Mission... Impossible: The pixies' mission—if Allegro and Glissando are to accept it—is to secure the future of a troubled England. To achieve this, the Earl of Falconwood, better known as the Black Falcon, must marry Nicola Moore. Never mind the woman is a hoyden who makes the most atrocious hats decorated with machine parts, which she then dyes with her famous Clockwork Blue. And certainly forget the earl is atoning for his brother's death by purposely hovering on the fringes of the ton. Add to the mix Glissando's tendency to slip to the side of the Mrasek, the ones who work to free the evil Lord Sethos. But Maestro depends on the pixies—for better or for worse. To release the magic trapped in the Clockwork Blue dye—a magic that will safeguard England's future—Malcolm and Nicola must not only wed, but they must also fall in love
Enchanting and charming, Clockwork Blue starts in the clouds, right above England during France and Britain's shaky Treaty of Amiens, with faeries discussing a mission to get two outwardly different humans to fall in love. "This union has to do with Britain's success in winning and how the country will overcome the aftermath of war. Everything hinges on the Clockwork Blue"—a particular dye developed by the female protagonist, Nicola Moore.
Like Allegro, one of the faeries, you might ask: "How can dye and love—things that are so trivial—have an effect on something huge?" Though you'll get the answer early enough, its the small details and significance of the color and dye to the characters that adds mystery and a little more depth. While wondering how sweet, independent Nicola and the mysterious Malcolm (a.k.a. the Black Falcon) will come to terms, their individual histories and aspirations complimented the story and rounded it off nicely.
Courtesy of the author, I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed it—tremendously—but have to say it's more historical romance mixed with fantasy than anything else (in my opinion). Other than steam-engine cars instead of gasoline, Nicola's fancy for gears and mechanics, and the vintage-chic fashion, the steampunk isn't prominent and dies off in the second half. The good vs. evil, light vs. dark plot tapers a bit, too.
But I still had so much fun reading the pair's interaction and blooming relationship, and with two endearing faeries to give them a hand and grow as characters themselves, Clockwork Blue was a feel-good, give-a-little-grin book. Add a sprinkle of industrial England and a couple dashes of sex, you've got a sensational color of a book and start to a series.
Amazon.com Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars