Michelle's Reviews > The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale

The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine  Bell
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's review
Aug 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: short-story-or-novella, unconventional-heroines, historical-romance, steampunk, rar
Read in June, 2011

Review originally published at Red Adept Reviews.

I purchased The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale, by Christina Bell, from Amazon. The premise sounded great and I’ve been meaning to read steampunk. Steampunk, time travel, romance.

Overall: 4 1/2 stars.

Plot/Storyline: 4 ½ Stars

I had a really good time with this. I don’t think the description conveys how touching of a read this was – or how funny it was at moments. There was a lot of good story here for such a short book, though no time to delve deeply into any of it. I was content with the length, but the story, I believe, could have supported an interesting novel. Since there was a fair amount going on, the relationship had to progress fast. Still, better to write a novella that could have been a novel than a novel that wears out its welcome.

I thought the conflict here was great. Too often in books with a romantic element, the thing keeping them apart is … lame. Here, I really understood the dilemma. I liked the set-up quite a lot – not just the time travel aspect, but also how our self-assured heroine is blind-sided by something she simply didn’t foresee. (Although this is based, in part, on a rather large coincidence, I forgave.)

Part of the story involved the notorious Bedlam, and I realized I really would like to read more on the topic at some point.

Characters: 4 1/2 Stars

I really liked Stormy. She was a very strong and determined character and her voice was a strong one. The older I get, the more I love an intelligent heroine with more spice that sugar. I liked that she had a full and exciting life, a close relationship with her brother, and then the romance storyline kicks in.

I really liked the Duke of Leister as well. It can be difficult to make a hero a really good guy without making him seem weak, and the author did a nice job here. I can’t discuss the hero at greater length than that without spoilers, but his backstory touched me. Even though he was suspected of being a little crazy, there are worse guys you could bring home to mama.

While I understood Stormy’s brother – Bacon — was a secondary character, he really got short shrift and a little more with him would have been interesting. Maybe he’ll show up again somewhere down the road. Stormy and Bacon selected their own names while children. She picked hers because of a love of The Wizard of Oz. Bacon, being even younger and having known hunger, went with his love of Bacon and Frogs.

One character, Stormy’s benefactor, died before the book began, but with very few words the author conveyed beautifully how important he was to Stormy and her brother.

Writing Style: 4 3/4 Stars

Smooth prose. Nice pace. Engaging style. I will definitely read more from this author. All good things to say here. A smidge more magic, and it would have been a 5.

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