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About Vesta’s Clockwork Companions

When Vesta Bartlett, a wealthy alchemist and inventor, arrives in England to finalize an arranged marriage and help overhaul a family friend’s outdated ironworks, she never expects to find the family so secretive, nor to develop feelings for her fiancé’s younger brother, Henry.

But the growing attraction between Vesta and Henry is just the beginning of their troubles. Things really heat up when they’re drawn into a secret project for Queen Victoria’s military, one that requires Vesta’s knowledge of clockwork and Henry’s iron.

An epidemic has wiped out all the dogs in Britain, and beyond. If the military fail in their effort to restore the species, a clockwork creation may be all that stands in the way of a world without canine companionship.

Are Vesta and Henry up to the challenge?

 

Review of Vesta’s Clockwork Companions

Vesta is a young women, trained by her father in metallurgy and alchemy. She needs more practice to develop her skills, but thanks to her very talented father, Vesta is on her way to becoming one of the best. She is not only skilled, but also quite inventive. Vesta creates clockwork pieces. She is also curious, compassionate and highly intelligent. Everything you want in a heroine.

Henry is the younger son of the Colchester family. It is obvious he has a thing for Vesta from the beginning, but she is betrothed to his older brother Percy. Henry is smart, book smart and street smart, and is the only one in the family that can make sense of the family business. Henry and Vesta share the traits of both common sense and a sense of adventure. They get along just fine if you know what I mean!

I would have liked more background on Vesta’s father, Jonathon Bartlett. There were quite a few hints about his past, but the details were not really filled in. And I think he is potentially a cool character, since he is such a talented alchemist and all round good father.

I would also like more background on the relationship between the two families – the Colchesters and the Bartletts. Yes, they knew each other before, but again, the details are vague. The Bartletts are from America and the Colchesters reside in England. More history would really add to the character development. Exactly how did Vesta and Percy come to be betrothed? It is obvious the two are not suited for each other. Considering the American culture, it does not make sense that Vesta would be forced to marry someone she not at all suited for. (Thank heavens, they all come to the same realization by the end of the book.)

Henry’s friend Acton is an interesting figure. He seems a bit of a gangster, but maybe that is a role he plays. He also seems a bit of a bleeding heart. So what, exactly, is he? Like I said, interesting. It is Acton that leads Henry and Vesta into their clockwork adventure with the upper echelon of England.

It took quite a while to get to the actual “clockwork companions” part of the story. You may call it build up. I’m not sure it was all necessary. There was a whole secondary plot line in addition to Vesta’s clockwork creations. The story of the Colchesters and their ironworks and the story of Vesta’s clockwork creations do overlap a bit, but the connections existed pretty much due to Henry. That is, he is in the Colchester family and he is involved in the clockwork aspect of the story.

The cover image for this book shows a man with a mechanical arm. Vesta is not the arm creator, nor is the man with the metal arm Vesta’s love interest Henry. The man is an incidental minor character. So the cover is a bit deceptive. Still, it is a cool cover.

I don’t know if a series is intended. Vesta’s Clockwork Companions is a standalone novel. But there is potential for more, since there is a dramatic scene near the end. There is plenty of room for character growth and there may be some conflict coming from the Queen of England. So….. I’d like to see more of Vesta and Henry and the fate of the clockwork companions.

Family matters, steampunk, national security and romance make up the tale of Vesta’s Clockwork Companions. I found this book to be sometime humorous, always engaging and entirely entertaining.

The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

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