Back to Criminy’s Clockwork Carnival after so long away…oh yes! It is good to be back. The last couple novellas and novel took place elsewhere and I loved those stories, but being back where it all started just felt like coming home.
Jasinda is a very determined- very, very, very determined- female journalist who arrives at the carnival in search of her next book. She wants to write about the carnival including the stories of the individual carnies. Criminy gives her permission with a few provisions.
It is not long before Jasinda scents out that the biggest story of all is that of the dangerous knife thrower, Marco. Rumors run rife including the one that he is a murderer. More determined than ever, she sets out to wrest his story from him even if it means using seduction.
However, it seems that the only one being seduced is Jasinda. Marco agrees to answer her questions one at a time if she lets him use her as his assistant to practice his knife throwing.
Jasinda slowly gets her story and slowly works her wiles on the sensual dagger wielder, but he won’t give in completely and she can’t figure out why. But unbeknownst to them both, someone else watches and waits.
This was short, but it was packed full of all sorts of goodness. There are of course the characters and world of Sang, the plot with its mystery and passion that had me hooked and just the atmosphere that gets written into these books that I can’t explain.
The story is told all from Jasinda’s point of view, but she encountered many of the carnival characters from early stories which were really fun. Jasinda was a well-written character and she was definitely the catalyst in this book. She is one strong, capable woman, but I can’t say I was a fan of hers at first. After a while I did end up finding her adventures fun. There was a self-absorption in her that turned me off a bit. I let it fly because there was more to her than just that, but she really had the attitude that she owned Marco’s mysterious story so he had to tell it.
Jasinda’s determination and need for control bled into the relationship too. Because Marco was aloof and hard to get and he was the hottest thing she had ever seen then that she was sampling some of tall, dark and good with knives. Jasinda planned out her seduction. Then she learns that not every man is like her late husband who fell for her and the many pretty young men since who she lets scratch her itch. She went into it thinking she had the experience, the maturity and the upper hand only to discover that her willpower broke whenever Marco wanted it too. He played her own sensual nature against her and even as I got caught up in the seduction; I also laughed at how she found herself frustrated and learning to play by his rules.
The story was a set up in a way for the novel that follows and that was fine. I definitely look forward to that.
Honestly, my only niggle was the abrupt ending. Everything was finished so that’s not the problem. It was just me loving it and not wanting to see it go. With this series, its always ‘more, please, more’.
Lovers of the Blud series don’t want to miss this one and those who enjoy paranormal steampunk romances should hustle to start this series. Knock. your. socks. off.
My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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