Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

by Nancy Campbell Allen


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Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast in this Steampunk Proper Romance

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, shape-shifting creatures have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border.

Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Could Miles be to blame for the deaths?

Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629721750
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date: 08/02/2016
Series: A Steampunk Proper Romance Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 314,887
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Nancy Campbell Allen is the author of twelve novels, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events. She has a degree in Elementary Education and is the mother of three children.

Read an Excerpt

Blackwell was dressed in black trousers and black riding boots that sported mud spatters. His discarded overcoat was slung over the back of the sofa, his unbuttoned vest was black, as was his cravat, which was undone and hanging loosely about his neck. He’d rolled back the cuffs of his snowy-white shirt, which was the only color contrast on an otherwise intimidating male with black hair and a thick scar that ran the length of his profile on the right side of his face. It extended from his temple, across the cheekbone and down to his jawline just beyond the corner of his mouth. The flickering lamplight showed that it continued under his chin and down across the front of his neck where it eventually disappeared under his shirt.

Lucy frowned and drew her brows together in spite of his uncomfortably close proximity, studying his face.

?“Do you have something you would like to say?” the man murmured, his voice deep, strained.

She opened her mouth and spoke before giving any real thought to her words. “Your scar isn’t nearly as fearsome as others suggest.” Her tone trailed off as she realized the extent of her social gaffe. Not only was she wandering about in the wee hours of the morning in nothing but her night clothing, she had just been blunt and insulting to the lord of the manor and her cousin’s brother-in-law. She was usually much more circumspect. Her only excuse for the lack of polish was the fact that she’d just seen an apparition—of which she’d formerly doubted the existence—and now the ghost’s brother wasn’t proving to be any more pleasant.

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Beauty and the Clockwork Beast 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it,I started reading and could not stop can't wait to read more of the steampunk proper romance
gaele More than 1 year ago
AudioBook Review Stars: Overall : 4 Narration: 4 Story: 3 Take one fairy tale, play up the romance, add a dash of mystery and bring in the novelty of steampunk elements all while playing with the Victorian era theme and you get this. Yes, there were more than a few moments of overly-flowery prose and passages that felt more tortured than romantic, but the concepts and the characters were amazing. Lucy Pickett is wonderful: she arrives to help an ailing relation and finds herself in the midst of a mystery with werewolves over the border, a ghost in the house and a very cranky (and wholly inhospitable) Lord of the manor. Miles has more than a handful of secrets and questions: grief at the deaths of his wife and sister, tales of werewolves and vampires and, of course, the ghost. He’s more concerned with providing himself with a quiet and remote life – where he can live in peace. The chemistry between these two fairly sparks from the page, as they come to some tentative agreements in their investigations. Lucy is beautiful inside and out, and it is her being and intelligence that convince Miles to work with her, start to trust her, and his feelings develop from there. I’ll be honest and say that often I found the writing in need of some serious editing – it wasn’t so much what the sentences were saying, but the way in which it was said: flowery, over-emphatic and often repetitive. But- the mystery was glorious, and Lucy and Miles do develop and grow as the story progresses. Steampunk elements are mixed throughout to wonderful effect, the mixing of new ideas, thoughts and imagery was both intriguing and imaginative. For those reasons alone, I’m curious about the next in the series. Not perfect by any matter, the story will excite readers wanting something new and unique to read over a few days. Narration for this title was provided by Saskia Maarleveld, and her narration managed to enhance the story flow: characters were unique and distinct, her presentation and enunciation were clear and there were no blatant hesitations to take listeners from the flow. Pauses for effect were clearly presented, tone and pacing varied from “interior” to “conversation’” to “suspenseful” moments without misstep. The first I’ve listened to from this narrator, I’m sure to be returning for more of her work. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the publisher via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Old_Tome More than 1 year ago
What a perfect blend of a kaleidoscope of genres: Victorian, gothic, romance, paranormal, mystery, and steampunk! This was my introduction steampunk, and I loved it. Nancy Campbell Allen's writing is beautiful, the story gripping, the romance sweet. I especially enjoyed the paranormal and steampunk characteristics that added unique flavor to the story. An inventive retelling of Beauty and the Beast with shadows of Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. It is certainly a novel I will recommend to my book club, friends, and anyone else who might listen to me, and one I nominated for a Whitney Award. Super fun. You don't want to miss this one!
WishEnd More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST was such an entertaining mix of intrigue, danger, complex family relationships, and romance all set in a alternate historical England world. The complex characters and a plot that played off a Beauty and the Beast theme written in its own way made for a rather interesting tale. Those who enjoy Steampunk are sure to love this from beginning to end! I simply adored the heroine, Lucy. She was intelligent, witty, charming, and loyal. I loved her heart and determination. Then there was Miles. He is your usual brooding gentleman, but not quite as he hides his own secret. He is a foreboding force, but also has a very strong sense of loyalty and a sharp mind. I loved him with all his faults and walls to protect his heart. My favorite parts of the story were with the two of them, especially when the occasions they meet are spontaneous. I also really liked the other characters and am hoping to see future books that will focus on them. The plot was very evenly paced with a few spots of climax that steadily grew to the very dramatic end. There were a few places towards the end that I thought could have been worked out slightly better in a different way, but that would be the only thing that was slightly off for me. Everything was balanced well between the witty banter and dialogue, the array of emotions, a humorous touch here and there along with some definite sarcasm, the ongoing mystery of the recent deaths, and the blooming romance. There is a dancing scene that literally made me swoon and is one of the most romantic moments I've ever read. Makes me sigh just thinking about it. In the end, was it what I wished for? Yes. If you like your books straightly historical with no paranormal or steampunk aspects, then this definitely won't be for you. However, if you're like me and enjoy these types of stories, you will thoroughly enjoy this one. I'm happily awaiting the next installment! Content: Some violence, but clean. Source: Purchased and received an ARC from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.
CamiChecketts More than 1 year ago
I love all of Nancy Campbell Allen's books so I was thrilled when Deseret Book asked me to review this one. I have to admit, I didn't read the description and had absolutely no clue that it was steampunk, not a genre I normally enjoy. It took me a few chapters to fall in love with the book and the characters, but fall in love I did. I absolutely devoured the book and am hoping there will be more stories in the series, starting with Lucy's brother please.
InvestedIvana More than 1 year ago
