Steam & Sorcery

Steam & Sorcery

4.1 61
by Cindy Spencer Pape
     
 

Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a

Overview

Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.

Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she's ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess.

When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery...

76,400 words

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426891281
Publisher:
Carina Press
Publication date:
03/07/2011
Series:
Gaslight Chronicles
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
296,405
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt


Mayfair, London, February 1851

"We live in an age where people can travel on ships that fly through the air." The sharp rap of an umbrella point on the wooden floor of the carriage punctuated the sentence. "Where a machine can calculate the distance between the stars in less time than it takes you to tie your cravat. I fail to comprehend why, in such an otherwise enlightened era, your ridiculously hidebound Order of the Round Table should refuse to admit female Knights."

"You answered your own question, aunt, when you said the words 'ridiculously hidebound.'" Sir Merrick Hadrian smiled across the coach at his aunt Dorothy, the woman who had more or less raised him since his mother's death when he was six, despite the fact that she was only eight years his senior. This argument was as old and comfortable as his favorite walking boots. "I am in complete agreement with you that the Order of the Round Table is a stodgy and backward organization, so arguing with me is pointless."

"Then do something about it." There was another thump from the umbrella.

"I am merely a foot soldier, aunt. I assure you, my opinion is well known among my superiors." And it was one of the reasons Merrick hadn't advanced into the inner circle of the Knights' leadership. Not that he minded. He was still young and hale enough to prefer fieldwork.

"Yes, but as those fuddy-duddies die off and retire, you will gain power. I want you to promise me you'll work to open the doors. Mathematics, the sciences, engineering-all these professions are slowly proving that women can and do make valid contributions. Law and medicine cannot be far behind."

Merrick idly wondered if Dorothy had a shrine in her room to Ada, Lady Lovelace, whose work with Lord Babbage on his analytical engine had both changed the world technologically, and proven beyond doubt that women were the intellectual equals of men.

"You know very well, nephew, I was born with just as much innate ability as some of those striplings we met at the MacKays' ball last evening."

"In deductive reasoning, as well as in magickal power." It was easy to agree with her as she was right. Sir William MacKay was Merrick's friend and mentor, but Merrick hadn't been at all impressed by Sir William's latest recruits to the Order. "Hell, probably even in swordplay."

Dorothy grinned back at him, her brown eyes, a mirror image of his own, lighting in affection. "Good lad." She patted him on the cheek as if he wasn't thirty-five years old, just as the carriage rolled to a halt in front of her favorite ladies' lending library.

Merrick leapt out of the coach to help her down. Not that she needed it, of course, but manners were still manners, after all. The cold snap they'd been enduring had left small patches of ice on the road, and he made sure his footing was solid before he held out his hand for Dorothy to alight.

Once on the pavement, his aunt leaned up to kiss his cheek. "Thank you for the lift, dear. I'll see you at four."

Before Merrick could reply, he heard the sound of scurrying footsteps, then a little shriek just before someone slammed into his shoulder. He let go of his aunt and spun to catch the woman who slipped about in thin-soled boots. A strange jolt ran up from the point where his gloved hand clamped down on her arm, through a threadbare woolen coat. Magick?

Meet the Author

Cindy Spencer Pape is an avid reader of romance, fantasy, mystery, and even more romance. According to The Romance Studio, her plots are "full of twists and turns that keep the reader poised at the edge of their seat." Joyfully Reviewed said her "colorful characters and plot building surprises kept me spellbound," and RT Book Reviews says her "characters are appealing, and passionate sex leads to a satisfying romance."

Cindy firmly believes in happily-ever-after. Married for more than twenty years to her own, sometimes-kilted, hero, she lives in southern Michigan with him and two teenage sons, along with an ever-changing menagerie of pets. Cindy has been, among other things, a banker, a teacher and an elected politician, but mostly an environmental educator, though now she is lucky enough to write full-time. Her degrees in zoology and animal behavior almost help her comprehend the three male humans who share her household.

Cindy loves to hear from readers. To contact her, or for more about Cindy and her books, you can find her on her website, www.cindyspencerpape.com, or her blog, www.cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com.

