Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

The Steampunk Proper Romances, Book 1
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (627 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Like the classic Beauty and the Beast, this steampunk romance features an unlikely love story.

The Lord of Blackwell Manor, Miles, is plagued by a family curse that changes him into a shape-shifting wolf every month during the full moon.

Lucy, a smart, attractive, and well-respected botanist, travels to Blackwell Manor to take care of her sick cousin, Kate, who is married to Miles' younger brother. For Lucy, the trip is a welcome respite from her work and recent discovery of a breakthrough serum that could eliminate the scourge of vampires from London. But Lucy finds more than she bargained for when she arrives at the Manor.

Miles, who is brash and inhospitable, does not take kindly to visitors. He is still unsettled by the mysterious death of his newlywed wife. And then there's Marie, Miles' sister, who was attacked and murdered just weeks earlier. Miles is horrified to think that he might be to blame for the deaths. And who is the ghost that haunt the halls?

Lucy is convinced that the death of Miles's wife and sister - as well as her cousin's mysterious illness - are tied together, but how? Lady Charlesworth has her eye on inheriting Blackwell Manor for her family. Could her daughter, Candice, or her son, Arthur, have had a hand in the mysterious deaths? The clues make a vampire suspect highly likely. During her investigation, Lucy finds herself caring deeply for Miles, but he fights to keep his distance in order to protect Lucy from his family's secret. And, yet, he feels attracted to the woman who is able to look past the fearsome-looking scar that has marred his handsome face. With no other option, Miles and Lucy must work together if they are to find the answer to the mysteries at the manor.

But that's not all Lucy wants to solve. There's a deeper mystery behind Miles. Can she solve that too? Ultimately, she must decide if she can love the man - beast and all.

Includes bonus novella, Marie's Story.

©2016 Nancy Campbell Allen (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fast paced and good

This is not my usual genre but I really like the author so I gave it a chance. I was very surprised it kept my interest and was well written.

5 people found this helpful

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Interesting retelling, but not without its faults.

TL;DR: The book was good enough to make the fact that it didn't make the cut of "really good" very frustrating.

This was a fascinating retelling of the Beauty and the Beast and I enjoyed most aspects of it. There were, however, several things which felt poorly thought out.

The world building was intriguing and unique, but felt unsteady. It included alternative technology plus a slew of paranormal phenomena, which are apparently taken for granted and considered commonplace in this world. Yet as a reader I was not entirely sure what was normal and what was not, and where explanations were due, they felt like clumsy exposition. This was especially grating because it undermined the strength of the main character: she was presented as a talented and well-educated researcher, yet her knowledge was constantly insufficient, even as it related to her field of study - mostly for the convenience of the plot, which made the character inconsistent and erratic instead of rational and smart, as she was postulated to be.

Additionally, there were entirely too many scrapes, falls, close attempted murders, etc. At least a couple of them were unnecessary even for the plot. Moreover, I think the plot would have been much stronger, had those incidents were omitted.

The writing was strong and steady for the most part, but occasionally a bit repetitive.

On the fully positive side, Saskia Maarleveld's performance is delightful and felt very fitting,

4 people found this helpful

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Beauty and the Clockwork

Loved it. Exciting from start to finish!! Would read it again. I recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Very well done!

Series Info/Source: This is the first book in the Steampunk Proper Romance series. I borrowed this audiobook through Audible Escapes.

Audiobook Quality: I really enjoyed the narration in this audiobook a lot. It’s very well done and I would recommend to those who enjoy audiobooks.

Story (5/5): This was a well balanced blend of a lot of story elements (mystery, action, romance, vampires, ghosts, shapeshifters) that I really enjoyed. It was a very entertaining, light read and I loved that it also included fairy tale retelling elements.

Characters (5/5): The characters are engaging and likable. Lucy is a professional botanist who is smart and witty and I enjoyed her. Miles has some issues he is struggling with but he is also smart, loyal, tough, and practical. The two have excellent chemistry together. I also really enjoyed a lot of the side characters, they have a lot of depth and add a lot to the story.

Setting (4/5): The world is a strange, yet fun, blend of vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and steampunk elements. It is set in an alternate history type of Victorian setting. It sounds like there’s a lot going on here, and there is, but it works really well for this story and I enjoyed it.

Writing Style (4/5): The writing flowed really well and was easy to read. The story was engaging and the dialogue and characters were well done. Very good writing quality throughout.

Summary (4.5/5): Overall I would definitely recommend if you are a fan of fairy tale retellings and/or steampunk romance. I loved this book and just thought it was such a fun read. I plan on continuing with the series, this is definitely one of the better steampunk romance series I have read.

2 people found this helpful

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Very entertaining

I went into this book really wanting it to be good, and I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I thought it was well performed, and the story itself is very well paced. The romance is clean but still compelling. And the mystery element to this book took me by surprise but drove the story along really well. Though this book is based on Beauty and the Beast, it does not stick so much to the story that it gives away any part of the story. I highly recommend

2 people found this helpful

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Clean steampunk romance

I had to re-read it, or re-listen to it because I found I missed a lot of details the first time. However the story was very entertaining and intriguing as the mystery unfolded.

I appreciate the clean and yet romantic romance that maintain appropriate morals between beauty and the clockwork beast.


Thank you

1 person found this helpful

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Wow! This book has everything...and done well!

This audiobook drew me in immediately. Everything about it was interesting, intriguing, adventurous, appealing and unique. I absolutely loved Miles and Lucy. Truly the perfect romance as well as myriads of adventure, mystery and paranormal activity. AND the narration was wonderful, allowing true discerning of who was speaking at any given time. 5 stars for sure -- and hoping for a possible sequel for Daniel and some of the other characters.

3 people found this helpful

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Good love story

I'm not into werewolves and vampires but I thoroughly enjoyed this love story. Good job!

3 people found this helpful

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Clean and suspenseful!

I love this series! Clean romance and interesting story line! Saskia has a lovely/romantic voice!

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First Steampunk read, ever

I enjoy this author's books so I decided to try this other genre though I know very little about anything Steampunk. NCA is a good author. I had a hard time imagining some of what was in this novel because of my lack of understanding of Steampunk. However I enjoyed the characters and especially Beast. I haven't decided whether to read the other books in this series. Again, I love the author but the genre is outside of my interest.

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  • Helen Cox
  • 09-24-19

Perfect blend of romance and mystery

A steam punk fairytale of the highest order. Very romantic. Very intriguing. Entertaining and moving.

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  • Lissie
  • 05-08-17

Captivating story and narrator.

I really enjoyed the mystery and intrigued. The characters were described beautifully and each depicted their feelings perfectly.

I loved the Steampunk element of the story. it added to the overall experience of this alternate reality.