Brace is not a man of leisure or means -- but he finds himself at Mrs. Teagarden's Gentlemen's Club and finds himself captivated by the portrait of one woman.
Her name is Liza. And she's working at Mrs. Teagarden's for three years to pay off her father's debts. She is bound to the brothel and Mrs. Teagarden through a clockwork medallion that is pierced through her skin -- and keeps time while she services her customers.
After their first encounter, Brace discovers their shared past and is determined to rescue her from captivity.
But there is the clockwork device that needs to be dealt with first.
This is my first steampunk historical romance -- and I now understand the popularity of this genre. When done right, it provides a startling contrast between the silks and feathers and gilt and the metal cogs and grime. It adds a very rugged dimension to the setting and story.
As an e-novella, the author was wise in choosing to focus on the action -- and the incorporation of steampunk elements was seamless. (Though I did not really care for the vibrating bit at the end of the story.)
The story is linear and I wished the Leod spent a few more pages developing the depth of the characters -- but, as it is, it was a good exercise on steampunk romance. (I would also have loved to see more of the alternate-ness of this world -- but, again, constraints of the length of the story, etc.)
Short and pleasant -- for readers who want to try out a new sub-genre in historical romances, this is a good story to start with.