Formats available: Mass Market Paperback, ebook
Genre: steampunk, paranormal romance
Series: Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator #2
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Date Released: September 25, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository
A master of paranormal deduction—and paramour seduction—Phaeton Black has a knack for bumping into things that go bump in the night, from ghoulies and ghosties to long-leggedy beauties…
Mooning For The Moonstone
Barely escaping the clutches of a succulent succubus, Phaeton Black returns to London only to get sucked into another unearthly scheme. Professor Lovecraft has been tinkering with the secrets of life and death, replacing body parts with the latest mechanical marvels. To succeed, he needs to tap the power of the fabled Moonstone—and he needs Phaeton’s help. Of course, Phaeton would prefer to investigate the more interesting body parts of Miss America Jones. Perhaps, bringing his lady friend along for the ride won’t be to too much trouble…
Shanghaied In Shanghai
The bewilderingly beautiful and bountifully gifted daughter of a Cajun witch, Miss Jones is always up for an adventure, especially with Mr. Black as her traveling companion. But when Phaeton is mysteriously shanghaied in Shanghai, America thinks he’s run out on her. Stranded in the Orient—and steaming mad—she’s prepared to look under every stone for the missing detective. The case has put them both in the most compromising positions, but this time, Miss Jones is on top and Mr. Black is at the bottom…of a truly infernal plot.
Pardon me while I have a screaming case of “middle book syndrome”. ARRGGHHH!
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s talk about the book. The Moonstone and Miss Jones is another darkly seductive delight in the adventures of Phaeton Black and American Jones. The difference between this story and their first adventure, The Seduction of Phaeton Black (see review here) is that in this second story the emphasis is more on the steampunk, the darkness and the mystery.
Don’t get me wrong, Phaeton and America are still very much taken with each other, but in this story they finally figure out that they are actually in this thing together, and are not mere ships passing in the night. The story is still steamy, but Phaeton’s finally figured out where to moor his boat. So to speak. His problem is going to be keeping things anchored. Literally.
Those visions of strange beings and and dangerous fantasms that Phaeton has had all his life? They are sendings from a parallel reality, and that reality is starting to come unraveled. Along with our own. Of course, Phaeton is the key. Along with a little present that the Egyptian goddess Qadesh gave him at the end of his previous adventure. Everyone thinks this “Moonstone” will solve all their problems.
Too bad for Phaeton that he’s the only one who can use it. Precisely because he doesn’t want a damn thing from it except to be left alone with America and their ‘pea in the pod’. There is much too much power at stake for that to happen.
But in the process of chasing after the evil-doers, keeping the world from unraveling, and guarding America, Phaeton discovers something that he never expected. He has friends. Real, honest to goodness friends. And a life worth fighting back from hell for.
Escape Rating B+: The Moonstone and Miss Jones is a completely wild ride into not just steampunk, but also parallel universes, the potentials of H.G. Wells time-machine, a little homage to H.P. Lovecraft, and the value of friendship, all wrapped into one. And it’s a cracking good adventure.
Read The Seduction of Phaeton Black first. This story starts pretty hard on the heels on that one, at least as far as continuity is concerned. Phaeton and America had a romantic idyll in between, one that’s interrupted by Phaeton being shanghaied in Shanghai, but the stories crack straight on from one to the other.
There are several interesting side-stories that I would love to see developed revolving around some of the Nightshades guarding America. The smoldering romances there have tons of potential.
I can’t believe I’m going to have to wait until next summer for book 3, The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter. I want to magic it up from the future and read it now, dammit!
Win Phaeton’s most charming charm bracelet. And find clues to the Moonstone’s hiding place in this modern, edgy take on the traditional charm bracelet created by Ana Karolina, a 19-year-old Mexican born designer who made her debut at Nordstrom at the ripe old age of 17. This silver-plated chain bracelet makes skulls and bugs look oh-so cool!
Win one of five copies of The Moonstone and Miss Jones (ebook or print-winners choice)
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