I'm a huge entertainment geek and just getting back into my love of reading!
(My very first review! Please excuse the mess!)
I am not a fan of romance, least of all, supernatural romance. I knew, prior to picking this book up, that romance would play a significant role in the story but I decided to overlook it because I was fascinated by the alternate history and steampunk elements. I will say that I am glad I still gave this book a chance, however, I do believe the romance ultimately dragged the plot down and did not really contribute to my enjoyment.
What I did enjoy most about this book, was exactly what drew me to it in the first place. I adore the setting, the clockwork and steam-powered technology, the high Victorian society, and the descriptions of fashion and food that really drew me in and helped me immerse myself in the setting.
I liked the characters, for the most part, I can relate a lot to Miss Alexia Tarabotti and some of the supporting characters, such as the foppish vampire, Lord Akeldama, and the studious werewolf, Professor Lyall. I really did not care for the main love interest, while supernatural romance in general is unappealing to me, a possessive, domineering love interest who must "claim" and "possess" the independent heroine, has always really annoyed me.
I am glad that the romance was somewhat subdued throughout much of the story and ultimately I was able to enjoy the plot and the climax, which kept me quite intrigued. Ultimately, it was a fun read, I enjoyed the writer's style and loved her sense of humor. I enjoyed her interpretation of historical events and how the supernatural could have played a role in many of the major historical events, contrasting vampires and werewolves, however cliche they might be, to Victorian era high society in London, was quite amusing.
I do not know for sure whether or not I will continue with the series, however, I will say that I did enjoy the book despite the romance and look forward to seeing more from the author in the future. As for whether or not I'd recommend this book? Absolutely, most of my friends adore romance and supernatural romance, I could see them really enjoying this series.