Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts

Shadow Mountain. (Proper Romance Steampunk, Bk. 1). Oct. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781629727370. pap. $15.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
In this Victorian steampunk retelling of Cinderella, Emmeline O’Shea is more likely to be delivering passionate speeches at Shifter’s Rights rallies and attacking her political foes than doing housework. When a threatening letter warns her against speaking at an important Shifter’s Rights summit, Detective Inspector Oliver Reed is called on to be her bodyguard, much to Emmeline’s dismay since the detective has consistently dragged her from riots and put her in jail for unruly behavior. Oliver, however, has secretly admired Emmeline’s passion from afar and knows he’s the only one who can safely protect her from her growing list of enemies—including a jealous stepsister.
VERDICT With this new series launch, Allen (The Lady in the Coppergate Tower) creates an alternate 19th-century London with just enough steampunk elements (automatons, airships) to spice things up, and what could have been another stale version of a familiar fairy tale becomes a fresh retelling with plenty of danger and romance. An excellent choice for romance readers trying steampunk for the first time.
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