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Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

 When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

First line:
"It had never been proven that Lord Blackwell had killed his wife, but then the man in question hadn't actually denied it, either."

Oh my. I loved this book more than I thought I would! Because a twist on Beauty and the Beast with a twist of steampunk? I wasn't sure. But yes. I loved it.
Lucy's cousin is ill, which is very unusual for her so Lucy takes it on herself to help her get better. She arrives at Blackmoor Manor to rude servants, rumors of ghosts and murder most foul.
Lucy is smart (she's a botanist!) and witty (she takes on the Beast, er, Earl of Blackmoor) and brave (she survives so many attacks! Seriously! How many can one girl take?). She uncovers many of the mysterious surrounding the Manor and the family and in the meantime, finds herself caring for the Earl. He, on the other hand, pulls away from anyone who might betray him or hurt him and his brother. He's very protective of those close to him and doesn't give much to the wiles of women. But somehow, Lucy draws him in with her wit and spirit and bravery.
This story is set in the Victorian era with a bit steampunk, werewolves, vampires, magic and mystery and fairy tale. It's a great, clean romantic book that I would recommend to anyone.

L: No
V: animal and human attacks, poisonings, murder, but none graphic
S: kissing


5 STARS




Thanks to netgalley for the advance read in exchange for my honest review.

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