Book Review: The Blacksmith’s Lover by Heather Massey

The Blacksmith's Lover by Heather MasseyTitle: The Blacksmith’s Lover (Amazon)
Series: The Clockpunk Trilogy, #2
Author: Heather Massey
Genre: Historical Romance, Steampunk
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: June 1, 2012 by Red Sage Publishing

The year is 1840. On the run after being caught in a scandalous incident, scullery maid Sarah Bailey must find refuge before her vengeful former mistress has her killed. When she stumbles upon a blacksmith’s shop in need of an apprentice in West Boylston, Massachusetts, she applies for the position.

Viktor is a brawny, reclusive blacksmith who creates strange clockwork and steam-powered devices. The gruff man makes it clear that Sarah’s plight is no concern of his, but ghosts from his past dictate otherwise. Viktor agrees to protect the spunky maid, but only until her trail of henchmen runs cold.

Sarah quickly discovers that the fire of this blacksmith’s forge runs volcanic hot. Unable to resist one another, she and Viktor begin a lust-filled affair. But how long will their idyllic arrangement last before Sarah’s former mistress destroys it?

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Good set up for a unique steampunk erotic romance but the flimsy excuse to put the heroine in danger (and necessitate a rescue) is silly and contrived.

The Set Up: Sarah is a scullery maid on the run from her employers after the wife found her husband nearly raping Sarah but blamed Sarah. Sarah is hungry, cold and desperate when she stumbles upon Viktor, a reclusive blacksmith. While Sarah and Viktor explore their passion, Sarah’s evil ex-employers won’t give up their chase of her. When they find her, Viktor must use his inventions to keep Sarah safe.

Why I Read this Book: I am quickly coming to adore imaginative steampunk romance as it combines my love of historical romances with sci-fi. I’m always on the hunt for good steampunk and the side benefit is I’m often introduced to new authors along the way.

What I Liked: Sarah and Viktor are unique leads. Neither is rich or powerful or incredibly beautiful, instead they’re lonely, normal people interested in each other. I loved this realistic couple who had insecurities, histories, and fears—as well as mature sexual desires.

What I Also Liked: I enjoyed how the author didn’t rush their romance. The novella takes place over many months and allows Viktor and Sarah to engage in a dance of sexual courtship as they work the blacksmith shop building mechanical creatures. This romance manages to perfectly balance idealistic romance and realism and I greatly enjoyed their courtship.

What I Didn’t Like: This is a HUGE dislike for me. Sarah knows she’s in hiding from her former employers. Viktor even tells her henchmen have been asking after her. He begs her to stay home and be safe. So what does Sarah do? Get some serious hankering for McDonald’s and runs to town (okay, so it was in the 1800’s and spinach isn’t McDonald’s but still!) Sarah goes to town and surprise, surprise, henchmen capture her. This was such a contrived plot device that it nearly ruined the story for me. Sarah was an intelligent woman up to that point and suddenly a food craving causes her to lose her muther-effin-mind and need to run to the store?! Not buying it and it nearly caused me to stop reading. I’m glad I didn’t because I would have missed the big steampunk showdown but holy cow I was irritated at Sarah’s stupidity.

IMO: Readers who like erotic steampunk will like this story as I did but no doubt be just as irritate at the contrived danger plot.

J9’s Rating:
3 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. Right? Why did she leave her house to go get food???? TSTL. Sigh.

    I like the idea of the blacksmith but the heroine didn't do it for me in this one.

  2. I like some steam punk, erotica not so much, but I HATE heroines who do stupid things. Sorry you are disappointed in this.

  3. Yep, heroine's stupidity is no way to move plot along in my opinion! Aurian, I'm always hunting well written steampunk; what would you recommend?

  4. So far I have only read and loved the Gail Carriger books. I have tried the short story by Meljean Brook and really did not like that world. I want to try the world made by Moira Rogers soon. And well, that is it I am afraid.

  5. I love steampunks, especially historicals, but it sounds like a letdown that the heroine gets taken down by a craving for spinach of all things. I mean I like leafy greens as much as the next girl but really?

  6. LOL, Patricia! :-)

    Yes, Aurian, I like Gail Carriger's too! Meljean's world is best in Iron Duke, the short story featuring the Assistant was way under-developed. Moira Rogers is erotic, in my opinion, which I like but I *think* I read you didn't like erotic steampunk, no? Did you read Zoe Archer's series, The Blades of the Rose? The last one, STRANGER was a great steampunk, IMO. I'd highly recommend that and the previous three. I'll try to think of others too to recommend and please do the same on your reading travels, k? :)

  7. never read steampunks, i really must to read this genre, every thing i had was a great story


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