Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts is the final book in this 4-book Steampunk Proper Romance Series by Nancy Campbell Allen. This one has pieces of the Cinderella fairytale!!
This book is the final book in the 4-book series!!
By now, you're familiar with the "proper-ness" of this genre and maybe even appreciate it. And you're also now familiar with this author's take on Steampunk.
And now we get to read a really interesting spin on the Cinderella story!!
This is Emmeline O'Shea's story. She does have two step-sisters but she still has her own mother and even a step-father!!
And she does get all dressed up into a pretty gown, but it's to give a speech instead of getting the guy, even tho she does get the guy too!!
And while this is classified as steampunk and proper romance, you could also call it paranormal as it does have elements in it too.
Due to the fact that this novel is based in the Victorian era, it has customs and language that is very much identify this era. And Allen does a good job at being consistent in the language and dialogue between the characters and the customs and mannerisms that go with this timeframe.
This steampunk genre is so interesting. They have tesla lamps that are like flashlights or hand-held lights or they have telescribers that are basically smart phones!!
So while there're many modern like things, with totally different names, Allen does a great job of making all the amenities of life work in this era.
But despite all that, the story still follows a romance book pattern where the hero and the heroine must work together to find an answer to a problem. And it's all wrapped up in this era's customs, mannerisms and language!!
At first you don't know that it's a spin off of Cinderella.
Emmeline O'Shea has played a small part in the previous books and you kinda know a bit about her. But we get to know her and her family situation as we dive deeper into her life.
You can also call this book a good cop/bad girl story too. Emmy is an activist. She's also the spokesperson for the ISRO (International Shifters Rights Organization) and has been fighting the PSRC against all the terrible things that have been happening to the predatory shifters.
Oliver Reed is the detective inspector that's somehow is always sent out and has to deal with Emmy and the many members and protestors to her cause.
But when this story starts, Emmy's getting threatening letters and her mother actually finds out because they're getting worse and she saw it!!
After being forced to report the letters, Emmy finds that Oliver is chosen become her personal bodyguard and protector.
And this is where he sees a completely different side to Emmy and actually likes what he sees.
Please remember that Emmy is cousins with Isla from book 2. And it was her mother and aunt that created a small empire that provided very well for all of them.
But with this growth, Emmy has become a very independent person. And does her own thing and having a shadow is not what she wanted.
But they find a way to work together and even become each others advocates.
But they still have to find out who's been leaving the notes and whose after her.
Emmy is scheduled to speak at a special conference for this shifters organization and convince delegates from around the country to sign an agreement that gives the shifters more rights and priviledges.
But this threat gets in the way.
On the way to this conference, in an airship, Emmy and Oliver jump out of the ship using wings like the ones that Hawkeye has in Avengers. But with a Victorian era twist!
Then they're stranded on some coast and just happen to run into the one person who can help them not only get to the conference but also defeat the bad guys. Fun huh!!
They figure out that there's a couple of individuals that are planning on taking Emmy down. Oliver has a brother whose turned vampire. Please understand the thinking behind this conference is that the shifters are similar to what they are as a person and when they shift. So if they're a rotten, mean person as a human, then when they shift they're still that horrible rotten-ness!!
And Oliver's brother is just that. Now as a vampire, his brother is looking to taking over the community of all vampires.
But Emmy's threat comes from her step-sister. She's envious of everything she has and against everything she's fighting for and actually captures her and leaves her for dead. All the while planning on getting the money that's Emmy's legacy.
Needless to say, it's a complex plot line with many twists and turns that you don't really expect.
The end has a real Cinderella feel. The step-sister kidnaps Emmy and tries to kill the other sister (who happens to be a shifter too) and tries to lead a group of people to kill shifters for sport.
While I did enjoy this story immensely, I found that some questions were not answered in the storyline.
Yes, Emmy and Oliver, because of life and death situations realize their love for each other and end up declaring that love in the last chapter.
They even plan on getting married right then and there, but that doesn't happen in the story. We are left to imagine that part.
And yes, the plot points that identify the villain were closed, cuz we find out that her sister was behind all of it, along with his brother, but others were left open.
Things like Nigel Crowe came and saved the nice sister and took off for parts unknown. We don't know what happened to them. Maybe they'll get their own story!!
The parts about the capture of mean sister is not in the story. But the death of the brother is!!
I really did enjoy this book. And I'll definitely check out other steampunk novels to see what others might do with this type of genre!!
Click below to go back to see what all four books are about!!
Check out the other books in the Steampunk Proper Romance Series:
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