I was ecstatic to discover that the author published this novella basically developing the characters and introducing their deeper backgrounds in preparation for the launch of their full story coming behind it in the series. Garrett and Perry have appeared in minor roles in earlier books, but this novella brings them into the spotlight by offering a case for them to work on as partners.
The novella would not function well as a standalone in that it assumes the reader has read earlier books and is familiar with the London Steampunk world though I suppose if the reader were just to go on character development and plot and not mind the confusion of what things like ‘bluebloods’, ‘echelon’ and ‘mechs’ are then it would be fine.
Perry and Garrett are assigned a case involving the disappearance of an actress with foul play suspected. The two Nighthawks are immersed in the world of the theater for this newest case. They are stumped at first, but then the clues, motives and suspects start to fall into place. Distractions occur when their usually strong partnership becomes awkward and riddled with arguments, accusations and possible mistrust in fellow partner. This forces them both to access things between them. In Garrett’s case, he realizes that he really doesn’t know much about his partner of six years beyond the job and he can’t understand what has suddenly come between them. In Perry’s case, she does work out what caused the rift and it’s her feelings- her unrequited feelings for Garrett.
The case is solved within the novella and things between the two partners are left at an interesting place all as set up for their main story in Forged by Desire. Can’t wait!
All in all, I was thrilled to get this shorter gem and I am grateful to the author for putting it out as a freebie for her fans to enjoy between novels.