**REVIEW** ~ Stolen Petals, by Katherine McIntyre

Steampunk Romance

Novelette

Blurb

Stolen petalsOne man has swiped bounties from Viola, the Brass Violet, for years. Longstanding rivals, they’ve only had brief encounters, and if she had a choice, she’d avoid him entirely. When he saunters into her bar with an offer to work together on a job, the proper response would be to shoot him down and send him back to Shantytown. However, curiosity’s a wicked beast, and Viola needs to know why, after so many years of stealing her marks, he’d approach her now.The man is insufferable, annoyingly cavalier, and tends to stir up memories she’d rather forget–but she needs assistance on this job and he’s offering aid and blueprints which could cut their work in half.

Given the intense way he looks at her though, working together isn’t all he has in mind. Van Clef is known for his persistence and, with his charm, he wins women over effortlessly. Viola’s not so easy though–she’s wise to his tricks. But if he wants to play the game, she will gladly rise to the challenge. By the end of this bounty, she’ll be the one leaving him in the dust.

My Review ***** FIVE STARS

Fun and Flirty Steampunk Adventure

Stolen Petals is a fun and flirty steampunk read with plenty of sexual tension between the main characters Viola and Van Clef (Edward) and a rollicking and adventuresome plot.

I liked and admired the character of Viola, a strong yet vulnerable woman who has dragged herself up in the world from lowly roots to be one of the best bounty hunters around. We find out about her back story as the tale unfolds and I loved how the author pairs her with Edward, a rival who is a bit of a ladies man who tempts her against her better judgement. Edward labels Viola the ‘Ice Queen’ and I was kept guessing as to his true motivations.

Indeed, it is a battle of wills in terms of who will triumph in terms of the bounty and also in terms of their developing relationship. Will Edward get his way and seduce Viola or will Viola manage to rebuff his advances whilst still keeping her heart intact? Indeed, can this scoundrel of a man be trusted at all?

I found the descriptions of the Steampunk world of New London and Shanty Town created by the author to create just the right level of atmosphere to allow me to escape into an alternate world without detracting from the storyline and the romance between Viola and Edward. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the night time streets and the apparel of the characters, especially Viola and Edward’s special ‘tricks’ of their trade! There is more to both Viola and Edward than meets the eye and the author packs a lot into the novelette.

I really enjoyed the read and recommend it to fans of both Steampunk and historical romance. I would certainly not hesitate to pick up another read by the author.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review. 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon.com

Author Links

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Tumblr: http://www.booksteacoffee.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kmcintyremt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

*Release Day Promo w/Excerpt* Soul Solution by Katherine McIntyre

Soul Solution

By Katherine McIntyre

An Adaptation of String of Pearls by Hans Christian Andersen

soul solutions

Blurb:

For Erik Anderson, the Copenhagen line is his curse. He takes the train every night en route to collect souls. Like any lovelorn fool, he bargained his own long ago, and now pays the price—a lifetime of loneliness as a grim reaper. Stay distant—that’s been his mantra and what keeps him sane.

Until Mina Castner drops into his life like a whirlwind, one spilled drink leading to staying up until dawn with the woman. He believed one night couldn’t hurt, but he sorely underestimated her determination. Every encounter between them is a reprieve from the guilt of reaping souls every night, but it can’t last. Even if she sparks long buried feelings, and even if her sheer presence intoxicates him, he can’t let this continue. For humans, his touch is poison, and if he slips up, it could cost her life.

Excerpt:

The whole date thing had been a bad idea.

She rounded a corner, stepping onto the street where the club was located. The Hive stood out even from a couple of blocks away. Its glass-and-steel exterior was slick, and lights flashed on different floors, granting glimpses of the chaos inside. Like other top-notch places, this one didn’t advertise—no sign out front since the building was imposing enough. A strain of music filtered from it, but the noise was muted—she’d bet the inside was the opposite.

She wrinkled her nose as she got closer. Great. A line. My perfect Saturday night—waiting in a line to get into a loud room with blinding lights, blaring music, and sweaty guys. No thanks.

