Type: Paranormal Romance
My Copy: Sent
Taking place after Wicked as They Come, this original eBook features a mysterious lady and a reclusive mechanical genius who find love and danger in a traveling circus. An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot. Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to check out book one in this series, Wicked As They Come, and its unique take on vampireism . I was impressed by the vivid descriptions and the depth of characters that I grew to love quickly. I was saddened to learn it would be a long wait until book two. That is before I learned this novella was on the way.
Madam Morpho is on the lamb from a future she had no control over in a time when men are far superior to women in all ways. Forced to join allegiances with a Bludman and escape into his circus. At least until they get far enough away that no one knows her. With her enchanted (and stolen) act of re-animated butterflies, she is sure be a crowd pleaser.
The only thing that stands in her away is a fellow human whose reclusive nature is something everyone else at the circus just accepts. The elusive Mr. Murdoch is the chief engineer in charge of creating the spectacular mechanical animals that nature robbed them of when the blud “disease” took over.
I was once again entranced in the completely unique world Ms Dawson has created in this series. While many things stay the same in vampire type novels, she has figured out a way to make things feel fresh and new. The world in which these people live is a world that exists along side our own but their world is stuck in a steam punk type atmosphere. The absence of any animals, except those that suck blood themselves, gives the world a twist and makes even a stroll past the walls of the cities, a dangerous affair. The allure of the other circus performers and their interactions amongst themselves was entertaining. Though I’ve always had a weird fascination with the inner workings of a circus.
Where I think this one fell a bit short was the connection between male and female. That primal connections between the two main characters just felt…off. There isn’t a whole lot of heat associated with this story. I thought that for as elusive has Mr. Murdoch (Henry) was supposed to be, his quick change in personality felt forced somehow. Like Ms Dawson was pressed for time with this being a novella. I liked them as a couple though in the end and I thought the witty dialogue between the two was spot on. I enjoyed Henry’s surge of protectiveness for Imogen and his abrupt reactions were often amusing and irritating at the same time.
The ending was a bit anti-climatic and also felt like the restraints with a shorter book were taking its toll on the author. All the build up of being found and everything was over within a short amount of time. Nothing for Imogen and Henry to work through together. Just….done.
As another steam punk addition to this series it does well even with its short comings. Getting to see Criminy and Trish again was also a pleasure since I fell in love with them both in book one. The novella is priced at a mere $.99 so if you enjoyed Wicked As They Come, you’ll be sure to like this one as well.
I give The Mysterious Madam Morpho by Delilah S Dawson 3 stars!