Thursday, 8 October 2015

Curses and Confetti by Jenny Schwartz

Curses and Confetti by Jenny Schwartz is the third novella in her Bustlepunk Chronicles that started with Wanted: One Scoundrel (and continued with Clockwork Gold). This one continues the romance between Esme and Jed in the lead-up to their wedding, while introducing a new mystery and set of shenanigans for them to deal with.

Esme Smith and Jed Reeve are getting married. The unlikely pairing of an Australian suffragette and an American inventor is set to be the wedding of the year—until the Gypsy Oracle arrives in town, a man is killed, Jed is hopelessly compromised and Esme has to save her man and survive…Grandma!

This instalment in the romance of Esme and Jed focuses on their wedding planning, which is rudely interrupted by a scandal and a curse. While Esme juggles wedding planning with appeasing the town gossips over the scandal, hosting Jed's grandmother, and her women's lib plans, Jed gets distracted by clockwork (and helps on the scandal front). I did find the steampunk elements a little bit less quirky than in the earlier novellas, but perhaps that's because the worldbuilding is more established by now (and there was no cause for anything to explode).

Curses and Confetti was not a long read but it was a pleasant and relaxing one. Life has been a bit stressful lately, so it was a good book to wind-down with in bed. If you enjoyed the earlier novellas in the series, I definitely recommend picking up this one. I hope there will be more stories in the series because I would like to know what Esme and Jed get up to next.

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2014, self-published
Series: Bustlepunk Chronicles, book 3 of 3 (so far)
Format read: eRC
Source: the author
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge, Australian Science Fiction Reading Challenge

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