Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Gear Heart
SERIES: Steampunk Mystery
AUTHOR: Hollis Shiloh
PUBLISHER: Spare Words Press
LENGTH: 77 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2014
Living with a gear heart made from magic and machinery, Auden knows his lifespan will be shortened. Now a second-class citizen, he’s part of the household of Dr. Gregory—the man who stitched him back to life years ago during the war. And now Dr. Gregory is being threatened.
A friendly (sometimes too friendly) police officer named Owen is assigned to help protect the aging doctor. Auden could resent the policeman who’s come to help with security. Instead, he finds himself drawn to the attractive, flirtatious Owen, who somehow doesn’t let Auden’s cold nature scare him away. And that holds a different kind of danger for Auden’s heart.
I am really enjoying these little stories in this universe; each one is just a great little nugget with interesting characters all plugged into a universe I look forward to immersing myself in again and again. In this latest installment, you’re back within Dr. Gregory’s house only this time he’s in need of help as he’s been receiving threatening letters that has his entire household on edge. Auden works as security for the doctor but he knows when he’s over his head and its time to call in some help. Regardless of the less than stellar treatment by the police officer sent to gather information, Auden is left with officer Owen, an officer who, despite his larger size, is quite kind and gentle with not only the good Doctor, but also the other members of his staff. He also doesn’t have a problem with Auden’s mechanical parts and finds time each day to flirt with the fairly prickly man. With the culprit behind the threats still at large and other problems plaguing the household, however, Auden is determined to keep himself separate from Owen but the heart wants what it wants and with every passing day he finds himself inexplicably drawn to the one man he should be trying to stay away from.
I really liked this one; the mystery was fairly low key but made for a good foil to get Auden and Owen together so I was more than happy with that. The main characters seemed to compliment each other nicely and it was great seeing Auden lighten up some from the normally dour disposition he sports around anyone outside of Dr. Gregory’s home. It was also great getting to see so many people stick up for Auden when the rest of the world is more than happy to label him a second class citizen and spout off that he’d be better off dead because of what was done to save his life during the war. I actually found my favorite part of the book to be all the issues surrounding Auden; it made him a more compelling character and I loved every bit of it, even the parts that threatened to make me cry.
I adored this and will definitely be reading it again in the future; if you’ve read the rest of the series I’d certainly make sure you read this book, too. If you haven’t, however, you could probably read it without too much issue as a standalone.