Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Wes and Kit
SERIES: Steampunk Mystery #1
AUTHOR: Hollis Shiloh
PUBLISHER: Spare Words Press
LENGTH: 154 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 17, 2016
Wes has a soft heart—even if it is a gear heart from when he was mechanicalized during the war. Now close to homeless and in desperate straits, he still finds himself taking on a stray dog—and helping out an injured man he stumbles across in an alleyway.
That’s how he meets Kit. A harmless, gentle clock repairman with a heart condition of his own, Kit is in danger…because he’s working on a certain clock.
He hires Wes to protect him until the danger is past…whatever its cause. But they find their feelings for each other are becoming too strong to ignore, despite the danger.
When a chance to solve the mystery presents itself, Wes finds he might just lose the man he’s come to love…if he can’t find Kit in time.
Discharged from the military after having undergone a magical procedure to replace his damaged heart with a mechanical one, Wes is struggling to get by. Treated like a second class citizen for the one thing keeping him alive, the former soldier is desperate to find work yet refuses to stoop to thievery, no matter how much easier it would make things. When he comes across a man that’s been beaten and left for dead, Wes knows he has to stop and help. What starts as just a random encounter soon spirals into more as the man, Kit, first hires Wes as a bodyguard and then later when the two men give into the attraction and connection they feel growing between them. Everything seems to be going well for the men when Kit’s latest job goes from simple to complicated and unless Wes acts quickly, his chance at a future with Kit could end up a thing of the past.
This was actually a nice read; I liked both main characters quite a bit, though I will admit to Wes being my favorite, and the point of view goes back and forth between them so I had a good chance to get to know them both. The ‘mystery’ aspect of the book isn’t what I was expecting; not quite a cozy mystery but also not a hardcore ‘whodunnit’ either. I liked how the author made the entire thing feel like a treasure hunt without coming across as too campy but I would’ve liked to have seen more of it before the end. The steampunk elements were nicely incorporated into the story as well but, again, I would’ve liked to have seen them a bit more prevalent than they actually were. I am, however, of the opinion that when it comes to steampunk, more is always better. 😀
This was an interesting story that totally worked for me as an introduction to this universe; Wes and Kit were in a pretty good place by the end of the book but I was a little disappointed that I never got to see the ending to the ‘mystery’. There are several more books out in this series, however, and I’m looking forward to seeing this (hopefully) concluded in the next installment. If you enjoy your mysteries flavored with a little steampunk, this might be something you want to check out.