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Clockwork Heart

(Clockwork Love #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  501 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Love, adventure and a steaming good time.

As the French army leader’s bastard son, Cornelius Stevens enjoys a great deal of latitude. But when he saves an enemy soldier using clockwork parts, he’s well aware he risks hanging for treason. That doesn’t worry him half as much, however, as the realization he’s falling for his patient.

Johann Berger never expected to survive his
Paperback, 248 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Samhain Publishing
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Heidi Cullinan Nobody knows! Me either. My original thought was Val, but you know, I really don't know.…moreNobody knows! Me either. My original thought was Val, but you know, I really don't know.(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  501 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
"Clockwork is so beautifully simple. It's people who are complicated."

A soldier left for dead. A tinker out to save. And spies ... spies everywhere.

Set in an alternate historical universe where Napoleon's army did not lose the Battle of Waterloo and the French empire conquered most of Europe, Clockwork Heart is a fascinating, fast-paced, sexy read with incredibly complex characters and a gripping plot.

When Cornelius, a brilliant tinker and a self-proclaimed nancy, stumbles into an a
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance
Clockwork Heart is a steampunk novel which is thoroughly beautiful in many ways. Cornelius, a tinker, detests wars and he will do anything against his tyrannous father. That when he finds Johann, a soldier left to die alone, Cornelius is ready to save this man at all costs. Cornelius literally puts a clockwork heart into the soldier's chest to maintain his life, although the heart itself is the weapon that many armies have been raiding for.

Cornelius is a naughty little man who tries to seduce Jo
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰

I'm not going to perpetrate like I've read tons of steampunk but I can say this is the best steampunk I've ever read, the most steampunky with dirigibles, oodles of clockwork and let's not forget the outfits! There's something about buckles and bodices that do it for me.

This AU Europe that HC built beamed off the page like a beacon creating a movie in my head. I want to live there and fly around on The Brass Farthing and learn to tinker. I could pirate! What? I could. There is

This was my first Steampunk novel and I feel torn. I liked some things, but some others did not work out for me.

I'll start with the good ones.

I found the setting and the world building to be brilliant. The story is set in 1910 alternate universe , where France rules most part of Europe. The alternate history is central to the plot than simply being used as background. I liked this a lot.

This was a relatively long book, but it's fast-paced and there is a lot of action that never slows down. This
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
As hard as I try, I just can't get into this one. I think it's a steampunk thing because I'm a huge Heidi Cullinan fan. DNF at 54% with no rating. ...more
Vanessa North
I feel kind of like I shouldn't review this book because I helped Heidi with some of the French stuff.

Fuck that. My objectivity is whatever. I translated some words.

This was fun! A reminder of the way Heidi has with writing characters who delight in the raw earthiness of their sexuality. Also, this book is not just gay men, but queer, queer, queer. Bisexual MC! Sexy lesbians everywhere! I'm in heaven. I hope the rest of this series gives us some lovely clockwork girl love to enjoy in addition t
I tried, I really really tried :/

I made it to 60% (barely) and it was either me or the book. Guess who had to go.

Originally I gave this book 1.75 stars. Let me correct that. Book, you're demoted. 1 star. I was bored to tears by the pity fest and the long lists of who did what and where and only sometimes how they felt while doing it.

A warning: brush up on your French and German before you read this book.

I dislike the use of foreign languages without translation immensely, no matter if I know
Steampunk is usually a mixed bag for me. In this case, it was a total win.


The world-building was excellent. Set in an alternate universe where Napoleon wasn't defeated at Waterloo and most of early 20th century Europe is ruled by the French, 'Clockwork Heart' follows a tinker and a broken soldier. I could very clearly imagine turn-of-the-century Europe, with the addition of clockwork technology. I especially liked the inclusion of airships, as I've always been a bit fascinated with these precur
Ms. Cullinan and I have an interesting relationship. I'm not a die-hard fan. It's rather hit or miss. Her writing is always smooth, and I never find fault with the style. I always enjoy it, in fact. This story was no exception.

Her two books that I really liked: Fever Pitch and Carry the Ocean, the latter being downright brilliant! But, other than those, I find I can't side with the masses when they rant over her stories. I DNF'd Special Delivery many years ago, and people still talk about that
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't pick steampunk up that often, but there’s definitely something about an alternative history style universe that draws me in. Whether it's an arcane, metaphysical twist—a la Jordan Hawk and K.J. Charles—or a fantasy/Sci-Fi historical universe primarily powered by clockwork mechanics and steam, it does tend to tickle my fancy.

