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1.16.2013

Review: Broken Promises by J.K. Coi

Broken Promises (Seasons of Invention #2) by J.K. Coi
Steampunk, Novella
Ebook $3.99 (94 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Former ballerina Callie Carlisle is determined to rebuild her life with her new mechanical limbs. She's just learned to accept the enhancements that saved her from certain death when she experiences uncontrollable twinges and flashes of light that obscure her vision. Terrified of literally falling apart, she resists telling her husband. Jasper's already vowed to keep her out of harm, and she doesn't want to worry him further.
When the War Office's General Black arrives with an urgent mission—rescue the doctor who created Callie's enhancements—she has no choice but to accept. A rogue agent and former patient of the scientist believes the biomechanical modifications he received are killing him, and he's out for revenge.
Callie must reach the doctor before it's too late. But with an overprotective Jasper at her side, and her alarming symptoms getting more frequent, will she be able to hold herself together long enough to save the doctor...and herself?

Author Site: jkcoi.com

Worth reading if you've read FAR FROM BROKEN first. (3 stars)

Jasper and Callie Carlisle have been to hell and back as they've re-established their bond as husband and wife. A former ballerina, Callie's new mechanical parts saved her from death but have cost her her dreams. Though she'll never dance again and the babies she one day dreamed of raising with Jasper are gone, there is much she still can do. But a series of glitches in her mechanicals brings to light the flawed science of her enhancements, and she's not the only patient suffering from them.

When a rogue agent enduring similar breakdowns in his machinery decides the only way to end his suffering is revenge, Callie and Jasper must rescue the doctor who put them together. With her symptoms growing worse Callie can't hide them from Jasper for long. Will their newly rekindled trust weather the storm or could her secrets destroy them both?

I very much enjoyed the first Seasons of Invention story, FAR FROM BROKEN, in the A CLOCKWORK CHRISTMAS anthology. It was a very emotional tale and that tension between Callie and Jasper made me excited to see them make it. Unfortunately, I just didn't feel the same with BROKEN PROMISES. While a solid adventure story, the emotional component was minimal and I honestly never felt like the danger was all that real for Callie. Every move was predictable and the story flew by without leaving a particularly strong impression.

If you enjoy series where the hero and heroine are already married and steampunk it's worth reading but can't stand alone. You have to read FAR FROM BROKEN first or you will be completely lost. Even having read it a year earlier I had to refresh my memory. I'd certainly give another story featuring Jasper and Callie a try but this one was pretty lukewarm.



Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

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