This is a novella from the Blud series. As a follow-up to Delilah Dawson’s debut novel Wicked as They Come, to hold us over until the next book we get to revisit her alternative London and Criminy Stain’s caravan. Instead of Criminy and Leticia (Tish) getting focus, we meet Madam Morpho, a new addition to the caravan with a unique ability to re-animate butterflies, and we meet Mr. Murdoch, the mysterious engineer behind the caravan’s clockworks and staging. Morpho is running from her past, but is she valuable enough for the caravan and Mr. Murdoch to run with her?
I love this series for a combination of reasons, from the quirky steampunk London makeover to the blud bunnies to enigmatic Criminy himself. The first two are there in spades which is great, but I’ve unfortunately caught a case of Criminy fever and found myself missing his presence immensely this time around, Tish as well. The world building remains impressive, with enough imagination to satisfy any urban fantasy/paranormal/steampunk fan, but the romance itself came up a bit short for me. Insta-love stories never really do it for me, namely because I just can’t suspend my belief enough to completely buy it, and that’s what we see here. Granted, Ms. Dawson is only working with 100 or so pages so she has to move quickly. It’s just that it didn’t resonate with me very much and if I was going to read this for the romance, I think it would have enjoyed it more if it was Criminy and Tish, an establish ship that readers are already invested in. Nevertheless, it’s a solid read and I do recommend fans of the series give it a shot.