Release Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Paranormal | Steampunk
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
As the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. in a steampunk version of America, Charmian “Kit” Kittredge makes her living solving magical crimes. But when a snobbish lady begs for help, saving her reputation might very well cost Kit her life.
Doing a favor for deathmage Lucien Dredmore, Kit agrees to interview a newly widowed lady as a potential client. Upon meeting, however, she learns that the woman in question is none other than Lady Eugenia Bestly, president of the Rumsen Ladies Decency Society—someone who once led a vicious campaign to ruin Kit’s life. Ironically Lady Bestly now lives in fear herself, for the press is about to unmask her husband as the savage “Wolfman” who died while terrorizing the city.
As monstrous rampages continue to occur, Kit soon determines there is more than one Wolfman, and that they may themselves be victims of evil players. While avoiding both mechanized assassins and attempts by Dredmore and Chief Inspector Tom Doyle to take her under their protection, Kit follows a tangled path that leads from a prestigious gentlemen’s club fronting a hellish secret to a vengeful native tribe and dangerous, ancient magics.
THE CLOCKWORK WOLF, the second installment of Lynn Viehl's steampunk series, Disenchanted & Co., is a wonderful sequel to a strong debut. Once again spell breaker, Charmian "Kit" Kittredge, takes us for a ride this time involving Clockwork wolves. Said wolves have been going going on a mad rampage around the city of Rumsen, murdering citizens, creating havoc and impregnating women with a single bite. Thanks to Kit's cleverness, she saved the day and another bloody situation has been averted. Not only that, this big little adventure of hers opened a rather interesting love triangle between Kit, Deathmage, Lucien Dredmore, and, Scotland Yard Chief, Inspector Doyle.
"No." He turned me onto my back and rolled over to hold me down. "I want you, and I will do anything to have you. I never concealed that. And if for once you will cease pretending this indifference that you have never truly felt toward me, then you can admit it is the same for you." - Lucien Dredmore
Now we're all tired of this pesky love triangle but there are some authors who can manage to pull this romantic entanglement off. LViehl is one of those. And although I called out Kit for her slutty ways (I meant that in a fond way), this romantic development was expected, believable and organic. Kit has been the object of Dredmore and Doyle's affection, the former even managed to take it one step further with Kit. To his credit, Tom Doyle is one eligible and gorgeous bloke and I'm not surprised that he managed to turn Kit's head this time around. Kit and Doyle have known each other since they were kids and one can tell Doyle have always crushed on Kit, it's just that Kit's so oblivious to Doyle's unusual demonstrations of his affections that she failed to pick up the signals until now. Kit's found herself in quite the romantic pickle because at the end of THE CLOCKWORK WOLF, Kit's forced to choose between Dredmore and Doyle or maybe even stay single and let them battle it out! I have to say I can't choose a "team" at this point because both men have strong suits and either of them can be good for Kit. All I know is I am loving this brewing romantic conflict and I can't wait what Kit's BFF, Carina, has to say about this once she finds out!
As for the non-romantic parts, LViehl was relentless! There's never a dull moment in THE CLOCKWORK WOLF. She really kept me on my toes here what with Kit's investigation, verbal foreplay with Dredmore, entertaining conversations with her ghost grandfather, Harry, and her Madame BFF, Carina, and passive aggressive "courtship" with Tom Doyle via various case inquiries. The whole fiasco about the Aramanthans and their attempt for power by making these enchanted Clockwork Wolves was fascinating and creative on LViehl's part. Backing it up with Native American magic was perfect and added an enchanting layer to the plot. THE CLOCKWORK WOLF's one heck of an adventure and I'm positive that the next book will be just as good if not better.
To sum it up: I LOVE this series! I've read quite a few Steampunk series and Disenchanted & Co. joins the ranks of the best ones, that I can guarantee. The action/adventure isn't overshadowed by the romance, the characters, and even the secondary characters, are fleshed out perfectly I won't be surprised if one of the supporting cast gets their own novella or book in the future. The romance has the right amount of tension and passion to sexify LViehl's Victorian province of Toriana. And Kit is such a fantastic heroine, she carries the series so well thanks to her attitude and drive. It's quite impossible not to love her.