For Miss Phoebe Lockswell, fashionable London tea parties and balls aren’t her style. Instead, she prefers to tinker tirelessly with a clockwork diffuser she’s built from scratch. If only she can get the invention to work on command, she might earn her way out of an arranged marriage to a repugnant member of the House of Commons. London watchmaker Mortimer Kidd was brought up hard in the arms of an infamous London gang. Despite the respectability he strives for now, the gang leader is blackmailing him. When Mortimer sees Phoebe’s diffuser, he thinks he’s found a way to buy himself out of trouble. The brash Phoebe manages to steal his heart, however, before he can purloin her invention. Will Mortimer’s unsavoury past catch up to him before he convinces Phoebe of his devotion? Worse, once Phoebe learns the truth, will she ever trust him again?
Note: I had an audiobook version of Watchmaker’s Heart, and will be reviewing it separately next week.
As I always say, I’ll give anything with a Victorian London setting a go. Watchmaker’s Heart is set at the end of the era (1898), which has to be one of the most exciting times in history. Technology was developing so fast, and the world was changing at an incredible rate.
The book has a bit of a steampunk feel to it, which is perfect for the era, but it won’t alienate readers who come to the story looking for historical romance.
Watchmaker’s Heart takes readers through different layers of the society of the time, which is always a bonus with this time period as a setting. It was a time of great wealth, but even more poverty, and a Victorian romance isn’t a Victorian romance without a few Dickensian elements to it.
What I liked best about the characters was that we have a heroine who is forward-thinking and ambitious without being anachronistic. She is well aware of the social rules of the time, doesn’t follow all of them, but also doesn’t fight them all. She fits into the past but can appeal to modern readers.
For fans of the Victorian era.
Review copy provided by the author.