What I love about AU tales, is however intense the central romance gets, the storytelling surrounding and supporting is just as strong and equally compelling. Chock f
* A Reader Obsessed *
For someone who mainly is into contemporary romance these days, this really was a nostalgic trip back to my reading past who ate up anything paranormal, supernatural, or fantastical. Richly detailed with an interesting historical backdrop, I truly enjoyed many things about this book.

I don't proclaim to be an expert in steampunk but the characteristics are fascinating. It doesn't hurt that both Cornelius and Johann were very likable. Cornelius is a genius tinker and he's just tapping into his tal
Arch Bala
I am writing this review while glancing over my shoulder every other minute (lol) so this will be fast. (maybe)

First, let me tell you what I told myself immediately after finishing this book – “I need to reread the whole thing right away and enjoy it all over again!”lol. I just loved it! I feel that no matter how good the previous books of the author are (e.g., Nowhere Ranch, Dance With Me, Love Lessons etc…), this book just totally surpassed them all or maybe I’m still on that after-reading-an-
☾ Dαɴιyα ☽

2.75 stars. Maybe. Probably.

This didn't go as well as I had hoped. Since I have enjoyed Heidi Cullinan's books so far, and this was my first full-length steampunk novel, I'm inclined to think the reason I didn't enjoy reading Clockwork Heart as much as I had expected is because it was steampunk. I guess I should just accept it's not a genre for me, and move on. Unfortunately.

Ignoring the fact how much this alternate history where Europe was a war zone depressed me, I could say the beginning of
Jan 11, 2016 marked it as to-read
When Dani puts a book on her "best-mm-romance-2016" shelf just nine days into the new year, you know it's gotta be fantastic. I'm seriously looking forward to this one. ...more
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
Review @Oh My Shelves Blog

Wow. I feel so star struck right now. Like starry eyed and happy. This book is awesome. I would have never picked up a steampunk book. Or I think steampunk is for me if this is what I'm going to get. Heidi Cullinan you rock. I don't even have all the words to get out how much I really enjoyed it. This is such a great cast of characters. I loved the concept from beginning to end, and it really is well written. Immediately after finishing my first thoughts were for me to
☆☆☆~Bev's World of Books~☆☆☆

Love, Love, LOVED it!! A shower of golden stars from me...and it's a series, yay!!

 photo goldenstars2_zps394c17bc.jpg

Read Dani's great review for the full blurb, but I fell in love with Conny and Johann. We have orgies, absinthe and coke parties (they certainly knew how to live in those days, hehe), wonderful flying ships, traitorous Arch Dukes....ooh, everything and more in this story.

The Brass Farthing....

 photo clockwork heart 1_zpsinpdtg1x.jpg

 photo clockwork heart_zps8kakn3nt.jpg

Johann's Clockwork Heart.....and arm....

 photo Clockwork Heart - Johanns arm_zpsa3xwhs5f.jpg

Princess the story, you'll discover who she is....

Veronica of V's Reads
Holy steaming smokes, folks!

Delirious with stars for this fast-paced, espionage-packed, odd-couple, steampunk, alt-history, scorching hot, M/M romance.

I do love me some steampunk, and this book brings alt-historical steampunk on strong--along with the romance, the yearning, the lovin' and the sexin', too. The world is a glorious alt-historical 1910's era Europe with France having conquered vast swatches of the continent, and in continual battle with Austria. The main fuel source is aether, a gas
Justin Nova
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am not much of a fan of steampunk in general but since Heidi Cullinan wrote it I figured I'd check it out. Fun book with some nice steamy bits thrown in to keep things interesting. ...more
3 Stars

I’ve never really read a book within the steampunk genre before (unless Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy counts?), but I was ready and willing and raring to go because of two words: Heidi Cullinan.

I was hard-core into this story when it started. I loved the alternate history and the immediate and impressive world-building, which wasn’t at all confusing to understand (major points for that!). I was instantly engrossed with the story and the characters, Cornelius Stevens and Joh
Steampunk isn’t usually my thing –the few times I’ve tried reading it, it hasn’t held my interest. But this book made me seriously reconsider. Heidi Cullinan has created an amazing alternate world, where tinker surgeons are the epitome of masterful engineering. They can create anything, not only prosthetic limbs, but vital organs, including a top secret heart that could wreak havoc in the wrong hands.

