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♥ -- Rhi


5.17.2015

Mini Reviews: Clockwork Mafia / Yesterday's Heroes / Asher's Dilemma

I'm attempting to get to a bunch of really old unreviewed titles I requested from NetGalley over the years. So I'm going to do mini-reviews in clusters since I'll be reading more than one in a day when possible. This weekend I managed to cram in 2 in one day and finish another one! -- Rhi

Asher's Dilemma by Colleen Kwan
Steampunk, Romance, Time Travel
Ebook/Audio (91 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Ever since he awoke one day on the floor of his workshop with a brain-splitting headache, Asher Quigley has been haunted by fleeting visions of a beautiful woman everywhere he looks—a woman he's sure he knows, but can't recall. In spite of this he has finished his most wondrous invention yet, one that will literally make history: a time machine. But before he can complete his exacting calculations a bizarre accident causes the device to be activated, with him inside! He awakes to find himself in his lab, eight months in the past, and suddenly he remembers her…
Asher knows that something in the near future causes Minerva Lambkin, the woman who turned down his marriage proposal, to be erased from existence. And he's sure it has something to do with his device. Alone in a familiar world where he doesn't belong, he'll have to find a way to destroy the time machine to save the woman he loves from extinction. Even if that means erasing his own future.


Big adventure, small book! (5 stars)

After finishing ASHER'S DILEMMA I was kind of surprised at how few pages it actually was. So much story is packed into this little book that it felt considerably longer. That said it was a fast-paced and exciting read filled with mystery and intrigue as well as a heaping dose of pseudo-science and steampunky elements that were very enjoyable.

I didn't realize when I started it that it was actually the second book in a series and I'm happy to say it stands alone nicely enough I was able to enjoy it. The romance feels a bit secondary to the overall time-traveling-trouble story but winds up being so lovely I was really happy with it. If you love a good time travel story with some fun pseudo-science and a hearty mystery I definitely recommend it!

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.



Yesterday's Heroes by Heather Long
Romance, Scifi, Time Travel
Ebook/Audio (82 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Aurora "Rory" Graystone
Codename: Halo
Abilities: superior reflexes, I.Q. and aptitude for calculating probabilities
Mission: find missing teammates
Rory knows she's being watched, and she's not about to let the hunter catch her in his trap. She'll confront her stalker, a man she suspects is involved in the disappearances of other superheroes—if she can ignore the sensual heat that fills her every time he's near...
Michael Hunter
Codename: Hard Target
Abilities: expert tracker and sniper
Mission: kill Rory Graystone
One of five desperate men sent back in time to save the future, Michael believes eliminating Rory is the key to his mission. But even as he takes aim, a split second of doubt causes him to miss his shot.
Drawn together by passion, and on a collision course with fate, can Rory and Michael work together to change the future? Or have they set in motion the horrific history the time travelers are trying to prevent?


Technically this was a DNF for me... (2 stars)

I love a good superhero romance story but they are really hard to come by. I've liked Heather Long's paranormal romances in the past so I thought this one would probably be right up my alley but unfortunately I found it a tedious read.

I think the biggest problem was that this felt like an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type of story. There were time travelers, super powered people, mysterious disappearances, not-really-heroes-heroes, and it all just felt really hodge-podge. I hated the hero intensely but if you're into the caveman types (he's even referred to in that term) you might find it enjoyable. Alas, Rory is pretty much a Smurfette and the story ties up where she's the only female in a group with 7 guys. It just was not my cup of tea and the only reason I read more than the first 10 paged was because I knew it was a short story.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.




Clockwork Mafia by Seleste deLaney
Steampunk, Adventure, Romance
Ebook/Audio (163 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Inventor Henrietta Mason is retiring from airships and adventuring to return home to Philadelphia. Determined to erase all trails leading to her late father's duplicity, she dismantles his lab and removes all records of the Badlands gold. While in the city, she can't resist the lure of a charity gala but winds up regretting the whole experience. Well, everything except a heart-racing dance with a certain U.S. Marshal.
His career and vengeance on the line, Carson Alexander must prove a connection between Senator Mason and the mafia. He lucked out happening across Mason's strikingly beautiful daughter, only to have her slip through his fingers. On a desperate hunt to track her down, he never expects his search to take him into the brutal Badlands.
With a mechanically enhanced enforcer after them, only Carson knows the extent of the danger they face. He'll have to win over Henrietta's trust, and her heart, before it's too late…


More adventure story than romance... (3 stars)

Having read Badlands ages ago I thought I'd probably need a refresher before I read Clockwork Mafia but I think as long as you read the fairly close together you'll be just fine. I really love the world building deLaney has done for this series but I found myself struggling to enjoy this one. I just wasn't digging the mafia element at all. It felt out-of-place for some reason and was only compounded by the constant in fighting between Henri and Ever. It wasn't long before I was skimming along for dialog because I wasn't enjoying the plot much at all.

Also lacking was the romance. I never quite felt any chemistry between Carson and Henri, the romance definitely took a back seat to the adventure story. If you like steampunk with an American accent you might find it really enjoyable but it just didn't work for me.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.



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