Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts (Proper Steampunk Romance 4) by Nancy Campbell Allen
Release Date: October 6th 2020
Tags: Adult | Fantasy | Paranormal | Steampunk | Romance | England | Shifters | Travelling
Emmeline O’Shea is determined to save the world—single-handedly, if necessary. A strong voice for societal reform, she is the natural choice to deliver a key speech at the end of the International Shifter Rights Organization’s week-long Summit in Scotland.
But when a death threat arrives at Emme’s home, she is immediately placed into protective custody, watched over by none other than her personal nemesis, Detective-Inspector Oliver Reed. The two have crossed paths many times, with disastrous results, but now they will have to work together in order to reach the Summit before midnight of the last day in order to ensure legislation is passed to protect the Shifter community.
As unseen enemies close in around Emme and Oliver, they struggle to reach Edinburgh by any means necessary, only to find Emme’s vindictive stepsister, Oliver’s vampire brother, and a dangerous political minefield awaiting them in Scotland.
Even more difficult is their own refusal to admit that the fiery animosity that once burned between them might be turning into the heat of romantic passion. Could a straitlaced policeman determined to uphold the law and an outspoken activist willing to break the rules ever find true love? Or will all their dreams shatter like glass when the clock strikes midnight?
Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts caught my attention because of the Cinderella retelling and being a steampunk. I thought that was going to be an interesting combination. While this is a 4th book in a series these are more meant as companions, each book focusing on another character and couple. They should be able to be read as standalones. But at the end I was left feeling a little dissapointed.
What dissapointed me the most was the cinderella retelling aspect. There are some things clumsily and obviously inserted like an annoying step parent and step sibling. But also losing a shoe at the very end. But other than that there is no correlation to Cinderella. Emme has her own place in the world and certainly isn’t letting herself be put down by her step family. Plus she has a lot of people around her who care about her. Within this steampunk world a lot could have been done with this retelling but it wasn’t.
The romance was also set down as an enemies to lovers romance but that wasn’t really it either. Emme might have called the detective her enemy but nothing on the page showed that at all. He got in her way because of his profession sometimes, because he did his job, but that was it. And during thi book there was no true animosity between them. In fact, they fell for each other pretty quickly. I did like their romance beyond that. They work well together.
As far as this being able to be read as a standalone, that is true. However I think I’d still say to read them in order just because I didn’t get some of the underlying relationships between the characters that I think were mc’s in previous books. Just for that background. And maybe it would also explain why Emme is THE spokesperson for shifters while not being one herself and having rarely any shifters near her. Because that was eye brow raising to say the least.
Other than that the story was mostly entertaining as a romance. Oliver and Emme do work together well as a couple and as characters they are good to follow. The family and friends they have found around themselves gave me warm feelings.
All in all a good steampunk romance to read as long as you don’t have too high expectations of the cinderella retelling.