Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date–after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.
In a desperate attempt to find Malette–the witch who cursed her–Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett’s private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she’s traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.
Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla’s death-like sleep becomes permanent.
Review of Kiss of the Spindle
Doctor Isla Cooper is brilliant and determined. It is that determined bit that gets her onto a last minute flight to the Caribbean. Her methods are less than polite and Daniel Pickett’s initial impression is not favorable. However, after he divests her of all her weapons, he begins to feel a little respect/attraction to the good Doctor. And when he learns more about who she is and what she does, the esteem level raises even more. The initial meeting between Isla and Daniel does a tremendous job of setting the stage not only for the forthcoming romance, but also for the adventure and intrigue to follow.
Daniel is aiding three shifter passengers to help them to a better life. Unfortunately, another last minute passenger, the extremely disagreeble Nigel Crowe of the Predatory Shifter Regulations Committee, is going to test Daniel’s patience and his skill as an airship polite. Crowe’s presence on the ship was both annoying and entertaining. Unfortunately, as the journey progressed, Crowe avoided the other passengers, so there were fewer provocative conversations.
Bits of Isla’s background are related in the beginning, but you learn the most about her through her conversations, journal/list entries and her actions. There is much to this very interesting character to get to know. For example, Isla’s experience and skill with shifters will come in handy during the voyage as they face the coming full moon. Yes, there will be a full moon.
The publisher, Shadow Mountain, has a number of ‘Proper Romance’ novels. They are very PG, with some violence, but no horribly graphic violence. There is no intimate sex on the page and anything more is only hinted at. However, romance in Kiss of the Spindle was not lacking into intensity. I would describe it as ‘Proper’-ly complicated and captivating. The initial antagonistic relationship slowly warms to attraction and more, once Isla and Daniel work through all the other intrigue in their lives.
And there is intrigue. Plenty of it. Everybody seems to be hiding something, some more obvious (shifters) than others (Daniel, Isla, even Crowe). And the curse that has Isla dead to the world for 6 hours every night … Well, ending it will challenge everybody.
The fairy tale theme of Sleeping Beauty is secondary to the characters and the story. As I read, I really did not think of the fairy tale at all until near the end. Kiss of the Spindle is the second in Nancy Campbell Allen’s Steampunk Proper Romance series based on fairy tales. The first, Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, is tied to Kiss of the Spindle by mention of characters and background history. But they are also completely standalone stories. I would recommend both of these books to anyone who enjoys steampunk romance.
Though Edelweiss, the publisher provided a copy of this book so that I could bring you this honest review.
Add Kiss of the Spindle to your Goodreads shelf:
Purchase Kiss of the Spindle or Beauty and the Clockwork Beast: