Bluebeard's Machineby Mari Fee
Love, science, death. She is all three.
A Silk, Steel and Steam story.
Determined to discover what new experiment is stealing her husband’s attentions, Annette Parker ventures into forbidden territory—his study—only to discover a secret he would kill to keep. She is his fifth attempt to clone the original Annette and,/i>/i>
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Love, science, death. She is all three.
A Silk, Steel and Steam story.
Determined to discover what new experiment is stealing her husband’s attentions, Annette Parker ventures into forbidden territory—his study—only to discover a secret he would kill to keep. She is his fifth attempt to clone the original Annette and, according to his journal, he’s planning a sixth…after he dissects her dead body.
Unsure of who or what she is, she assumes a new identity and flees to the Orkney Islands and her last hope. The man she once rejected.
Isaac Ward’s first instinct is to get this mysterious “Miss Ada” out of his undersea laboratory—and out of his life—before he repeats the mistakes that drove him there in the first place. Her wild stories and stubborn insistence that they’re true wear his patience thin, but it doesn’t matter. She is as irresistible as the tide.
Then the truth appears right outside the portholes of his lab, stripping away her dubious disguise. Exposing a secret that could kill them both…unless Isaac abandons the science he knows for a second chance with the woman who broke his heart.
Warning: contains mad scientists, wanton murder, identity crises, and boiling hot underwater sex. Submersible instructions not included.
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I'm new to Steampunk romance and so glad I'm reading it! I so hope this author writes more SOON! I didn't know what 'Bluebeard' meant but I did check and so see how it fitted with the story! And went on to look up more about Bluebeard! I thought this was so well written that I could so visualize Isaac Ward undersea laboratory and all that happening around it in the water (just as I could picture her mad scientist husband's dungeon! As I love reading historical romances, especially Victorian as this one is set as, I loved the details on the clothing, the ships and the like that so gave the feel of that time. As the blurb and reviews indicate, Annette, Ada is on the adventure to escape and enlists Issac's help. He's so much more a beta hero, that I though fit for him with him being the scientist he is an his high intelligence. Since it was novella length, it didn't go in as deep as some stories do and for me, that worked so well since I'm new to this genre. I have tried others that were way too complicated and in depth that it took away the enjoyment when I had to figure everything out. With this I didn't. The romance is short but that was to be expected with the length and theme. But I would have loved more of them, such as longer in the undersea laboratory where maybe they would develop more of the relationship. Hence, the 4 stars instead of 5. But it did work very well for a novella! So here's hoping the author does more. So I need to find more that has a strong romance (and sizzle) in the Steampunk.
I really enjoyed the concept of this book - what happens when a clone realizes she's a clone and an imperfect one at that? It opened a whole box of interesting issues I hoped would be explored. And some were. Why Ambrose cloned Annette and how he did it were addressed, but why Annette suddenly became "not Annette" when she realized she was cloned really threw me. All of Annette's memories were her memories. What made her suddenly think of Annette as other? But the writing was compelling enough that I went with it. Bluebeard's Machine was good, but it could have been great. Maybe it was the length. Eighty-three pages isn't a lot when it comes to describing complicated things like cloning and underwater houses much less crafting a compelling plot that tackles interesting topics like what makes a person uniquely themselves and not someone else. The writing was technically solid, but there were simply too many motivational issues for me. I wanted to know why and I was left wanting. Ambrose should have been an interesting, complicated character, but he was cruel, unbelievably powerful, and strangely one dimensional. I would have enjoyed seeing things from his POV, his excitement at his apparent success, his disappointment when he realizes he's failed, and his reasoning for making the subsequent decisions. Both Ada and Issac could have used a bit more development as well. The romance between them grew so quickly. Does Issac really love Ada or is it still all about Annette? How do either of them know? But Ada's actions in the final chapter stunned me and made me question what type of person she was. A few quick sentences wasn't enough to explain why she did what she did and how she even managed to do it. I'm being purposely vague to avoid spoilers, so if you want to know what I'm talking about, you'll have to read the book. Bluebeard's Machine has such potential, is very unique and really is a good story. I never once even though of stopping reading it -- I was involved enough to need to know the resolution. Even so, I'd love to see Ms. Fee expand this into a full length novel. Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
** spoiler alert ** After being mostly disappointed in the books I've read from Samhain so far, I was pleasantly surprised in this steampunk/fairy tale novella. Other than wishing for a longer, more fleshed-out story, I really enjoyed this Bluebeard-inspired tale. First, Bluebeard is a creepy fairy tale, and the prologue of this book captured that creepiness perfectly. Annette finds the key to her husband's study. Determined to find out what occupies so much of her husband's time in there, she investigates, only to discover she's not who she thinks she is. Annette Parker died years ago and her husband has been trying to bring her back since through cloning. On a shelf she finds the skulls of her four predecessors. In her husband's diary she discovers that he considers her a failed experiment, and he plans to try again soon, which means he plans to get rid of her soon as well. Determined to not share the same fate as the previous four "specimens," she leaves, intent on making her way to Australia, somewhere she believes her "husband" will never find her. However, she needs help, mostly money, to get there. She chooses the name Ada, poses as Annette Parker's cousin, and goes to Isaac Ward for help, a naturalist who once asked for Annette's hand in marriage. Being a novella, the relationship between Isaac and Ada is a bit rushed for my taste, but I liked both of them, and I cared about whether they ended up together or not. (Which, of course, they do...but not until they defeat her "husband" who comes after Ada after she ran away).