By C.J. Archer
Blurb: India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.
Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.
With a cast of quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and a dash of romance, THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER is the start of a thrilling new historical fantasy series from the author of the bestselling Ministry of Curiosities, Freak House, and Emily Chambers Spirit Medium books.
Review: C.J. has a winning series on her hands. This book was on my Kindle Freebies TBR list. I’d never heard of her before, but she has made me a life-long fan with this series. I read the first six books in this series in one week. I’m impatiently waiting for Book Seven (The Cheater’s Game).
India is an independent woman stuck in a time when women were seen more as decoration or baby-makers. She knows her mind, and through personal growth, is able to comfortably speak it. She’s brilliant, kind-hearted, selfless, and willing to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Matt would be a fabulous addition to your book boyfriend list. But only if you go for the non-douchey alpha male type. He wants the women in his life to live their best lives, and is willing to help them achieve those goals without compromising his own morals and values. He upholds a rigorous set of ethics that has seen him through troubling times and false accusations.
Together Matt and India make a balanced pair who are able to shore up weaknesses and increase strengths between them. Neither partner is lesser or diminished, but as a pair they are better together.
C.J.’s host of secondary characters are just as rich in backstory and presentation as her two main characters. She has created a perfect blend of character voices that keep you flipping the page. Wilhelmina “Willie” is a gun-toting female who defies the double standards placed on women. She’s loud- and foul-mouthed, loves poker, and is willing to shoot those who come against her and her family.
Cyclops is a huge brute of a man with a soft heart that is only shown to his family. He enjoys some fisticuffs and puglism–usually in underground fights, and treats women with respect, no matter their age or station.
Duke is the fire to Matt’s ice. The passionate male voice that is usually in direct opposition to Matt’s more intense focus. He is a jokester and a lover, a handyman and a problem-solver. He never fails to steal the scene.
If you’re looking for a fun and unique spin in historical paranormal fiction, then look no farther than C.J. Archer’s bookshelf. She combines humor, factual information, snappy dialogue, believable magic systems with lovable and cherished characters in a flawless story that keeps you engaged and wanting more.