Series: Gaslight Chronicles #4
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance, Steampunk
Published by Carina Press on October 2012
Source: Author, NetGalley
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
London, 1859….Engineer Winifred "Wink" Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope when he swears to be a lifelong bachelor. Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead.
Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can't say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend's missing son. They soon discover that London's poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious "mechanical" men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen.
Fighting against time—and their escalating feelings for each other—Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it's too late..
Moonlight & Mechanicals was my first introduction to Cindy Spencer Pape’s Gaslight Chronicles. Although it is part of a series, it can definitely be read alone.
Wink Hadrian was once part of a street gang that hunted vampire’s while trying to stay alive in the roughest part of London. They were fortunate to be rescued by a nobleman, Sir Merrick Hadrian, who is a Knight of the Order of the Round Table, an organization that hunts vampires and keeps the Victorian world safe. The Gaslight Chronicles revolves around the adventures of various members of the Order.
Wink is everything I like in a heroine; smart, loyal, independent, with the conviction to live her life the way she wants, even while bucking society. She is employed at the Order of the Round Table to assist with their mechanical gadgets and she is truly talented at making mechanical things work. When she is faced with a proposal from Connor, one of her friends at the Order, she reluctantly agrees to give him a chance, even though she has been in love with Liam McCullough for years and knows her heart will always belong to him.
Liam has vowed to never marry based on the relationship that his parents suffered through. Although he cares for Wink, he agrees to tutor Connor on what Wink appreciates. It’s a bit reminiscent of Cyrano de Bergerac at times, and goes on way too long, along with Liam’s pigheadedness to remain a bachelor.
The best part of Moonlight & Mechanicals is the Hadrian clan. The depth of their relationships; built on the streets of London, is touching and rich. The family dynamics between the siblings is top notch and was often better developed than Liam and Wink’s romance, which at times felt secondary to the mystery and the family revolving’s.
The disappearance of many lower class individuals and animals is the mystery that is the plot vehicle that draws Wink and Liam together. It was alright, but since we don’t get to see the inner works of the “evil” criminal we don’t begin to understand their reasoning or what drove him/she/them to do what they did. We are told about It at the end and it is wrapped up in a pretty picture, but further development would have added a star to this review.
Overall, Moonlight & Mechanicals was a fun enjoyable read with a feisty, independent heroine, a sexy, stubborn werewolf, solid steampunk world building and a gang of caring and unique siblings. I will be checking out the next addition in the series, Cards & Caravans, and I am hoping that it is Wink’s brother Tom’s or Connor’s story.
Rating: 3.5 flowers, Sensuality Rating: 4 flames
Titles in Series (Click Link for UGR’s Reviews)
- Steam & Sorcery, Bk #1
- Photographs & Phantoms, Bk #2
- Kilts & Kraken, Bk #3
- Moonlight & Mechanicals, Bk #4
- Cards & Caravans, Bk #5 (April 2013)