KISS OF THE SPINDLE, by Nancy Campbell Allen, Shadow Mountain, July 3, 2018, Softcover, $15.99 (young adult/new adult)
If you’re looking to escape, Nancy Campbell Allen’s Kiss of the Spindle could be just the ticket. It was for me while my mom was in the hospital. Kiss of the Spindle is a steampunk Sleeping Beauty story from the author of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast.
Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date — after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.
In a desperate attempt to find Malette — the witch who cursed her — Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett’s private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she’s traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other. —Synopsis provided by Shadow Mountain Publishing
Kiss of the Spindle is the latest in Shadow Mountain’s Steampunk Proper Romance line. As such, you can expect it to be clean and a little predictable. After all, it is a reimagining of a classic fairy tale.
Kiss of the Spindle does take place in the same world as Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, but they’re not dependent on each other. Like Beauty, though, it leans heavily to the “swoony” side. It’s not bad, just be prepared.
The pacing of Kiss of the Spindle is much more lively than other Proper Romance novels, and I appreciated the mix of science, fiction and adventure. It’s also nice that Allen turned Isla into an active participant instead of someone who needs saving. She’s a strong heroine who should appeal to YA, new adult and adult readers equally.
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