Conny is an apprentice tinker surgeon, but we soon find out that he is beyond a mere assistant.
4.5 Stars

Gawd, Heidi Cullinan knocked it out of the park here. I mean, I loved Special Delivery but this is a whole different kettle of fish. (I totally typed "fist" there during the first draft...just sayin'.)

Steampunk has always been a hit or miss proposition for me, mainly because I'm primarily a SciFi girl and I want my science fiction rooted in actual Science. I want to understand the whys and whatnot because I think when that is done well it really enhances the experience. Yeah, that whole
D. Fox
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
As you'll read in other reviews, this book has a great idea. More than great.
What I bitterly dislike, though, are books with awesome ideas and poor executions.

It's not the way it's written, as in bad style. But everything felt so rushed.
Big things were happening, and I wasn't prepared for them emotionally, as I didn't know the characters yet.

Imagine you're in a bar and you notice a hot guy in the corner.
He approaches you and you get nervous with anticipation. Oh, God he's coming and he's smi
Chris, the Dalek King
Being the (bastard) son of the man intent on ridding Europe (and probably then the world) of any but French rule, Cornelius really ought to know better than to engage in treasonous acts. But he despises his father’s actions and plans, and the loss of life both French and foreign that come with them, so it should not be too much of a shock that he would consider–and then act–to save the life of one badly injured Austrian soldier.

Saving that life, though, comes with a far greater cost to both Corn
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
It is one of these books that inspiration was nowhere to be found once it is finished. It took a while to get myself to write this review. To be totally honest I almost did not finish it, but I had to keep going. The writing in Clockwork Heart is good, the story is somewhat interesting and it is a fairly good Steampunk story. I guess that you might be asking yourself why I am just giving it 2 stars then. Bear with me, you will know it soon enough.

In Clockwork Heart, I was immediately hooked when
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Finally I got over my reluctance on steampunk which was instilled by that Wild, Wild West movie. First Wicklow's Odyssey made it easy to believe this genre has its merits and now after Clockwork Heart it's like Give-Me-More!

It's a great adventure and a sweeping romance all in one - and from my experience that's a rare find even more so with characters who don't care if they act according to their role. So what if you become the hero, are a marvelous tinker and a kind man, who says you can't be
Alternate world history (France vs Austria), early twentieth century steampunk (aether rules over oil, electricity & steam), pirate air-ships, political spies, mechanical clockwork hearts, M-M romance ... all this should have automatically added up to my ideal cup of tea - but yet it's just barely a 3 star read for me.

The two MCs are fairly likeable and whilst their relational arc builds up nicely from a rather gruesome start, I wasn't all that thrilled with (view spoiler)
The book gets a whole-hearted meh from me. The plot and writing is engaging enough in the moment and the world building is good, but the characters felt flat and the relationship developed very quickly and was not really explored well.
There's enough action and intrigue to keep the book interesting, but I was not really captivated by it. The book has too much down-time and the tensions is not kept high, it's very short bursts of danger and excitement and then immediate release.
I also did not car
This might not be everyone's perfect book, but for me, at the time I chose to read it, it was pretty damn close.

I'm actually not much of a steampunk person--I don't mind it, but I don't really seek it out after it had a huge resurgence in popularity ten or so years ago and all of a sudden everything was steampunk. It's like trying to find a decent vampire or zombie story among the thousands of self-published volumes of rubbish. Aside from Gail Carriger's Soulless series, most of what I read was
Joyfully Jay
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Oh, this book was so much fun, I just adored it. Cullinan has created such a fascinating world here, a revision of history that sees France as a superpower and the rest of Europe struggling under its control. The book starts with an Author’s Note that sets the scene for this alternate world, and it is incredibly helpful to read. Without it I think I would have been pretty lost, but after reading the set up I had no trouble following along and I found it all wonderfu
I love all things Heidi. So I was going to love this mm version of the sweeping sage encompassing tropes from genres including steampunk, sci fi, dystopia and alternate history (not to mention other elements like kink, humour, and magic), no matter what. But it may just be a little too much for some readers.

But not me.

Cornelius and Johann are such noble creatures. Their dislike of all things war, and their heroic attempts to end this one, make them extraordinary. The little band of ruffians they
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Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn't writing, she ...more

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