Clockwork Heart by Heidi Cullinan ~ Book Review by Teresa

clockwork-heartTitle: Clockwork Heart

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Publisher: Samhain

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 02/02/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Historical, M/M Romance, Steampunk

Blurb:

Love, adventure and a steaming good time.

Clockwork Love, Book 1

As the French army leader’s bastard son, Cornelius Stevens enjoys a great deal of latitude. But when he saves an enemy soldier using clockwork parts, he’s well aware he risks hanging for treason. That doesn’t worry him half as much, however, as the realization he’s falling for his patient.

Johann Berger never expected to survive his regiment’s suicide attack on Calais, much less wake up with mechanical parts. To avoid discovery, he’s forced to hide in plain sight as Cornelius’s lover—a role Johann finds himself taking to surprisingly well.

When a threat is made on Cornelius’s life, Johann learns the secret of the device implanted in his chest—a mythical weapon both warring countries would kill to obtain. Caught up in a political frenzy, in league with pirates, dodging rogue spies, mobsters and princesses with deadly parasols, Cornelius and Johann have no time to contemplate how they ended up in this mess. All they know is, the only way out is together—or not at all.

Warning: Contains tinkers, excessive clockwork appendages, and a cloud-sweeping tour of Europe. A little absinthe, a little theft, a little exhibitionism. Men who love men, women who love women, and some who aren’t particular.

My View:

Tinkers, clockworks, air pirates, a princess and so many spies make Clockwork Heart a great adventure! While the first part of the story is a sweet slow burn, the second is super kinky and hot. Sex aside, the story itself still shines.

This is an alternate universe where France never lost the battle of Waterloo and now controls most of Europe, a mysterious element called Aether is used to power airships & clockworks and petroleum products haven’t gained much use. It was richly detailed and well thought out. The intrigue and politics were interesting, the setting vibrant.

I really liked Cornelius – he was a genius and good but oh so kinky (and quite a bit slutty) where sex was concerned. Johann was steadfast and innocent when it came to sex, but intelligent and strong. Together they really complimented each other. I loved how their relationship developed slowly and with care.

The secondary characters are great. While it took me a while to warm up to Cornelius’ best friend Val, he was stellar at the end. The pirates are a motley but loyal bunch and there are a host of others interesting people they encounter.

My only niggles came from clockworks being inserted in places I didn’t think they should go (wouldn’t the gears tear something?) and the amount of cocaine laced absinthe that was passed around. Mind you, I’m sure the orgies wouldn’t have been as fun without it. However, I disliked that it was used to get Johann to loosen up, so to speak. He wasn’t as into the kink as Cornelius was at first and I wish there was a different way to get him on board.

All in all, if you like steampunk with some humiliating menage sex, read this book!

Links

Clockwork Heart on Goodreads
Samhain
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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