Mar 1, 2016

ARC Review: CLOCKWORK HEART (Clockwork Love, #1) by Heidi Cullinan


Love, adventure and a steaming good time.
Clockwork Love, Book 1

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.


Connect with the author:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 


Rating: 2.75 stars. Maybe. Probably.

This didn't go as well as I had hoped. Since I have enjoyed Heidi Cullinan's books so far, and this was my first full-length steampunk novel, I'm inclined to think the reason I didn't enjoy reading Clockwork Heart as much as I had expected is because it was steampunk. I guess I should just accept it's not a genre for me, and move on. Unfortunately.

Ignoring the fact how much this alternate history where Europe was a war zone depressed me, I could say the beginning of the book was to my liking. Getting to know the main characters Conny and Johann, and reading about them getting to know each other after Conny saved Johann's life was interesting, cute even, given the language barrier. I would've been quite happy if they had spent more time alone in that room, learning about each other, especially after they'd realized they had a language in common, but it was not to be...

In order to save Johann's life, Conny had put a clockwork heart in him, a device everyone was after, as it turned out, therefore Johann had to escape, and Conny with him, plus Conny's best friend wouldn't let him go alone, so he joined them. They all joined the interesting crew of a pirate airship, and set off on their journey to here, there, everywhere. This was the part where my interest in the story started to dwindle. They traveled a lot, met a lot of people, there was always something happening concerning the clockwork technology, they found themselves in quite a few dangerous situations as they were being hunted by Conny's father determined to get his hands on the clockwork heart and use it to become a ruler of Europe. And yet, even with all that going on, I simply couldn't bring myself to care. After a while, even the word clockwork started to get on my nerves, so clearly steampunk isn't my thing.

The main reason as to why I preferred the first part of the book over the rest was because at the beginning it was just Conny and Johann and the start of their romance, but later on, with everything going on, they didn't have that much page time together. The romance that was my main reason for reading this book took the back seat. Then, when I got my wish to read about them together, it was in a very, very kinky setting, and they were not alone. Sadly, this kinky-books fan has to admit she did not enjoy reading these scenes. Conny was the main kinky character here, and exhibitionism and sharing partners is what he was into. Not my favorite, either of those, but the main reason this aspect of their relationship didn't work for me was because I wasn't under the impression Johann, who unlike Conny had no experience whatsoever, was fully okay with it. Of course, I could be wrong on this; it's just how I saw it.

After everything I've said, it would be logical I'd conclude this wasn't a series for me, and to call it quits. However, Val, Conny's best friend, who at the beginning was a character who went on my nerves, and whom I wanted to kick out of the book, over time became one I would like to read more about. So, if the day comes when Val gets his own Clockwork Love story, I'd be happy to read it.

Overall, though there were enjoyable parts, I'd say this book was a poor choice for me. If you are a fan of steampunk, very kinky protagonists, and Heidi Cullinan (in that order), then Clockwork Heart could very well be the right choice for you.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!



  1. I feel the same way about steampunk. Probably wouldn't have worked for me either.

    1. It's a shame really. I thought this genre and I had a future. :(


We love comments, so feel free to write to us. We try to respond to every single one and to comment back on your blog, if you have one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...