In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.
STEAMPUNK! One day I will author a book, and it will be filled with steampunk awesomeness.
Really. Does it get any better than evil masterminds, crazy automaton robot men, Queen Victoria, and a hot Duke? No I say. No it does not.
Finley Jayne is having a rough time with things. One minute she’s all sweetness and sugar, and the next, she is a fierce fighting machine that can kill a man with a single punch. Scared of her evil “other”, Finley finds comfort in the home of Griffin King, Duke of Greythorne. Griffin is known for taking in outsiders, and he uses the special skills of his friends to protect the crown, and as luck would have it, a nasty mean dude is rearing his ugly head.
I really like female characters that can hold their own. Sure, there’s a love triangle brewing, but Finley’s independent and strong. Even better, the two men vying for her attentions treat her that way. No uber-protectors in this story. When a fight is brewing, send Finley to the front!
Cross has created a fun world that is close enough to the Victorian London of history that it remains believable. The characters, even the somewhat shady ones, are likable, the fashion is spectacular, and the gadgets are wicked. Plus, it’s just a good old fashioned adventure mystery. And…it’s a part of a series. I hate series. I get attached and then I must wait. And I don’t like to wait.
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