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The Watchmaker’s Heart by Juli D. Revezzo is historical romance with steampunk elements and a nice bit of suspenseful mystery. Penelope “Phoebe” Lockswell is a bit of a tinkering and has created a somewhat scandalous diffuser. I enjoyed this feisty heroine, and Revezzo quickly pulled me into this tale.
Poor Phoebe is nothing like her peers and prefers tinkering with her creations much to her parent’s horror. Determined to set her on the straight and narrow they are encouraging a marriage with a man, dear reader who makes Phoebe shiver and cringe. I am inclined to agree with her.
Not to be deterred she sneaks off by train to attend a convention and share her diffuser. Being a young lady unescorted let alone attending such a conference was rather scandalous and when she spies a reporter on the train, she seeks to hide. Here she encounters, London watchmaker, Mortimer Kidd. Mortimer has gotten himself into some trouble with the local gangs of London and at first, seeks to strip Phoebe of her diffuser, but as they strike up a conversation all that changes.
The tale that unfolds was an engaging one, as Phoebe tries to avoid Sir Dugard, the ghastly man her parents wish for her to marry and spend time with the exciting watchmaker, Mortimer, who seems to see the value of Phoebe’s diffuser as he helps her tinker with the gadget. A friendship soon develops, as do warm, romantic feelings, but Mortimer isn’t for the likes of Lady Phoebe, and his secrets might put them both in peril.
Revezzo did a fantastic job of taking classic Victorian storyline plots and making them her own. She weaved in steampunk, mystery, and suspense all while entertaining us with a forward speaking young heroine whose outlandish ideas about romance, sex and more shock her parents and bewitch Mortimer.
The audio narration by Rachael Beresford had some issues. While Beresford did a splendid job, the quality of the track left something to be desired. I was rather surprised at the background noise, particularly at the end of each chapter. It almost sounded like the noise the needle makes at the end of an album. While I am sure this is an editing issue, it did deter from my overall enjoyment of the narration. I would recommend reading this tale if such matters annoy you. Noise aside, I felt Beresford captured Phoebe’s spirit and gave each character a voice befitting their description.
I’m remember when I was first hesitant to read steampunk books, because I don’t know much about them. If you want to experience the genre, I suggest checking this WATCHMAKER’S HEART. This is a great introduction to steampunk and Victorian romance.
The dialogue was quick and witty, the characters quirky and mysterious. The novel was overall light and fast-paced. I loved the world that Revezzo created and the way she managed to write such a fun story within a historical context. She set a good foundation for the setting and provided interesting character interactions when there wasn’t action.
Penelope “Phoebe” Lockswell is an incredible character with her independence and determination to stick by her principles. It’s obvious she doesn’t fit in with the time she has been born into, but she doesn’t let that stop her creativity and dreams. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between her and Mortimer slowly form from stranger to lovers; a great slow burn romance, indeed. Their relationship is really a solid partnership that comes naturally to them.
The audio was fabulous with a narrator who nailed every character down to a tee. She brought the story to life for me and made it fun to listen along from start to finish.
"I was provided an audio copy of this book from the author via The New Adult Group on Goodreads at no charge, for my unbiased review."