Nefertiti's Heart (Unabridged)
by A. W. Exley
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A steampunk adventure with a serial killer, romance, and a few broken hearts. Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently. London, 1861: Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight-inch-long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality. Her Majesty's Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she - somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti's Heart, a fist-sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive. Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.
Top notch in every way
The book itself is tight, literate, exciting stuff - even without the romance. Add the steamy romantic portions in, and it's great. I wouldn't call this a "romantic fantasy" because it's about so much more, but the stuff is juicy when it arrives. I have to give big kudos to the audiobook actress. She's appropriately British and an excellent performer. Gracefully done. I'm not a fan of most audiobooks - I find the readers dull and droning - or distracting. But they nailed it with this one. On to the next book for me.