My name is Cherry St. Croix. Society would claim that I am a well-heeled miss with an unfortunate familial reputation. They've no idea of the truth of it. In my secret world, I hunt down vagrants, thieves... and now, a murderer. For a monster stalks London's streets, leaving a trail of mystery and murder below the fog.
Eager for coin to fuel my infatuations, I must decide where my attentions will turn: to my daylight world, where my scientific mind sets me apart from respectable Society, or to the compelling domain of London below. Each has a man who has claimed my time as his--for good or for ill. Though as the corpses pile, and the treacherous waters of Society gossip churn, I am learning that each also has its dangers. One choice will see me cast from polite company... the other might just see me dead.This is an interesting steampunk novel that gives you quite the mystery and intrigue. The setting is creative and appropriately dark. So well crafted you can feel the air about you and the movement of the shadows as you cavort with Cherry in the dark underground of London. The character of Cherry and her staff are well crafted and you get to know all of them quite well through this tale. You also get introduced to several of the "circus", or the menagerie people in a club filled with alchemy and magic. Two things Cherry opposes since it goes against her scientific mind. Those people, who dabble in the more erotic arts, are decidedly mysterious but we see that they seem to have a good heart even if we cannot trust them fully.
Ah, but therein lies my problem with the book...
Hawke, or Cage, is someone who intrigues Cherry and anyone who reads his character. And while I do see why the author kept him shrouded in mystery, I still demanded a bit more from this character. In some ways he seemed out of place in the story as much as he was central to it. And while the smexy scene he participated was hot, it also seemed a bit out of joint to the story as whole. However, despite this criticism, I would have been more upset if there wasn't a character like Hawke in it. I suspect much of the mystery will clear slowly throughout the series. I just hope it's not too slow as I really want to know this character much better.
I give this story 3 1/2 stars. It is a very fast paced and interesting start to this series. I really want to read the next one to find out more about all these characters. I recommend this one to people who love suspense and steampunk. This book goes on sale tomorrow!
I received this eARC from Edelweiss and Avon Books and no compensation for my review was given.