Elliot Cooper’s The Clockwork Menagerie and Other Delightfully Low-Key Steampunk Romances

The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper is the latest in a number of steampunk romances that I’d describe as closer in nature to aromatic candles than fireworks. These types of low-key steampunk romances are great for winding down a busy day or for when you’re in the mood for elegant stories that are more about characters and clockwork flair than action-adventure.

Here’s the description:

The Clockwork MenagerieAutosmith Clement Dyer wants to create his life-like, mechanical animals in peace. He’s tired of being badgered about selling his business to his long-time rival and former lover, Duke Goodwin. He also craves appreciation for his living works of art.

Unfortunately, not all of Clement’s clients see his clockwork creations the way he does, and a prominent but dissatisfied customer threatens to sink his struggling business into the ground.


Steampunk and steampunk romance is just as much about larger-than-life scenarios, derring-do, and surreal automatons as it is about how technology impacts daily lives and characters’ livelihoods. The Clockwork Menagerie drills deep into Clement’s struggle to keep his business afloat at a time when larger companies using assembly-line type manufacturing strategies are on the scene. It’s a tale small business owners can easily relate to.

Below are some of the story’s notable elements (non-spoilery):

* An ambitious, tortured artisan inventor

* Dapper gentlemen being dapper (okay, you got me—this was one of my favorite elements!)

* A tale of reunited lovers

* Clockwork technology involving intricately designed, life-like animals. Cat lovers especially need to get their paws on this one!

* Subtle rags-to-riches story (very subtle—more of a sense of hope about one of the characters)

* Commentary on the tension between commerce and art

* Tight focus on internal conflict (and lots of angst!)

* Sweet heat level

* A surprise twist that will make you go, dawwwww…!

Additionally, here’s a short list of steampunk romances that are similar in tone/scope to The Clockwork Menagerie. They range in length from short stories to novellas:

Island of Icarus – Christine Danse

A Matter of Disagreement – E. E. Ottoman

The Warlord and the Nightingale – Jeannie Lin

Circus Escape – Lilliana Rose

This Winter Heart – P.G. Forte

The Effluent Engine – N.K. Jemisin

Happy reading—and relaxing!

About the author

Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures and blogs about them at Galaxy Express 2.0 and Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly, where she’s the Releases Editor. She’s also an author in the genre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com.

Check out Heather’s Author Page here