Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
When Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, set out to purchase a specialty tea for his mother, he had no idea his life was about to change. Walking along the streets of St. Francisco, a major city rivaling London during Queen Victoria’s reign, he encounters a group of thugs beating up a young man and immediately stops them before they kill him.
When he discovers that the person he saved is Robin Harris, the man who invented the mechanical stinger that killed his father, he’s taken aback. The man is much younger, and much more handsome, than he would have thought. In fact, Robin must have only been a child during the uprising in which his father was killed. The battle between those who believe in science and those who believe in the arcane was waging strong at that time. Now, all Marcus wants to do is take the young man someplace safe where he can get him treatment for his wounds. As far as Marcus is concerned, the past is the past.
He discovers that Robin has found a way to combine the use of arcane and mechanical elements to provide artificial limbs and eyes to those in need. In fact, Robin was returning from fitting artificial legs on a young boy when he was attacked. Though it takes a while, Marcus is finally able to convince Robin that he is friend, not foe. In fact, one of the unexpected supporters in Marcus’s case is his mother, who not only can forgive Robin for his inadvertent role in her husband’s death, but embraces his abilities and becomes a staunch supporter of his efforts.
This is a very short audiobook. Too short—I wanted more, more, more of this couple and their world. Maybe we’ll be lucky and Rhys Ford will revisit it someday, expanding on this little tidbit of goodness. Narrated by Greg Tremblay, the story unfolds magically. Between Rhys Ford’s inimitable writing style, and Greg Tremblay’s beautiful and varied vocalizations, this audiobook was a real treat.
The characters were wonderfully described, including the secondary characters. The dowager was actually my favorite of all. What a great woman she was! The romance between Marcus and Robin built slowly, or as slowly as it could in a novella. When they finally got to the point where Marcus made love to Robin, the scene was romantic and brought new joy to Robin’s life in a way he had never anticipated.
I highly recommend this one, especially to those who enjoy steampunk. A delicious afternoon treat—and no calories!
Cover art by Reese Notley depicts the inner workings of a clock with a young man superimposed in the forefront, looking up at a mechanical insect. The artwork creatively depicts all the main points of the story.
Audible Audio, 3 pages, 2 hrs 10 mins
Published May 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published February 18th 2014)
Original TitleClockwork Tangerine