Kiss of the Spindle by Nancy Campbell Allen
Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date—after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.
In a desperate attempt to find Malette—the witch who cursed her—Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett's private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she's traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.
Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla's death-like sleep becomes permanent.
Steampunk isn't typically my genre of choice, but I'm a huge fan of Proper Romance novels, so I jumped at the chance to read Nancy Campbell Allen's latest novel, Kiss of the Spindle. An additional incentive was that my favorite childhood Disney cartoon was "Sleeping Beauty", and I was excited to see what Allen would do with her Steampunk version.
I really like what Allen did with this story. I liked the spin on Isla's condition-that she slept like the dead every night. A spindle is involved in the story, but not in the way Disney used it.
The characters were great-we don't get the three good fairies, but the three supporting character's that Daniel is transporting really add a lot to the story.
This wasn't the type of story that I couldn't put down, but it was enjoyable.
When I first read Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, it took me a bit to get used to the whole steampunk style of writing, but that book quickly became one of my favorite novels - in fact, I just finished listening to the audio book (again) before starting to read this book. I've always enjoyed the Sleeping Beauty story, and I really like fairy tale retellings. This book definitely did not disappoint, and I know it will be one that I will re-read or listen to over and over again. Obviously, this story is not an exact retelling of the original fairy tale. It is very different, in fact. But I loved how the author wove so many elements of the original story into hers. The spindle, the castle, the three fairy godmothers, etc. They're all in there. This was one of those stories that I never wanted to end. I quite enjoy Nancy's writing style and am looking forward to reading future novels from her.
I forget how much I enjoy steam punk until I read one. Unfortunately I don't read them often because it isn't my go to genre. I haven't read very many, but I have really enjoyed those that I have read, and Kiss of the Spindle is no exception to that. What a fun take on a classic fairy tale. Allen does a marvelous job getting all the elements of this tale in there, but without making it forced or contrived. This book has a wonderful flow to it, that makes everything that happens seem natural (for the steam punk world, anyway).
All characters are fun to read about. I got swept up right away in their story. Good, bad, good and bad, I wanted to know more. Each character seamlessly appears. There aren't too many that it's hard to keep track of them. And we are never wondering why they made an appearance in the first place.
This was a book that I couldn't put down until it was finished. All else slipped away as I entered a magical world that I didn't want to end. I can't wait for Sam's story. I wonder what fairy tale Allen is going to do for him.
Title: Kiss of the Spindle Author: Nancy Campbell Allen Publisher: Shadow Mountain Published: July 2018 ISBN: 1629724149 Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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