So one of my good buddies had two big markers this last week—the release of her second novella, Best Man, Worst Man, and the availability of the anthology she is part of for Steam Punk Christmas Romance. So today I am going to tell you about these two great works—both of which I had the honor of beta reading.
Here is the description from Samhain:
He’s the one problem she can’t solve.
From hysterical bridezillas to grooms with sub-zero feet, renowned wedding planner Claire Pomeroy has never met a disaster she couldn’t handle. Then she runs afoul of her client’s not-so-best man, a devilishly flirtatious rogue with a killer smile and a chest as solid as a concrete roadblock. Yet their sparks of attraction only highlight his obvious quest—to make sure this wedding knot never gets tied.
Confirmed bachelor Ryder Price knows one unshakable truth: marriage is nothing but a fairy tale. No way is he going to stand idly by while his wingman face-plants into the dreaded marital trap. But there’s a problem. A dark-eyed, dangerously curvaceous problem who’s bound and determined to pull this wedding off.
As her suddenly skittish clients teeter on the edge of cancellation, Claire challenges her nemesis to imagine long-term as something more than a quickie and a vague promise to call. Ryder counters with a challenge of his own. Let him give her a taste of just how fulfilling a little no-strings-attached passion can be.
This product contains cold feet, heavy petting, heavier breathing, and chocolate-covered fingers. To avoid a sweet-tooth side-effect, the author recommends having a chocolate-covered man nearby.
Stacy wrote a great blog about this--'too spicy to be sweet' story. And I loved it. You know me—sweet isn't really my thing. But what I love most about Stacy's books is 1) respect to the heroine—they are always SMART and independent. And I love her humor. And did you SEE that product warning? *snort * Yeah... my kind of book. You definitely want to check it out!
This novella is part of an anthology, Clockwork Christmas, that has four novellas that are steam punk romance with Christmas settings. Stacy's is the only I've read, but I saw a review that said this quartet was a great intro to the genre because the four stories were really varied, so it gave a nice view of the range of the genre.
The story I read from Stacy, in which Cornelia Peabody, a street kid who manages to make a life for herself as a thief, has stolen a Faberge Egg... She thought she was stealing from a wealthy university, but in fact it is the prized possession of a very sick girl. Unfortunately, she has sold it. To collect vengeance and right the wrong, our hero attaches a device to Cornelia that, by Midnight Christmas Eve will kill her by electrocution if she cannot manage to re-steal the egg and return it.
This is the first Steampunk I read, and I loved the devices, but ALSO that the devices, while clever, weren't contrived—they flowed nicely as part of the story, moving it forward. I LOVED both hero and heroine—both flawed, both stubborn, but often in romance, one or the other annoys me, and here, Stacy did a wonderful job of keeping them both sympathetic. It was adventure as well as romance... high stakes (hello, death), and brilliantly woven. I think this set looks like a great Christmas gift if anyone has loved ones who like Steampunk (or are interested in trying).
So there we have it!