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Once upon a time, someone told me: There’s no market for steampunk.
Yes, that really happened. And I believe, as I did then, that person was full of poop. And to them I wish a hearty round of this song.
All that having been said, I got the opportunity through (what else!) Twitter to read and review A Riveting Affair. Honestly, they had me at steampunk.
The first story in the anthology is Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Lily Lang. If I hadn’t already been thrilled by the steampunk theme, leading off with a fairy tale retelling would have totally sold me on this. As it was, this was an amazing story to lead off with. I won’t post spoilers and everyone knows about how this story should go. So let me say that I loved the way Ms. Lang adapted one of my favorite fairy tales.
It’s daunting in a short story to really explore characters in depth and get into the core of what makes them tick. Ms. Lang does an amazing job of conveying the anguish that makes Sebastian the “beast” in need of saving. Rose is a delightful and strong young woman. Her compassion and determination help start the healing process and set the stage for a happily ever after that left me warm and fuzzy.
The Clockwork Bride by Patricia Eimer is a terrifically fun little story of marrying in haste and falling in love at leisure.
Aida crashes a masquerade ball thrown by her father’s nemesis after being dumped very publically. She may not have been in love with her fiance, but it was still a blow to her ego. So when said nemesis’ son whisks her away and suggests they get married, she agrees. Why not? Julian is handsome, a scientist, and makes her tingle. What could go wrong?
When Aida finally realizes that she’s desperately, if unfashionably, in love with her husband, she has to rescue him from his overbearing father. They prove that nothing, not even a fire breathing dragon, can stand in the way of true love. There’s all kinds of awesome to love in this story!
Demon Express by Candace Havens is like steampunk Buffy. The unnatural creatures of the night, engineered by her ex-fiance, are no match at all for Maisy. Things get a little hairy when were-panthers get involved, not to mention the handsome Marshall who gets in the way of her investigation. If she can just keep her allergies and wild attraction to Jake Calloway under control, everything will turn out just fine.
The action doesn’t stop in this story and there’s room for more stories set in Maisy’s gritty world.
I really enjoyed reading all three of the short stories by these talented ladies. They were a great blend of steampunky goodness and touching heartwarming romance. A Riveting Affair is a definite must read if you’re looking for romance with a twist to it.