Love, adventure and a steaming good time.
As the French army leader’s bastard son, Cornelius Stevens enjoys a great deal of latitude. But when he saves an enemy soldier using clockwork parts, he’s well aware he risks hanging for treason. That doesn’t worry him half as much, however, as the realization he’s falling for his patient.
Johann Berger never expected to survive his regiment’s suicide attack on Calais, much less wake up with mechanical parts. To avoid discovery, he’s forced to hide in plain sight as Cornelius’s lover—a role Johann finds himself taking to surprisingly well.
When a threat is made on Cornelius’s life, Johann learns the secret of the device implanted in his chest—a mythical weapon both warring countries would kill to obtain. Caught up in a political frenzy, in league with pirates, dodging rogue spies, mobsters and princesses with deadly parasols, Cornelius and Johann have no time to contemplate how they ended up in this mess. All they know is, the only way out is together—or not at all.
Warning: Contains tinkers, excessive clockwork appendages, and a cloud-sweeping tour of Europe. A little absinthe, a little theft, a little exhibitionism. Men who love men, women who love women, and some who aren’t particular.
The Meta Details:
Length: 250 pages
Genre: Steam Punk, Gay Romance, Romance, Paranormal
Content Level: Adult
Controversial Content: Explicit sex, recreational drug use
Trigger Warnings: torture, slight dub-con due to intoxication
Featuring: Gay men, lesbians, clockwork
Recommended for: Fans of smut, steampunk, mm, and books that make you bleed
Rating: Holy fuck, people, why aren’t you reading this already?
Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: Heidi Cullinan is a virtuoso. A wordsmith of the highest order. She’s a bright spot in a world too often filled with subpar writing.
She’s a mother fucking goddess.
(There was more here, but I’m going to cut my fangirling short so I can sell you on this book)
If Howl’s Moving Castle (the book not the movie) was dumped into Dallas O’Keene’s bar in Sector Four (Beyond Series, by Kit Rocha) you’d get the setting for Clockwork Heart. Full of steampunk intrigue in glorious technicolor and rife with the most delicious perversions, it managed to find a way into nearly all the secret places in my heart.
And once there, it made me bleed.
You see, Cullinan has a rare talent in the way she weaves her tales. This subtle pain and angst that her characters suffer from that builds inside of you until you find yourself crying at how lovely Connie is. How large his heart. And how much he’s suffering. 10% into the book I was sobbing silently to myself wishing I could make everything better for him every time he said “I’m sorry”
Johann manages to be an equally marvelous creature, but in a wholly different way. And by the time I reached the rather minor misunderstanding that would’ve allowed for easier communication, my tears (because I was still crying) were ones of joy.
They went back and forth from that point on, but I’m pretty sure I spent the rest of the night crying. It’s kind of blurry now, though, since I stayed up until 3 am reading before telling my husband the entire plot of the novel.
And this is all before the pirates. THERE WERE PIRATES! A deliciously motley crew that adds so much to the narrative I can barely stand it. I’m going to start crying again just thinking about it all. I swear, this book was spun from my own daydreams.
I stopped giving out stars awhile ago, but I’m going to break that trend now because Clockwork Heart deserves 5 stars and then some. In fact, I saw another reviewer give the book a clapping Shia LeBeouf, and I think I’ll second that. This book is a shinning example not just of steampunk, alternative history, gay romance, or even romance, but of what books can be when crafted by truly amazing authors.
Now leave me alone so I can read it again.
And leave Ms. Cullinan alone so she can write the second
A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.