Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.My Thoughts: This book was a load of fun. A LOAD. The blending of steampunk, knights, magick, vampyres and other supernatural critters just flat out worked. The mystery of what the vampyres were working toward, the flashes of magick, the rigid social lines that both Caroline and Merrick were trying not to cross and the five gifted children that tied it all together made for a sassy, spunky, well-crafted world with surprises hiding around every corner.
Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she's ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess.
When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery...
First off, I loved the children. They each had their own strengths and they all looked out for one another. They had made themselves into a family even though they weren't all related by blood. That becomes a sort of theme as Caroline begins to view them as more than just her charges and Merrick takes them under his wing despite his occasional misgivings. When one of them is threatened, they all rush in to help - from the adults right on down to their clockwork dog.
Caroline is initially reluctant to get involved with Merrick's household. She's been treated badly by other male employers and she has no desire to go down that road again. Once she gets steamrolled (haha! I said steamrolled and I'm talking about a steampunk book! I love it when words come together like that!) into helping Merrick and the children, she finds that all of them get under her skin and into her heart.
Merrick's desire to do the right thing, both for the children and for Caroline, makes him a sweet, chivalrous hero. The fact that he's a hunky knight with a handful of magick doesn't hurt him in the least.
This book pretty much hit the spot for me on every level. It was sexy, clockwork-y, violent and sweet. All at once. And that's a nice combination.
More books by Cindy Spencer Pape
Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The Paranormal Romance Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge, The Steampunk Challenge