Book Blurb :
A Victorian Steampunk/Paranormal adventure with strong elements of romance…
Lady Lily d’Bulier is prim, proper, and prefers to think of herself as pragmatic rather than timid. And avoiding life-threatening situations at all costs is just plain practical. But everything changes when Lord Adair tracks her down in London; searching for answers he seems to think she has.
Greyston Adair is a blackguard and a smuggler, although British Customs will have to catch him red-handed to prove the latter. Fortunately, the dirigibles they float around in have never been able to get near his air dust.
Hell is rising, One Demon at a Time…
With Lady Ostrich hunting them, and the mystery of how their lives tie back to Cragloden Castle and the powerful McAllister clan, Lily has no option but to throw propriety to the wind and run off with Greyston to Scotland, away from the immediate danger and toward possible answers.
I knew Claire Robyns from her two fabulous historical novels “Betrayed” and “The Devil of Jedburgh” and when she told me that her next book would be a Victorian-Paranormal-Steampunk, though I admit that it isn’t my genre, I was genuinely very curious and intrigued about it … and here I am. But who would have thought that one day I would like to read a Paranormal-Steampunk novel, well … not me!
The author spins a world of deadly icy demons, grand adventure, steam-power, dark mystery and fast-paced action from the drawing rooms of London to the isolated old Scottish castle Cragloden where everything began well before the birth of our two heroes, Lily and Grey.
I had no doubts about her wonderful writing skills but here, Ms. Robyns’s world-building ability proves to be extraordinary. Her imagination is prodigiously creative and descriptive. And what first seduced me and then absorbed me was this intertwining of Victorian stiffness, paranormal menace and steampunk fantasy and the way that she mixes them. But I wouldn’t be lying to say that it took me some time getting used to it!
It all begins rather classically and sedately at a high society opening ball; everybody seems a bit bored like usual and only looking for a good match. Lady Lily de Bulier is twenty-one years old and nearly considered on the shelf, so she’s still on the hunt for a husband. Evelyn Thorn, now Duchess of Harchings, and Lily are dearest friends. In a usual crowd of debutants, young and older men with titles, a “celludrone” with its hollow smile is working to provide refreshments to the crème de la crème. Every wealthy household has to have one, even if the price is outrageous!
Then, Lily sees him on the other side of the ballroom, sternly staring at her again as he did this morning, hidden behind a tree in front of her home and spying on her with the weirdest pair of “goggles”. After a very proper introduction conducted by Lily’s aunt, Lord Adair, with a smile, asks … Evelyn for a dance—the rogue! Her Aunt is right “No Scotsman is to be trusted”!
So she’s rather surprised when Greyston Adair presents himself at her door the next day. Sparks fly. He is followed by Lady Ostrich who rushes into her drawing room with her lethal powers … and all hell breaks loose!
I’ve said next to nothing about the plot, so as not to give it away. Like me, I want you to enjoy this crazy and wild ride and just hang on to the characters of Lily, Grey, Evelyn and a few others that all have strong voices. Just let them carry you through this brilliant story.
Lily and Grey are clearly the center and the essence of the book and they have much more in common that they think. Grey is all courage and recklessness but he’s a very complex character with a tortured soul and a very complicated and painful family history. As for Lily, her exterior is pretty and proper but she’s also strong, very stubborn and loyal. She lost her father when she was too small to remember him and her mother much later in very tragic circumstances. They both experience strange visions and for Grey it’s even more powerful. As the story unfolds, they both discover that, all their life, they have been told half-truths or lies about their families. Truth is sometimes more difficult to face!
Our two heroes are attracted to each other from the start, not doubt about that, but given the circumstances, their state of mind and how rapidly the story progresses, nothing really will bloom; the romance is there between the lines, but just now is not the time.
Claire Robyns’ story is perfectly structured with multi-layered and complex main characters. The mystery plot makes perfect sense and most of the loose ends are tied up and meticulously explained but everything stays open for the second book in this series. Like I said before, I haven’t read any steampunk prior to this but I definitely want to know what will happen next to Lily, Grey and all the others ….
The rating system doesn’t allow half a point, so I give 4couples ut it’s more like 3.5 couples
Pubisher : Claire Robyns
Source : Author Provided for Review
Released : September 24th 2012