Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

An accomplished London 27218553botanist, Lucy Pickett, takes time off from research when she’s beckoned to Blackwell Manor by Kate, her beloved cousin.  Recently married into the Blackwell family, Kate fears that the house is haunted but can’t convince her husband’s older brother, Lord Blackwell.  Furthermore, Kate has been inexplicably ill and hopes that Lucy can identify the cause and a remedy.  Lucy doesn’t believe in spirits but has heard the rumors that Blackwell’s wife died unexpectedly just six months ago, followed by his sister’s death the very next day!  Lord Blackwell has a fearsome reputation but that won’t stop Lucy from helping her cousin.

Lord Blackwell can’t be bothered with hauntings.  He’s busy with his own problems, not the least of which is a series of unsigned notes indicating that someone knows his secret.  But he can’t ignore Lucy, the headstrong, nearly fearless, and beautiful woman who has entered his life and his home at the worst possible time.

In a world of vampires, predatory shifters, and disturbingly humanlike automatons, potential for danger lurks everywhere.  As Lucy navigates the mysteries of Blackwell Manor, she discovers that Lord Blackwell is not at all what she expected, which must also be true of someone else at Blackwell Manor, because Lucy is certain that Kate is being poisoned.

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast combines danger, paranormal activity, exquisite clothing, and a touch of steampunk in an entertaining and chaste romantic gothic mystery.

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