Book 32 of 2015: Treasure, Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth

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Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe… until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead.
A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged, mining tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.
Sixteen-year-old Amethyst Treasure loathes the idea of spending the summer away from her bustling city life to rot on her father’s ranch, but when a handsome young man shows up claiming to be her secret half-brother, her curiosity is piqued. He’s clever, street smart, and has no qualms jumping into the brawl between the Treasures and Horans. Caught in the middle, Horan kidnaps Amethyst, and all she gets is this lousy bullet through her heart.
When Clark brings her back to life, however, the real action starts, and Amethyst joins him in his fight against the Horan clan—whatever the cost. Defeating the Horans may seem easy at first, but going up against men with the same fighting vengeance as Clark, and a Senator with power he’s obtained by brainwashing the masses?
Well, Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.

I recieved this book from the author for an honest review.

First off, I want to tell you the cover and blurb is misleading. I was okay with this because the author specifically told me that before sending me a free copy for an honest review. How are they misleading? Well, for one, the cover makes you think a more city/apocalyptic like steampunk. With a woman in the cover, you think that the girl is the main focal character as well. However, the book is a Western Steampunk (cowboys with gears, love it!). The blurb also gives you an adventure feel. Whereas there is an adventure, it is the romance between Amethyst and Clark that is the main story.

Okay, that said, I liked this book. It had enough adventure to keep me interested. I like the idea of a western steampunk. I haven’t read most of those and it was a nice change into the world of steam that I know. Jordan Elizabeth did a great job of making it feel gritty and wild while still having some of the inventions that make steampunk an iconic pop culture. I did feel like I was in the west when I was reading.

The romance wasn’t half bad. I know, you’re probably wondering why both characters have the last name Treasure, right? Well, I feel that I do need to tell you that Clark is the supposed bastard son of Amethyst’s father. Yes, that is incest. HOWEVER, given that it is a romance, there’s a big chance that they aren’t related (think Mortal Instruments. And sorry for anyone I just spoiled that tidbit too). In fact, you learn Clark’s parentage about 30% in. If you can handle the awkward and disturbing “your hot, but your my sibling, but dang you like fine and I want to make you mine.” all the way to that point, you’re going to do well.

Yes, the characters do have that awkward and disturbing thought process. I feel that it was done often and maybe didn’t need to be done as often. It’s pretty obvious the readers know they have the hots for each other, we just don’t necessarily need all of that inner thought. That said, it didn’t complete deter me from the book.

Clark is an interesting fellow. I like that he stands on a moral ground, but is considered an outlaw in the world. He had that alpha male vibe. Amethyst, on the other hand, isn’t going to be every reader’s female lead. She starts off as a spoiled princess and is very self centered. You do get the impression that she comes by it honestly when you read her older brother Jeremiah, however, I know not many people would like that. I did.

I thought it was an interesting way to go about a female lead and rather ballsy. You would think a strong, but not spoiled young woman would be the better choice in a romance, but Jordan Elizabeth went for it. I like that and I like Amethyst because of that. Sure, there are some damsel in distress moments, but later on you do see Amethyst starting to change and be just a strong woman with slightly spoiled charm. This is the first book in the series and she has plenty of time showing the readers if that change is really her changing for her or just another acting moment to get what she wants. Personally, I like that too.

There is an adventure in the book. Clark is on the run from the army and there is something else going on with his parentage. Not to mention, there’s the main baddie and there is Clark’s special gift of seeing the dead. The dead part was awesome. I loved the paranormal aspect of it. However, I’d like to see more. Good thing this is the first book, huh?

So, yeah, Treasure, Darkly was a fun read and I feel it will become a better read in books to come. Would I crack open the second book? Yes. Jordan Elizabeth ended it with a bit of a cliff and I would like to see what happens. Besides, I want to see if Amethyst becomes the strong woman she wants to be seen as.

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