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Steam & Sorcery 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
LiederMadchen More than 1 year ago
This book was a huge amount of fun. I love steampunk and paranormal and this book blends them perfectly. With clockwork dogs and undead creatures roaming the streets of London, an interesting new world is created. Caroline is a lovely lady who has had a very difficult time of it. Raised in a wealthy household (though she refuses to tell whose) and then working as a governess (sometimes to not very nice people) as well as her own sense of determination serve her very well in Merrick's adventurous home and make her a fun character to read. Mysterious, brave and good with children is a lovely combination in a heroine. I love Merrick. First, he is a fierce sword-wielding monster slayer. Second, he loves his five adopted children dearly, even though he doesn't admit it for a while. Third, he is absolutely hopeless when it comes to stopping Caroline from doing what she wants, no matter how dangerous, and he is always ready to defend her honour. He is very much so a knight in shining armor. The kids are great. Used to living on the streets and fighting for themselves, they have many unusual skills and hate being left behind. Each of them has different and fun personalities and abilities. I love how excited they are to have a weapon in hand. The plot was well-paced; not too fast, not too slow and with plenty of action. The romance was for the most part lovely but I disliked that they did not wait for marriage. In that time period, Caroline could have been ruined and I am not altogether happy that Merrick risked it. However, for the most part it moved along nicely from the streets to upscale mansions and crowded dance floors. Sigh, I love stories set in London. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance, steampunk and paranormal. It is not one to be missed.
BBsBookNook More than 1 year ago
Set in London in 1851, in the era of steam and mechanization, Lord Merrick Hadrian finds himself in a predicament. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, a direct descendant of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table, Sir Merrick has been tasked with a great problem. He can seek help from none of his brethren. Along the way, he receives assistance from a rag-tag group of five gifted children, and one Miss Caroline Bristol. The way in which the events unfold is truly enjoyable, and keeps the reader enthralled. For lovers of paranormal, romance, steam punk, or erotica, all will find something to love in this book. The attention to detailnis amazing! A fabulous read! **** four out of five stars... I look forward to more of this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to the writing style of Cindy Spencer Pape through her short story Photographs and Phantoms, which takes place AFTER the setting of this novel. I was excited to read this story based on my liking for the short story. This novel did not disappoint. I was quickly wrapped up in the story line and its characters. I look forward to seeing what else this author has in story for her readers.
GHott More than 1 year ago
The characters seemed so real that I miss them. I especially adored the children but, I am a sucker for any character that loves and accepts orphans.
RBtWBC More than 1 year ago
Steam & Sorcery had the potential of being a really great novel; there is a capable, smart and handsome hero, a headstrong heroine that can take care of herself, five orphaned children with supernatural abilities, vampires, werewolves and interesting gadgets one of the children creates. But when it came to the actual plot, it fell a bit flat. The story starts out at a good pace with action right off the bat; Sir Merrick is a Knight in a secret order that protects the rest of the world against the monsters. He is investigating the disappearance of several women when vampires ambush him and help comes in the package of five young waifs. When he discovers that one boy is a potential knight and the others have special abilities of his own he brings them into his home as his wards. However, he soon realizes he needs help and with the suggestion of his aunt hires Caroline as a governess. There is an instant sizzle between them, each character is interesting, but after the initial character introductions the story plods along slowly with the action dwindling. The romance between the two main characters is hot but predictable, they fight their attraction for each other and try to keep a professional distance but give in eventually. The mystery of the missing women and the congregation of vampires is weaved into the romance but the slow-going romance is the center of the plot. Merrick's Aunt added fun feminist humor, the paranormal side was intriguing but never fully developed, the steam punk aspects were in large part children's toys and the ending felt rushed. Overall though, it was still a fun little read.
Dee_avid_rdr More than 1 year ago
it was like having all my favorite books crammed into one story. it was great! the characters are unforgettable, the story line imaginative and i really can't wait for the next book. i'm actually hoping that the author makes the series about the two main characters, caroline and merrick, rather than create new stories stemming from other side characters. i guess we'll have to wait and see.
Vivre More than 1 year ago
I've never read steampunk before, but I thought paranormal steampunk would be kind of interesting and I was right. I hated to see the book end. The characters are interesting and you really end up caring what happens to them. Which is why I hope at least some of the future books will include them. I can't wait for the series to continue.
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tp58 More than 1 year ago
Good use of humor. Good characters and dialogue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As the norm, I do not care for romance. This is because most romance stories follow the same pattern--they meet, are terribly attracted, have too many obstacles to over come ie: not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not in the same social class, feel they have to hide their true feelings, ad nauseum. While this tale did have a romance, it was presented wonderfully and with a refreshing absence of the usual vapid angst that plague most "romances". This was a damn good story with a little romance on the side with most of the text being spent on the action, mystery, and suspense of the tale instead of spending so much wasted time on the "agonies" of a relationship that you already know how it will end. Thanks for a great time!
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Honorable hero, self-directed heroine, five supernaturally gifted children and a supporting cast of interesting characters, all blended in a steampunk romance with vampires, ghosts and werewolves oh, my! Pape has a deft way of makingthe sometimes outlandish world of steampunk understandable and real, and her characters are so endearing that I'm committed to the series and hope it lasts long enough for the children to grow up and achieve their own potential.
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BSharp More than 1 year ago
My thoughts: I enjoyed this story very much. I have come to love steampunk and this is a fabulous example of genre. The characters are delightful! Well developed, interesting, and lovable. The author has done a fantastic job of disarming the reader and depositing the children directly in your heart. Sir Merrick is a treat and Miss Caroline Bristol is wonderful. The unexpected romance is an added bonus. Social class be damned! The story flows smoothly and is filled with gripping intrigue, unusual adventures, and monsters. It is clever, creative, and well written. Well worth a read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago