Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen
(Steampunk Proper Romance)

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There is a standard traumatic back story for the titular beast, a soap opera–worthy exhumation scene, and, finally, a dramatic unmasking of the obvious villain, but the story has already run out of steam by then.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Just like in the classic"Beauty and the Beast, "this Steampunk Romance features an unlikely love story.
The Lord of Blackwell Manor, Miles, is plagued by a family curse that changes him into a shape-shifting wolf every month during the full moon. Lucy-a smart, attractive, and well-respected botanist-travels to Blackwell Manor to take care of her sick cousin, Kate, who is married to Miles's younger brother. For Lucy, the trip is a welcomed respite from her work and recent discovery-a breakthrough serum that could eliminate the scourge of vampires from London.
However, Lucy finds more than she bargained for when she arrives at the Manor. Miles, who is brash and inhospitable, does not take kindly to visitors. He is still unsettled by the mysterious death of his newlywed wife. And then there's Marie, Miles's sister, who was attacked and murdered just weeks earlier. Miles is horrified to think that he might be to blame for the deaths.
And who is the ghost that haunt the halls? Lucy is convinced that the death of Miles's wife and sister-as well as her cousin's mysterious illness-are tied together, but how?
Lady Charlesworth has her eye on inheriting Blackwell Manor for her family. Could her daughter, Candice, or her son, Arthur, have had a hand in the mysterious deaths? The clues make a vampire suspect highly likely.
During her investigation, Lucy finds herself caring deeply for Miles, but he fights to keep his distance in order to protect Lucy from his family's secret. And, yet, he feels attracted toward the woman who is able to look past the fearsome-looking scar that has marred his handsome face.
With no other option, Miles and Lucy must work together if they are to find the answer to the mysteries at the Manor. But that's not all Lucy wants to solve. There's a deeper mystery behind Miles. Can she solve that, too? Ultimately, she must decide if she can love the man, beast and all.
Also includes a 15-page bonus prequel novelette, Marie s Story. Marie Blake is Miles s younger sister, and her untimely death begins the story of "Beauty and the Clockwork Beast. "Set on the eve of her murder and told in the first-person from her point-of-view readers will get to her know her as a person, and not just as the ghost who haunts the halls of Blackwell Manor. The story provides greater depth and more personal details to one of most memorable characters in the novel.
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About Nancy Campbell Allen

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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.
 
Published August 2, 2016 by Shadow Mountain. 352 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
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Kirkus

Below average
on May 31 2016

There is a standard traumatic back story for the titular beast, a soap opera–worthy exhumation scene, and, finally, a dramatic unmasking of the obvious villain, but the story has already run out of steam by then.

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