by Juli D. Revezzo
Narrator: Rachael Beresford
Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
Genres: Steampunk, Historical
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
For Miss Phoebe Lockswell, fashionable London tea parties and balls aren’t her style. Instead, she prefers to tinker tirelessly with a clockwork diffuser she’s built from scratch. If only she can get the invention to work on command, she might earn her way out of an arranged marriage to a repugnant member of the House of Commons.
London watchmaker Mortimer Kidd was brought up hard in the arms of an infamous London gang. Despite the respectability he strives for now, the gang leader is blackmailing him. When Mortimer sees Phoebe’s diffuser, he thinks he’s found a way to buy himself out of trouble. The brash Phoebe manages to steal his heart, however, before he can purloin her invention.
Will Mortimer’s unsavory past catch up to him before he convinces Phoebe of his devotion? Worse, once Phoebe learns the truth, will she ever trust him again?
The Watchmaker’s Heart by Juli D. Revezzo delivered a historical romance with steampunk elements and a nice bit of suspenseful mystery. Penelope “Phoebe” Lockswell is a bit of a tinkerer and has created a somewhat scandalous diffuser. I enjoyed this feisty heroine, and Revezzo quickly pulled me into this tale.
Poor Phoebe is nothing like her peers and prefers tinkering with her creations much to her parent’s horror. Determined to set her on the straight and narrow they are encouraging a marriage with a man, dear reader who makes Phoebe shiver and cringe. I am inclined to agree with her. Not to be deterred she sneaks off by train to attend an inventors convention and share her diffuser. Being a young lady unescorted let alone attending such a conference was rather scandalous. When she spies a reporter on the train, she seeks to hide fearing her father will discover where she spent her day. As she hides she encounters, London watchmaker Mortimer Kidd. Mortimer has gotten himself into some trouble with the local gangs of London and at first, seeks to strip Phoebe of her diffuser, but as they strike up a conversation all that changes.
The tale that unfolds was an engaging one, as Phoebe tries to avoid Sir Dugard, the ghastly man her parents wish for her to marry and chooses to spend time with the exciting watchmaker, Mortimer. He seems to see the value of Phoebe’s diffuser as he helps her tinker with the gadget. A friendship soon develops, as do warm, romantic feelings, but Mortimer isn’t for the likes of Lady Phoebe, and his secrets might put them both in peril.
Revezzo did a fantastic job of taking a classic Victorian storyline and making it her own. She weaved in steampunk, mystery, and suspense all while entertaining us with a forward speaking young heroine whose outlandish ideas about romance, sex and more shock her parents and bewitch Mortimer.
The audio narration by Rachael Beresford had some issues. While Beresford did a splendid job, the quality of the track left something to be desired. I was rather surprised at the background noise, particularly at the end of each chapter. It almost sounded like the noise the needle makes at the end of an album. While I am sure this is an editing issue, it did deter from my overall enjoyment of the narration. I would recommend reading this tale if such matters annoy you. Noise aside, I felt Beresford captured Phoebe’s spirit and gave each character a voice befitting their description.
The Watchmaker’s Heart was a delightful, well-paced tale with intriguing characters. I recommend this to fans of Victorian-era romances, mysteries, and steampunk.
[bctt tweet=”Audio aside, The Watchmaker’s Heart by Juli D. Revezzo was a delightful, well-paced tale with intriguing characters. #steampunk #romance #mystery” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Carole from Carole's Chatter
Hi Kimberly, this looks like a goodie. Please bring this over to Books You Loved: February so everyone can see it. Cheers from Carole’s Chatter
I have yet to try Steampunk. Looks like this might the book to try this genre.
I will check this one out as I do like steampunk!
I am looking to explore more Steampunk later this year. I do not normally opt for much romance, but this sounds like a potential read! Maybe skip audio though.. as narration issues are a huge hang up of mine 🙂
I’m sorry about the editing issues. I agree that those things can bring you out of a story, even when the story and narrator are good. I just experienced something similar (not the same sounds, but editing issues with the narration) and it pulled me from the story every time. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy the story. Great review.
While it’s not really my kind of story I can see where the steampunk elements would make this really interesting.
I’m not a huge fan of historical romances, but a steampunk historical romance has me a little intrigued. I also like feisty heroines, so that’s a plus!
Do You Dog-ear?
Oh looks like a great book Kim it’s a shame the background noise was an issue. I love audio books but the narrator and the quality of the track can either make or break a book. Great review!
I love steampunk books, and this one looks awesome. Thanks so much for introducing me to it!
Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
I don’t think that I have read many books that would be considered Steampunk but would probably like them. Too bad the audio had some quality issues. I think that would take me out of the story a bit as well.
heh I like the name Mortimer , this sounds like a fun Steampunk, gosh it’s been so long since I have read one
I’m always on the hunt for fun steampunk romances. Sounds like this is light on the steampunk, but that’s alright since the rest of the story sounds good. Too bad about the distractions in the background. That can get annoying.
Kristin @ Addicted to HEA
Bummer on the audio quality but the story sounds unique. BTW, what the heck is a “diffuser” in steampunk and watchmaking terms? I’m picturing her making an essential oil diffuser but I KNOW that’s not it 😀
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
I read one steampunk book a few years ago and really loved it and have been wanting to read more. This one sounds really good. I love the sound of Lady Phoebe especially. I think I’ll skip the audio though and just go with the print.
I am hit and miss with steampunk.
It has been aaaaages since I read steampunk
Kimberly @ Turning the Pages
I haven’t read any steampunk in years, it’s unfortunate that the audiobook fell flat with all that background noise which I agree is surprising because I don’t think I’ve ever had an audiobook with any background noise. At least the narration itself and story were enjoyable.
Jenea's Book Obsession
A streamline romance does sound good, it’s too bad about the audio version though.
Oh steampunk romance, though not really my type. With steampunk i like my shooting and stuff
Oh it’s been a while since I haven’t read a steampunk book like that!
I confess I haven’t read that many steampunk books, but I’ve always been fascinated by this genre and this sounds like a very interesting book. Yep, I’ll have to check it out 🙂