Book Review: Clockwork Tangerine by Rhys Ford

5199022Carnival happened, so I had to read something short. I picked this book because of the title, I mean…it’s a fun title. Although the book was short, the story was still wonderfully developed. I will admit that by the end, I was wishing for several more chapters.

Set in an alternate reality of San Francisco, Marcus Stenhill, the Viscount of Westwood is running an errand for his grandma in Little Orient. The woman has a particular jasmine tea that he has to search for because he loves his granny. While he’s looking for the tea, he comes across a group of 4 guys beating on a man who’s on the ground. Marcus’s father, who sounds a lot like Uncle Ben from Spiderman, had always told him: A man with power protects and serves those lesser than he is. It is only the weak who use their power to do harm. So Marcus rescues the beaten man.

Surprise!!! The man Marcus rescues is Robin Harris, the creator of a mechanical contraption called a Skitter that killed his father. Though Robin’s involvement in the death of Marcus’ father was indirect, he still played a part in it. Marcus should hate him, but this is m/m romance and he desires the man instead. And since this is m/m romance, their relationship has many obstacles to overcome before it can truly flourish.

The first issue (besides the whole ‘you killed my father’) is that feelings for the same sex is against the law, punishable by being branded a sodomite and imprisoned in New Bedlam, an island prison. There’s also the problem that Robin is ‘The Toyman,’ who has created mechanical killing machines for The Society, enemies of the empire. Oh, and did I mention Robin is also a wanted man? Drama!!

Marcus soon discovers while nursing Robin back to health that things aren’t what they seem. Spoiler Alert: Robin isn’t a mad scientist. Turns out, he was creating contraptions that help the sick and disabled, like prosthetics to help people to walk and see. Through their growing friendship, Marcus learns that Robin was taken by The Society at fourteen. They twisted his devices with the intent on bringing down the Queens Empire. And now, Robin is filled with guilt for his part in the revolution. These revelations make Robin skeptical of Marcus’ kindness, I mean, the man should hate him. Grant it, Marcus is hot, but could he actually care for Robin?

Can they push through their doubts and issues? Can their blossoming friendship, their slow courtship turn into true love? Read it to find out!

So if you’re looking for a fun, quick Steampunk story, Clockwork Tangerine is for you. I had a fun time reading this type of story. The only thing that stopped this from being 5/5 stars, was the length. I know, I know, I just said that I picked it cause it was short. But now I want more. I want to know more about Robin and Marcus. I even want to know more about The Society. Call me greedy if you want, I’m just trying to get the people what they want.

If I don’t do this—if I don’t spend my life listening to you, breathing you in…waking up next to you, then I’ve lost everything. That is what I am risking—a life without the man who makes me feel alive.

4.5/5 stars


Buy: Amazon

Buy: B&N

Buy: Amazon UK


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