Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee
Ah, steampunk romance. This one has great elements. The setting is an alternative London, 1898. A slasher is on the loose, killing women and keeping their hearts. Automatons have taken over many of the jobs previously held by the lower class, from manufacturing workers to household servants. The unemployed are angry and things may turn ugly in the city.
Victoria is a scientist, part of the team responsible for creating the automatons, but she sees them being used in ways that aren’t not what she had expected and she’s concerned by the number of these machines that have malfunctioned.
Dash is one of the unemployed. He kidnaps Victoria, hoping to use his group’s cause, getting rid of the automatons, giving real people jobs again. He’s surprised when she agrees with him and offers to help without having to be forced.
Dash and Victoria are attracted to each other and against her better judgment, Victoria decides to pursue the relationship. After all, she’s never been one to follow society’s standards. But it’s not just society’s expectations they have to worry about, the Slasher is striking close to home and the Commission for Animatronic Affairs may not be the helpful institution it seems to be.
It’s a good story but short. There’s a lot going on in the world Dee’s created but it’s not explores very much. Events happen quickly and there’s not much depth. The end is too quick too. We find out who the slasher is. I will say that I found his motive interesting. It went quite well with the rest of the story. Then fast forward five months to an epilogue when most of the issues seem to have been resolved to some degree and there’s the obligatory sex scene. It’s like she skipped the wrap-up. Everything got taken care of, assume a happily ever after.
It’s fun but not memorable. At heart, it’s a rich girl-poor boy romance with steampunk trappings.
Publisher: Carina Press (December 13, 2010)
3 out of 5 stars
My e-book was provided by the publisher for review and the above is my honest opinion.