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Well, this was an interesting read to be sure. Not anything like I expected and entertaining still. I knew this was a Steampunk book to begin with, but having very little experience with said genre, I guess it could be argued that I really didn't have any idea what to expect. I knew the genre was a mixture of historical meets contemporary with all sorts of treats thrown in and that is pretty much what I got. If this is Steampunk, I'm in.
Eleanor is dying. Suffering from a type of blood cancer and unable to work due to the unbearable pain of her disease, she has turned to a life of crime. Crime that only pays in the form of laudanum; the only temporary relief she can get from her pain at this point. She knows she doesn't have much time left but still seeks a respite from the crippling disease. Unbeknownst to her, her latest bout of thieving will launch her head first into a world she never could have fathomed existed. Horrified at first, she slowly comes around to accept her surroundings and the "people" within.
Jefferson is one of the last remaining vampires. Gone to ground to escape extinction, the remaining handful of his kind are somewhere in hiding. Only one thing can save his species from the eradication brought on by the vampire "cousin" race, the Sanguine, the gem that Eleanor has just procured. With a Sanguine hot on her tail, Jefferson quickly rescues Eleanor and ends up offering her a place to stay after recognizing that she is afflicted by illness. Jefferson senses something special about this human thrust upon him and before too long desires flare. But Eleanor hides the awful truth of her disease, confusing Jefferson, denying him the answer as to why she rejects him. Luckily, ain't nothing more determined to obtain something he really wants than a vampire.
This story took a bit of getting used to because it is written from Eleanor's perspective. I haven't come across too many first person point of view stories in the numerous romance books I read so I always find myself having to adjust a bit when the pieces of the puzzle change. My review copy was about 50 pages, but each page easily accounts for about two pages with content. Still a novella, Ms. Buckley packs a lot into this entertaining read. It started out with action and ended with action. *wink* And although there was a bit of intimacy included, I would almost call this story a Sweet Steampunk Novella. No raunchy sex here, this story is full of a blossoming romance, the realization that vampires really do walk among us, an interesting take on the vampire society and the Sanguine, and the quest to stop the eradication of an entire species. Sounds like a lot. And it is. But it is very nicely put together and presented in a way that does not overwhelm the senses.
I really enjoyed my time spent getting to know Jefferson and Eleanor. My only complaint is that I would have liked to know more about Eleanor and Jefferson's backgrounds. More so Jefferson with the hints at a long and troubled past, but both seemed like they would have had an interesting story to tell. The spark between both characters is undeniable. And I liked that it was a spark. Romance does not always have to come in the form of unquenchable lust. *nods* Wait. Did I just say that? *gasp* But really, it doesn't.
Some of it was predictable. I guessed at the entendre in the title and pretty much predicted the ending. I had no idea it would happen the way it did which was nice. But even knowing it would happen the way that it did, I still love a good HEA and this book definitely gives the reader that. For those of you who like a quick read, but can still get pulled into an engrossing story that included paranormal elements, this book is for you. And if you are new to Steampunk and enjoy paranormal, why not give it a try. You will be glad you did.
(eBook copy provided by author/tour company in exchange for an honest review.)