One glance at the people waiting to get inside and she wanted to turn around. Caked on makeup, glittery dresses, and overly gelled hair dominated the crowd, all part of a scene in which she didn’t fit. A slight breeze carried the cloud of perfume teeming around the line her way. She fought not to gag.

Strands of her auburn-dyed hair kept slipping from her bun and trailing along her shoulders. Why did I even bother doing my hair? Once I get inside, the sheer heat from the place will frizz it out. Mina sighed, trying to calm her frazzled nerves. This is why I don’t date.

Up ahead, the bouncers were either admitting people or turning them away at the door. She joined the end of the line, checking her phone while she waited. He was already inside. Joy. Too late to suggest a detour to a coffee shop instead.

A man tall enough to stand out approached the entrance. With hoops in his eyebrows, ears, and, chances were, elsewhere, too, he didn’t mesh with the rest of the crowd. Nor was he wearing a polo or suit, the type of club attire the rest of these guys wore. Instead, his sleeveless, fitted hoodie made an impression of its own as did his tailored black pants, which were accented by his leather stompers. Even in a sack, the man would’ve looked good. When the guy opened the club door, the bouncers didn’t even give him a second glance. Seems they know their regulars.

She hoped her date stacked up. The line moved forward a couple of paces, and she crossed her arms over her chest. This was going to be a long night.

 

Author Links:

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Tumblr: http://www.booksteacoffee.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kmcintyremt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

Author Photo:

Katherine McIntyre

Author Bio:

A modern day Renaissance-woman, Katherine McIntyre has learned soapmaking, beer brewing, tea blending, and most recently roasting coffee. Most of which make sure she’s hydrated and bathed while she spends the rest of her time writing. With a desire to travel and more imagination than she knows what to do with, all the stories jumping around in her head led to the logical route of jotting them down on paper. Not only can her poetry and prose be found in different magazines, but she’s had an array of novels and novellas published through Decadent Publishing, Boroughs Publishing, Hazardous Press, and Jupiter Gardens Press. For more casual content, she’s a regular contributor on CaffeineCrew.com, a geek news website.

**REVIEW** By the Sea (novelette) by Katherine McIntyre

By the Sea

A short, light and refreshing romance with fantasy and paranormal elements!

Most kids had imaginary friends, but most weren’t like Megan’s friend Niall. There were rules: only at night and only by the sea. She could’ve sworn he was real, but when someone vanishes without a trace, what else can you believe?

All that was seven years ago, buried in the past until Niall shows up in town with his tight swimmer’s body and easy smile. For Megan, just the sight of him is enough to tear open a scar that never fully healed. However, their reunion only elicits more questions. Niall’s keeping secrets, unbelievable ones, and as Megan delves into the supernatural depths of who he really is, she’s sure he’ll vanish again.

Megan’s not stupid—she knows how bad it’ll hurt if she gets involved. The first time Niall disappeared, she never thought she’d recover. But the moment they lock eyes, it’s too late—because Megan will go to any length to see that boy smile.

REVIEW

By the Sea is a great novelette that reads as a short, fun, contemporary romance from the onset. However, as it opens up and the reader begins to settle into the story, the fantasy paranormal elements emerge.

Megan had been through so much to be rid of the delusions of her imaginary friend, Niall. And yet here is the new boy in town, Mason, with so many likenesses to her long gone friend. Megan wants to lead a normal life and decides not to let Mason in too much. She cannot go down that path and be left hurt and confused again. And yet despite this, her feelings of the past have not disappeared and have re-ignited with Mason.

As well as the romance current running gently throughout the story, later we realise that Niall is also on a mission to seek something that has been taken from him. Not only that but it could also bring a little paranormal trouble to Megan. These scenes I found exciting and left wanting more.

Being a short story doesn’t always allow much build up to prepare the reader, and I found this to be the case, only ever so slightly, with the supernatural element of the story. Once I had accepted the idea of what Niall was I was able to delve further and empathise with Megan’s character – the confusion and re-surfacing of her past feelings.

By the Sea is a nice story with something to offer the contemporary romance reader and the fantasy paranormal fans. I would recommend that it is suitable for Young Adults and over, and there is a coming-of-age feel in regards to the young characters of the book.

A copy of By the Sea was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

By the Sea by Katherine McIntyre is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker