Watchmaker's Heart

Juli D. Revezzo
Watchmaker's Heart
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Raven Queen Publications
Release Date
March 2016
Historical Romance, Steampunk Romance

London, 1898: 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?

Book Review by Elizabeth Ramsay (reviewer)
Aug 05, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
67 people found the following review helpful
Mortimer and Phoebe explore a brave new world together.

Mortimer is a watch repairman and tinkerer. As a child in the stews, he saw something he shouldn't have and has had to answer to the gang leader Doggett ever since. Finally giving up in despair, Mortimer set out to rob a train in the hopes of either a fast death or earning the money to pay off Doggett forever. Phoebe was coming home from the Engineering expo in despair because no one wanted her goddess atomizer and worse the damn thing appeared to be broken. As insult to injury, a reporter has stalked her onto the train and wanted a quote for the society page. While trying to dodge the reporter Phoebe literally ran into Mortimer and her device gave his life new meaning. Then he talked to her and getting her device to work was no longer about money but about seeing her smile.

Mortimer is terrified that his past will harm Phoebe but he can't seem to stay away from her even when he tries. Phoebe notices that her goddess only seems to works around Mort, though she can't figure out why. The damn thing is supposed to dance and release essential oils when around loving couples but it never works in the brothels where she tests it. It has also stopped working for her parents so it must be broken. Then disaster strikes the young couple and Mortimer is arrested for a decades-old murder. The time has come for him to tell his story but will anyone believe him? In a case of "he said, he said", the powerful man is the one who usually wins. When Phoebe's father, a powerful and well-respected lawyer, takes Mort's case, perhaps all is not lost.

Juli Revezzo makes Mort and Phoebe a little dense about the way Phoebe's goddess works but since her characters are still falling in love it mostly works. Mort's struggles with Doggett and Phoebe's attempts to avoid Sir Dugard drive the novel forward. The pace can be a bit slow at times though. For instance, by the time that Phoebe figures out that her goddess only works for true lovers, the reader is practically shouting the answer at her. Also, Phoebe's father does a rather inexplicable about-face, though it appears to have been her mother who was pushing the match with Sir Dugard, this point could be made clearer. As it stands her father goes from an angry bully to an understanding and loving father seemingly between one page and the next.

Overall, THE WATCHMAKER'S HEART is a quick, light read. The novel is set in the Victorian era and is a coming of age piece in many ways. If you are drawn to the brave new world being born in that era, check out THE WATCHMAKER'S HEART.
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