Callihan has the ability to create some of the quirkiest, loveable characters ever. Holly and Thorne are her newest opposites attracting “experiment” and boy did it work. Holly (I always kind of pictured Abby from NCIS in my mind ) had appeared
briefly in several of the earlier books and I was so pleased to see that this crafty, quirky inventor finally got her chance to shine in her own storyline. I’ve read all the books in this series and they were all 5 star reads for me, this one being one of my favorites along with Firelight. I read on Goodreads that Firelight , book 1 was rejected by all but one publisher and it went on to win RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, Library Journal’s best book of the year, Publisher’s Weekly’s Spring 2012 best book and ALA RUSA’s best romance book of 2012. It would not surprise me to see more of the same for this book.
While in the past, I’ve not enjoyed demons in a storyline so much (I’m more the vamp or shifter lover) but Thorne’s macho, assine behavior was a perfect compliment to the nerdy (if that word can even be used in Victorian England) emotionless inventor Holly. They have a past and you really need to have read the earlier books in this series to thoroughly appreciate the meshing of these characters.
In Shadowdance, Holly was forced to construct a clockwork heart for a madman and this madman has come back into her life to extract his revenge. A year after Shadowdance finds Holly housebound and afraid to venture back to her job as head inventor at SOS (Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals) and Thorne is going mad with pain as his body is consumed by Platinum. Holly uses her elemental magic to push back this metal invasion and relieve his pain and once they both realize that they must frequently touch or caress, the real fun begins. While Holly’s not technically a virgin (another wonderful little side story here), her responses to Thorne’s masculinity are often laugh out loud funny. Holly’s no shrinking violet and is capable as giving as good as she gets.
I love the world building in Callihan’s books. This steampunk version of Victorian England is a vivid character all it’s own and one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed this series so much. Holly’s inventions and Victorian London are as fascinating as the mystery and secrets that add yet another layer to this fascinating series. I also love that we get glimpses and tidbits of information on former characters from earlier books- Poppy, St John, Adam, Lucien, Mary Chase and Jack. Can’t wait to see who has the starring role in book 6 and 7, Soulbound (2/24/15) and Foevermore (TBA), St John and Layla or Adam and Eliza May. Either would be more than entertaining and will be on my auto buy list as this series just gets better and better. When I first started this book, I found myself sitting up way too late to read and as it progressed trying to slow down and savor it as I knew Feburary is still a long ways off.
The only complaint I had about this book and it’s minor to me as I don’t get all hung up on the covers but I wanted Thorne to have long flowing platinum hair as described in the book rather than the close cropped blondish look . As I read this ARC on my Kindle, I didn’t see the book cover till I had finished and was posting my review so it was definitely a minor point.