A Summer of Smoke and Sin is a unique steampunk story about love, justice and self-discovery. It is clever, hot and takes you through a world full of secrets, lies, and deception while navigating a beautiful love story worthy of the perfect ending it was given.
Honestly, it's like one of my favourite authors has read two of my favourite books – the series, Gentleman Demons by Jasper Black and the solo novel, Innocent and Carnality by J. Alan Veerkamp – because, while completely unique and different, A Summer of Smoke and Sin is what would happen if those two books had a book-baby. This would be it. The perfect blend of historical horror and steampunk romance against all the odds.
Was it perfect? No. I'd say my rating is more a 4.5 than an outright 5*, only because there were a lot of editing issues throughout, in my final version from Amazon and I felt that the continual interruptions – newspaper articles, letters/notes from friends/family – could have been more seamlessly introduced to the story. For me, they broke the story up at important intervals, right in the midst of the drama, and took me out of that tension and suspense. Add on the editing issues – wrong words, spelling and punctuation issues – and it wasn't flawless. But, in the end, the story was beautiful, clever and brilliant, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. For that reason, I've rounded up instead of down. This is definitely a story I'll be reading again, and I'll be buying it in paperback, too.
I've been a fan of T.J. Nichols for a very long time, and I've loved everything of theirs that I've read. This book is no exception. Despite the minor flaws, I still fell madly in love with Nathanial and Jericho.
For fans of: paranormal twists, steampunk adventures, and sweeping romances with some drama.
“With the soft click, the heart he'd pieced together after Liang's murder fragmented. It would take more than a demon to put it back together.”