REVIEW: Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Love #1) by Heidi Cullinan

February 8, 2016 Review 0

REVIEW: Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Love #1) by Heidi Cullinan

Love, adventure and a steaming good time.

As the French army leader’s bastard son, Cornelius Stevens enjoys a great deal of latitude. But when he saves an enemy soldier using clockwork parts, he’s well aware he risks hanging for treason. That doesn’t worry him half as much, however, as the realization he’s falling for his patient.

Johann Berger never expected to survive his regiment’s suicide attack on Calais, much less wake up with mechanical parts. To avoid discovery, he’s forced to hide in plain sight as Cornelius’s lover—a role Johann finds himself taking to surprisingly well.

When a threat is made on Cornelius’s life, Johann learns the secret of the device implanted in his chest—a mythical weapon both warring countries would kill to obtain. Caught up in a political frenzy, in league with pirates, dodging rogue spies, mobsters and princesses with deadly parasols, Cornelius and Johann have no time to contemplate how they ended up in this mess. All they know is, the only way out is together—or not at all.

Warning: Contains tinkers, excessive clockwork appendages, and a cloud-sweeping tour of Europe. A little absinthe, a little theft, a little exhibitionism. Men who love men, women who love women, and some who aren’t particular

Title: Clockwork Heart
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Carry the Ocean
Series: Clockwork Love #1
Published by Samhain Publishing
Source: Publisher
Published: 02/02/2016
Genres: Erotic Sci Fi Romance, M/M Erotica, Steampunk
Pages: 248
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page

Stars: two-stars
Flames: five-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

It is one of these books that inspiration was nowhere to be found once I was done with it.  It took a while to get myself to write this review. To be totally honest I almost did not finish it, but I had to keep going.  The writing in Clockwork Heart is good, the story is somewhat interesting and it is a fairly good Steampunk story. I guess that you might be asking yourself why I am just  giving it 2 stars then.  Bear with me, you will know it soon enough.

In Clockwork Heart, I was immediately hooked when the story began, it was compelling, I was getting to know the characters and the plot was well introduced.  All changed when the story took the sexual road. You have to understand that when I am reading a male/male story, I always keep my fingers crossed that it will be more than just sex. I don’t have any issues with sex scenes, as long as it giving a little extra to the story or the characters.  I was in for a threat in this book.  Corneliu had very little moral with it comes to his sex life.  He loves being in front of people and make a show for and with them.  All he was thinking about was sex and I felt no connection with him at all.  There is no depth in him, character is lacking a vision and it fell flat.  I could not care less whether he would be killed or lived in this story.  While, he has a lot of professional abilities (as a tinker and surgeon), and he is a sensible soul (he can’t suffer the war, he saved a soldier for a certain death).  His behaviors and what he is saying are not adding up.  It might just be me, but I have a hard time to accept that someone that sensible is so kinky when it comes to sex.  All he wants is to be treated as a slave, have sex in public and have others join him (and I leave a lot of things out of here).  It is a huge turn off.

Johann is a 18 years old soldier that was saved by Corneliu.  He never was with a man before and his feelings toward Corneliu began to slowly bloom.   His legs and some parts of his arms and hands are now in metal.  He must learn to live with it.  Johann is quite naive but he has a little more depth than Corneliu.  He is asking himself some tormenting questions and is almost likable.  Again his actions/reaction when it comes to sex just did not work for me.  The author seems to have wanted to show how Corneliu and Johann were loving each other through the sex scenes. I did not feel anything other than sexual tension and their want to climax  together.  I was not feeling that connection that is so important between characters.  In fact, I did not feel any emotion toward any characters in this story, they all left me cold.  To be totally honest some of the sexual depiction was unsettling and shocking.  It was so sexual, that the main story was completely diluted and it is a shame.

It redeemed itself in the end, but it was too late to get me back into the story.  While sexual attraction is human and is an essential part of a relationship, this story is missing the sensual and emotional elements required to make it work.  Steampunk genre can be quite tricky and can easily translate into coldness for the readers if characters are not masterfully crafted.  That what happened in this book. Kinky sex in a Steampunk setting, could have been good, but it completely missed the mark. Even though the words I love You was said in the story, I did not feel it at all.  Political intrigue and the overall plot was good, but sex scenes stole the show. This is very unfortunate, but then again it is only my humble opinion.

I will not read the second book in this series.

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