Author Nancy Campbell Allen does some really great world-building in Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. This book has romance, mystery, gaslamp, and paranormal elements—something to make all readers happy! What drew me to this book: I spent a fair amount of time at the Shadow Mountain booth at BEA16. They have some really great books in their current catalog and coming out yet this year! They currently have a brand of book called “A Proper Romance.” “This new brand of “proper” romance allows readers to enjoy romance at its very best—and at its cleanest—portraying everything they love about a passionate, romantic novel, without busting corsets or bed scenes.” —from the Shadow Mountain website. With Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, they are launching a new branch of this brand, “A Steampunk Proper Romance,” which, if I remember correctly, will be romantic steampunk stories with a classic fairy tale influence. I like steampunk, I like fairy tale retellings, and I also like the idea of a “clean” romance, so I decided to give it a try. What kept me reading: Ms. Allen does a great job of world-building in Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. Her Victorian England feels both historical and modern at the same time: there are airship flights available at all hours; solders suffer from PTSD and other forms of trauma; Tesla’s work has provided electric light and instant communication one can carry in a pocket or reticule; and some women are allowed to hold jobs and be independent, though it’s not common. The fact that there are ghosts, vampires, and werewolves just adds spice to the mix. Though the de rigueur elements of a courtship, romantic angst, a proclamation of love, and a HEA are present, the story is also a double murder mystery. The mystery element really sucked me into the story along with the world-building. Why I recommend it: Though I’m not typically a fan of romances in general, I really enjoyed Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. The characters and the world were well-written and felt real, the plot was compelling, and I found myself rooting for the two suitors. And I really did appreciate that, while there were some tender romantic scenes, I didn’t have to play the voyeur. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
lilacqueen75 More than 1 year ago
I've never read a steampunk novel before and I actually had no idea what that even meant. It's a type of science or speculative fiction that usually features fantasy or horror themes. How intriguing is this? Especially in a proper romance setting? One of my favorite classic novels is Jane Eyre and one of my favorite fairy tales is Beauty and the Beast, so just image my delight in discovering a way for these two favorites to mesh in a way that involves vampires and werewolves too. This story concept is so new and unique to me and completely captured my attention and I found myself furiously flipping through the pages to find out what could possibly happen next. I was enthralled by animals, servants, and parts of humans that had mechanical elements. As for the characters, Lucy is a very no-nonsense kind of woman and works hard to find resolution for some of the issues plaguing society. She's very likable and deals with the paranormal in stride. Her cousin, Kate, has some mysterious issues and even in the midst of that, their camaraderie is very tender. Miles is scary to most, but his desire to solve the mysteries surrounding his estate throws him in with Lucy and the way they work together to figure things out is so sweet. I loved all of the characters, the relationships, and the way the story flows. The pathway of the different components just captured me, heart and soul. As always, with a book of this magnitude, I'm hoping for more. Content: mild romance; mild violence (death, murders, attacks--nothing graphic). Clean! *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
quibecca More than 1 year ago
I love re-tellings so much, when they are done well. This one is done well. Different! Plus, this is Beauty and the Beast. Does it get any better than that? Not in my opinion. This is one of my all time favorite fairy tales. What better story than seeing beyond what's outside and seeing what really matters. This story is just that. Lucy arrives at the Blackwell Manor and has heard all the horror stories of the Lord of the manor. Not having met him yet, she only had to go off what every one else had told her about him. Lucy was not there for the Lord of the manor though. She was there for her cousin Kate. Who is as close to her as a sister. Kate had been ill since being married and going to the Blackwell manor. Lucy is determined to find out what is ailing her and won't give up until she does. Lucy finds that there is more going on in the manor than meets the eye. There is so much to this story. There are 'bots' that take care of the manor. There are forces outside of the "real" world that are in the manor. Miles Blackwell, Lord of the manor is not just a man. Lucy, is a lovable and funny character from the very beginning. She is spunky, and one hard headed woman who knows what she wants. Love her. There are so many elements to this book that just made me happy. I love the world that Allen brings to life in this book. I love the characters! Each one brings a new spin to the book. There are so many wonderful, cryptic, interesting, fantastic things happening in this book. It was exciting to read, and kept me interested from beginning to end, with a love story to boot. It doesn't get much better than that.
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast is a paranormal steampunk novel. We are introduced to Lucy Pickett as she travels by dirigible to visit her newly married cousin Kate. Kate was swept off her feet by the younger brother of the Lord of the Manor, and has written to Lucy about her mysterious illness. Lucy, a botanist, rushes to her side. What she finds is more than a mysterious illness. She encounters a ghost who seems to be trying to deliver a message to her and an irritable, yet handsome Lord who needs her help. This steampunk version of England where humans exist alongside mechanical beings, vampires and werewolves was fascinating, and the mystery well written. Lucy, a singularly intelligent, independent woman is not afraid of the scarred, flawed Lord Miles. As they work this mystery together, she digs into his family's past, and secrets he has been trying to keep are revealed. Lucy, see's the true man behind the irritable exterior and using her charm, leads him to believe that he may be able to have a real life, with her. There was one section of this book where Lucy has yet again faced danger and Miles has rescued her. She reveals her feelings to him, stating that he, alone, see's her for what she is, and respects her for it. That most men are threatened by her skills, and yet he see's the value in them and her. She tells him that he is the perfect man for her. It was really a lovely paragraph, and made me like the two of them as a couple very much. Two people who viewed themselves as not fitting into society easily, and yet, they found each other. Exactly what we all want to believe in, right? This was my first novel by Nancy Campbell Allen and I liked her writing style very much. The world she created was original, the people within it engaging, and the mystery interesting. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Shadow Mountain, through NetGalley, for my honest review.