Sir Merrick Hadrian is a Knight of the Order of the Round Table (yes, that Round Table), an ancient organization that hunts down both human and paranormal threats to the British Crown and the British people. Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer is a steampunk paranormal historical romance (so many of my favorite genres rolled into one). While fighting vampires in the slums of London Merrick discovers a band of five orphans with the talents found in Knights so he takes them home to continue their training for their eventually entering the Order of the Knights, what he failed to take into account is what chaos five active children are able to create in any household. Desperate for help to deal with the children and keep his servants from abandoning him, Merrick goes against his better judgment and hires the beautiful intriguing Caroline Bristol as governess.
Caroline Bristol is that most awful creature, a beautiful governess. Tired of being attacked by young men in the various households she has worked at, she has decides not to work for a household with an attractive younger man again, but during her interview with Merrick she finds herself taken in the by the charming unusual children and is surprised to hear herself agreeing to become the governess. When the children are attacked during an outing, Caroline fights to defend the children but realizes that there is more going on than she is aware of and that it is going to take her working closely with the sexy Merrick to save the children and possibly the Crown.
I really enjoyed Steam and Sorcery. The many different genres could have overwhelmed the plot but Pape’s blending was skillfully done and provided a great background to the story line without overtly overpowering the plot. While I enjoyed the love story between Caroline and Merrick, it was really the children who stole the show in this novel. Their bond with each other, care of each other and good natured high spirits made me laugh through much of the story. I loved how the children had a mechanical dog that Caroline had to be careful not to touch because she broke him every time she did. Cindy Spencer Pape has done a great job of providing a great fun read and I eagerly look forward to the next installment in the Gaslight Chronicles.
Read an excerpt here.
Gaslight Chronicles Series:
Steam and Sorcery
Photographs and Phantoms (available as a free novella in April 2011)
Title: Steam and Sorcery (Gaslight Chronicles)
Author: Cindy Spencer Pape
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 2011
Available for purchase: Amazon, eHarlequin
**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.