mix of fun robot type of electronics with the regency era customs and ideas.
With the word "proper" in the series name, you can know that this book DOESNOT have any sexual details whatsoever.
It's a proper romance, the type of romance that keep all the sensual details completely behind closed doors.
This type of romance also goes with the regency era that this book is actually written in.
You'll also find that because it's a "steampunk" novel, then it's based in London back in the 18th century.
Steampunk is interesting. It's filled with mechanical parts attached to the main characters and characters that are actually automated robots. But you also read about vampires and werewolves. It's such an interesting genre!!
Please know that this is still a romance with a hero and heroine that must work together to solve something.
And in this case, they have this era's customs and mannerisms to deal with along with the romance, which also matches this era!!
This story definitely follows the beauty and the beast feel to it. Miles Blake is the 14th Earl of Blackwell, so he lives and owns a "castle".
And Lucy Pickett is a beautiful maiden that's come to stay at the Blackwell manor.
Lucy is cousin to Kate whose married to Jonathon Blake, Miles' brother. She's become ill and it's abnormal for her so Lucy, who's a research botanist and public spokesperson for the Botanical Aid Society. So she's a very accomplished woman and wealthy in her own right.
So when she goes to Blackwell Manor, she's a complex and bold personality.
And she refuses to leave the manor until she knows what's going on with her cousin and why she's taken ill.
Miles, as the Earl of Blackwell Manor, has different responsibilities he must do but he's feared by most because of the hideous scar that runs along the side of his face.
So he comes across as gruff and unapproachable and most avoid him. But when he meets and starts to get to know Lucy, he's completely flummoxed, completely put off guard.
Lucy's a strong, vibrant personality, especially for this timeframe and doesn't fear Miles at all and even goes to him for help when she's visited by Marie, Miles dead sister.
We also get to know other characters that will play a part in the rest of the series. They invite Hazel Hughes, a medium, to the manor to help with their ghost problem. And while we only see a little of this character, she's in book 3, The Lady in the Coppergate Tower, as the main character.
The problems that both Miles and Lucy face are complex and interesting. And what's engaging is that there's more than one problem or issue that has to be dealt with. Not only do they have to find out why Marie is appearing to Lucy. They also have to figure out why Kate is ill and what's the cause.
Then Miles is being threatened by an unknown stalker that's been sending threatening notes not only to the manor but also to the hunting lodge where he takes refuge.
Then each of them have some personal issues, more Miles than Lucy, but they still have to go thru their internal issues as per a romance story.
As because it's a romance story, Miles and Lucy keep getting thrown together in scene after scene where they get to know each other.
And as they get to know each other, she shows him that he's not a beast and softens his heart.
And of course, they solve what's happening to cousin Kate, find out whose threatening him and even who killed his sister, Marie and his late wife, Claire.
Needless to say, it's a complex plot line with many twists and turns that you don't really expect.
All the while being wrapped up in an old English era with fun automated characters and ideas.
I really did enjoy this story. The storyline was interesting and the character development was well thought out and planned. The author does a pretty good job of being consistent and constant in the details and ideas throughout the whole of the story.
I liked the romance between Miles and Lucy. It was sweet and tender. You see more transformation in Miles than in Lucy. And it does follow the typical romance pattern.
I will admit that the whole steampunk idea, with automatons and mechanical stuff mixed with regency era ideals and customs was a bit getting used to but Allen did a good job of creating a believable world with loveable characters in it!!
The next book is about Lucy's brother Daniel Pickett and when he encounters Dr. Isla Cooper. Check out Kiss of the Spindle!
Check out the other books in the Steampunk Proper Romance Series:
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