Steam and SorceryNetGalley for review.
Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.
Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she's ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess.
When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery...
This book was a huge amount of fun. I love steampunk and paranormal and this book blends them perfectly. With clockwork dogs and undead creatures roaming the streets of London, an interesting new world is created.
Caroline is a lovely lady who has had a very difficult time of it. Raised in a wealthy household (though she refuses to tell whose) and then working as a governess (sometimes to not very nice people) as well as her own sense of determination serve her very well in Merrick's adventurous home and make her a fun character to read. Mysterious, brave and good with children is a lovely combination in a heroine.
I love Merrick. First, he is a fierce sword-wielding monster slayer. Second, he loves his five adopted children dearly, even though he doesn't admit it for a while. Third, he is absolutely hopeless when it comes to stopping Caroline from doing what she wants, no matter how dangerous, and he is always ready to defend her honour. He is very much so a knight in shining armor.
The kids are great. Used to living on the streets and fighting for themselves, they have many unusual skills and hate being left behind. Each of them has different and fun personalities and abilities. I love how excited they are to have a weapon in hand.
The plot was well-paced; not too fast, not too slow and with plenty of action. The romance was for the most part lovely but I disliked that they did not wait for marriage. In that time period, Caroline could have been ruined and I am not altogether happy that Merrick risked it. However, for the most part it moved along nicely from the streets to upscale mansions and crowded dance floors. Sigh, I love stories set in London. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance, steampunk and paranormal. It is not one to be missed.
Content Ratings: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).
I rate it a 4.10 for mid-level swearing.
I give it an 8.10 for couple of explicit scenes.
I give it a 7.10 for fights, injuries, some death and bloodiness.