• Nefertiti's Heart

  • By: A. W. Exley
  • Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (858 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A steampunk adventure with a serial killer, romance, and a few broken hearts.

Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.

London, 1861: Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight-inch-long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.

Her Majesty's Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she - somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti's Heart, a fist-sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.

Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

©2013 A. W. Exley (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Nefertiti's Heart

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Want a backstory of rape? This one’s for you.

The repeated rape and physical abuse of the main character when she was 14 was hinted at for like the first two chapters. Then she is pressured into accepted dinner with the upper class criminal male lead. This man has already sent two goons to rob her at her home. She arrives at his home for dinner and is persuaded to leave her weapons at the door, bathe (with the help of a maid even though she won’t even let a maid help her put on a corset), leave the door to the bathing area ajar for some reason so the man can walk by and see the scars on her back, and wear clothing he provides. The LEAST believable part, though, is that she proceeds to tell him the whole sordid tale of her rape and abuse over dinner simply because he wants to know. 🙄

43 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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steampunk is an afterthought

Where does Nefertiti's Heart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I've been listening to audiobooks fo 30 years so that is a little hard to say, but I will say it kept my interest.

Who was your favorite character and why?
Cara, she's a spunky nonconformist, with a traumatic past to overcome. The last book I listened to had a female character who didn't do anything without her husband's permission, (ugh!, I returned it). So it was nice to encounter a pistol packing heroine who had her own mind.

Have you listened to any of Gemma Dawson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Possibly, if so I don't remember it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
An Egyptian artifact, a serial killer who wants it, and an unconventional romance, all set in an alternate Victorian England.

Any additional comments?
First off, the steampunk is only window dressing. The modern vernacular could be off putting at times, but I was able to ignore it for the most part. The serial killer denoument is predictable. The characters should have had more development. All that said, I thought it was a diverting, quick listen. Not great, but I will continue the series. Story 3.5.

15 people found this helpful

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Liked it but need a warning

I liked the book but it needed a warning about strong sexual behavior, I’m no prude but nothing indicated the sexual content

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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bad

couldn't finish it. the main character has a horrible history with being sexually abused and doesn't like to be close to people. despite that she decides to have sex with someone she's known for a day simply because he asked?

20 people found this helpful

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Feminist Success, Steampunk Fail

Any additional comments?

The artifact plotline is a distant second to the personal plotline, and that's for the best. This book is about a rape survivor falling in love and learning to be safe in her body. On that count, this book is AWESOME. The sex scenes are explicit and plentiful in a way that I felt detracted from the story, but it may be a bonus for other readers. However. The fact that Exley decided to make this a steampunk novel set in Victorian England was a poor choice. All steampunk fiction requires a strong stomach for anachronism, but I spent so much time cringing at the ultra modern and non-British references that I nearly had to stop listening. It was really jarring, and made it hard to get into the story. The artifact plotline could have been excellent, if Exley spent more time developing it. It serves its purpose as a catalyst for the love story, but is otherwise superfluous. I think this novel would be spectacular under the firm hand of an editor. The artifact plotline needs to be developed, and every single page needs a Victorian makeover. As thrilled as I was to see a rape survivor's story told with so much compassion and care, the sloppy disregard for period and genre, and lack of development of the action plot were really irritating and made this a hard listen. I won't be reading anything else from Exley.

28 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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this is a romance not a mystery

What could A. W. Exley have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing wrong with the story, I'm just not a fan of romance.

Any additional comments?

a rare miss for me, the little I listened to was more romance than mystery. I turned it off within the first hour.

5 people found this helpful

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Ehh.

I couldn’t get into the story at all and had to stop listening. I also would not count this as a steampunk novel. This story is just ehh. At some parts I felt like the story was just moving along just for the sake of making it longer.

4 people found this helpful

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Disjointed

What would have made Nefertiti's Heart better?

The narrator was great, but I did not enjoy the story. The book felt disjointed. It was difficult to discern why something was happening, why, and when.

Would you ever listen to anything by A. W. Exley again?

No

Which character – as performed by Gemma Dawson – was your favorite?

Cora

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The narrator had a beautiful voice and rhythm

3 people found this helpful

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Middle of the road

The narrator did great. The story line was good, but a little too much sex for my taste

2 people found this helpful

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"VICTORIAN STEAM PUNK THRILLER"

What made the experience of listening to Nefertiti's Heart the most enjoyable?

It was an exciting steam punk adventurure, a murder mystery and a love story all wrapped into one--WITH an Egyption twist? What more could you ask for?! Witty characters which exploded into life thanks to this extra cool reader. Gonna go straight to the next one in series. Never seen this author before but Lovin her (or is it him?) so far!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Christine
  • 09-12-18

Surprised

I thought I was getting an adventure story much in the line of Elizabeth Peters, but this is quite an explicit bodice ripper! Oh well, the story itself was quite interesting, not sure if I will read book 2 (romance is not my thing).

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kittie Abbott
  • 11-11-21

Enjoyable listen

I'm glad I ignored the bad reviews and listened to this as I quite enjoyed it.
Ignore reviews that say it should be in the erotic section, its not full of sex and it is steampunk after all which does have a sexy nature. Looking forward to listening to the next one.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Vartelli
  • 12-05-21

Started to listen but narrator to high pitched for

I started this but couldn't listen because the narrator was too high and squeaky for my hearing. This one I will read.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-16-21

Couldn't finish this because of the narrator

The fake period English accents were too irritating to bear through. The story may be worth trying in print.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Annette
  • 08-26-21

Horrible reader

I've actually already read this book and figured I'd enjoy it again. A sharp no to that, the person reading it sounds like she's trying way too hard to be British and is reading to a child.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • CHARLES
  • 06-07-19

Low rent Mills and Boon.

I bought this book as I really like the steam punk genre, however this book which started well, quickly descended into repetitive seedy sexual fumblings on the part of the heroine, with verbose and flowery language, which made the whole dull, dull, dull. This title has been incorrectly labelled should be in erotica, as it is clearly the attempt of the author to create a steam punk porn book. If that’s your bag this is for you but if you want a story don’t bother.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-26-21

I wanted to like this but narrator was awful

I might buy the book and read it myself because I think the story has legs but the narrator was sub par. She didn’t know how to pronounce certain words, inflection in the wrong places or just flat. In the editing suite many things could have been picked up on and re-recorded.
Not even a tenth of the way in and my ears can endure no more.
Sorry…

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca Walker
  • 04-05-20

Great Story, Poor Narration

Generally the narrator is good but the male lead sounds like he’s 60. The story is excellent and I’ve enjoyed reading it previously but I had to stop listening to read it myself as it’s very offputting!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-13-20

Overall - no

I didn't hate it, I was able to read it. However did I enjoy it? no..

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle
  • 01-23-20

Sex!

I enjoyed characters, story and good narrator but I didn’t understand why there was so much descriptive sex. It wasn’t necessary for this storyline , spoilt it really because I enjoyed it. Not sure if I would do the next book.