Carina Press (April 2013), Ebook: 163 pages, Steampunk Romance
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All Henrietta Mason wants is to retire from adventures and go home to Philadelphia. A charity gala finds her dancing with US Marshall Carson Alexander. His career is on the line as he tries to prove Senator Mason has ties to the mafia. What he did not expect was to find was the Senator’s daughter.
Clockwork Mafia is the second in the Badlands series. At first, I was excited to get my hands on this book, then I saw that the heroine of Clockwork Mafia was Henrietta. In Badlands, she was a not so nice character. Not quite a villain but pretty darn close, What am I saying? I hated her and now I am supposed to like her? Ms. Delaney, you are an evil woman. However, within a couple of pages, I had forgotten the Henri of Badlands. However, there are two sides to every story. Henrietta is a very likable character in this story and in places I found myself not like the way Ever was treating her.
Clockwork Mafia takes place several months after the end of Badlands. Henri is busy cleaning up her father’s mess that he left behind and gets into a bigger mess than she ever expected to find. Her dad was not only corrupt and wanting all the gold the Badlands had, he was also involved with the mafia. Now the mafia is after Henri. The steampunk technology is more prominent in this book than its predecessor. Henri has jewelry clockworks that are more than just pretty decorations. One is a dragonfly comb with razor sharp edges. It gets activated and wrecks havoc on the camp. The mafia assassin after Henri has some pretty scary clockwork body parts.
Carson Alexander is a U.S Marshall who wants nothing more than to take down the mafia and those involved with it. His motives are not just professional, he has a personal vendetta against the mafia. He runs into Henrietta at a masked ball and is immediately interested in her. He is surprised when he finds out her identity and follows her into the Badlands.
The sexual attraction between these two is instantaneous but the romance takes its time to develop. Both have to work through personal issues before they can really settle down with falling in love. It isn’t just Carson and Henri’s relationship that is developed in Clockwork Mafia. Ever and Henri’s relationship is built upon. In Badlands, they take an instant dislike to one another and that is pretty much the extent of their relationship. By the end of this story, they are as much friends as I think they can ever be. It was really nice to see how their relationship evolved.
I enjoyed Clockwork Mafia more than Badlands. For an author to take a character I hated in the previous book and get me to not only like her but love her, is a pretty good feat. I enjoyed getting to know the real Henrietta and the romance between her and Carson. All the action, adventure and romance from the previous story is there, as well as an evolution of a friendship between Henri and Ever. There is more weird technology but it works and fits into the story. I am looking forward to more books in this series.