MOONLIGHT & MECHANICALSGaslight Chronicles #4
by Cindy Spencer Pape
Publication Date: October 22, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages/Format: 176; Ebook
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...
Cindy Spencer Pape is a brilliant author! Moonlight & Mechanicals is the fourth book in her steampunk series, Gaslight Chronicles, and the only book I’ve yet to read by Pape, but halfway into the prologue I had already become teary eyed. That I was able to become so invested in Wink Hadrian’s life so quickly leaves me no doubt that Pape is amazing when it comes to thoroughly relating her characters’ thoughts, emotions, personalities, and backgrounds. Wink’s past has been considered buried since she was adopted by Sir Merrick Hadrian and Miss Caro when she was fifteen years old. Now her small ‘family’ of four: Tom, Nell, Piers, and Jamie, has extended beyond her wildest dreams. As Wink continues to forge her own path as a woman by working and inventing, her heart continues to grow fonder for Inspector Liam McCullough. Liam, struggling to discover what plot is afoot against the queen, pushes Wink away from his dangerous wolf and onto Conner, a young Knight of the Round Table.
Wink is an extraordinary character. She’s a natural engineer who’s invented so many creations that are environmentally safe and of a protective nature. She takes the bad experiences of her past and uses them to live a life that shows she’s grateful for the positive change in circumstance. Pape gives Wink a caring personality that extends beyond her adopted family, but also to those who helped her when she was less than fortunate, and those who know about her past who continue to treat her as a lady.
The story is written in a third person perspective that shifts between Wink and Liam. Liam not only struggles with his vow to remain a bachelor, but also with urgent cases that involve the royal family and missing persons from the poorer areas like Wapping, where Wink grew up. Liam is a strong, alpha male character, but he’s not too extreme. He and Wink are like kindred souls with their less than favorable pasts, but it’s how each handles their pasts that shows the contrast between them and makes for an interesting story.
Moonlight & Mechanicals flows at an enjoyable, medium pace and remains captivating throughout. Intelligent, supernatural characters with natural devotion to family, in any sense of the word, make for a superb read anyone can fall in love with. I am definitely looking forward to more steampunk romances from Cindy and can’t wait to see whose story will be told in the next Gaslight installment!*eGalley provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
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