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The Golden Spider

Elemental Web Chronicles Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

Non-member price: $41.00

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Publisher's Summary

Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed.

After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention - a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves?

Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed.

Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure...using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful - and brilliant - new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury.

Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder.

Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation, where they must fight their growing yet forbidden attraction. Bodies accumulate, and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it's too late.

©2016 Karen Pinco (P)2017 Tantor

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  • BikeVON
  • 04-11-2017

Steampunk, action & romance = excitement

Action, romance, steampunk, romance, lords/ladies, romance and a university education for a woman in the 1800s.Our main characters are the intelligent and inventor, Amanda Ravensdale and renowned neurophysiologist, Lord Sebastian Talbort (Thornton).

They are making cutting edge equipment for the British government. Amanda is the student, has a prototype, which needs some adjustments. Thornton, her mentor, a British spy in the service of the queen, he has access to a state of the art laboratory, and Amanda’s device would facilitate his invention. A German spy stole a prototype of his invention a year ago.

The romance is between student and mentor. It is entirely against the rules of the university. There is also the push and pull between our lovers, which leads to them questioning the reason for the attraction. Is it love or lust? A romance between two would be a cause of expulsion for Amanda.

Amanda is one of four children of Duke of Avenbury, who commands the British agents for the queen. Amanda'a siblings are Emily, a chemist, and Ned and Olivia, Babbage card programmers. This is similar to computer programmers. The siblings closeness is illustrated in the dedication of the girls to combine their talents to create a method for their brother to walk again.

Because the duke raised his kids in an unconventional manner, without prejudice of other races, he has a dilemma. He must get two of his daughters married before society becomes aware that a third daughter has married beneath her station. He is also scrambling to find the German spy, to retrieve Amanda’s gadget and Emily’ formula.

Amanda has deadline to meet with her father. She made a deal for him to permit her to attend the medical school for a year. After that year, she must find a husband. In the 1800s, it was rare to find a husband who was willing to let his wife pursue a career. That has made it difficult for her to find a suitable husband.

Her brother’s situation is dire. If she does not get her gadget to work, he will pursue other means to walk without braces. The love of his life is being forced into a marriage within the next week. Without his sisters’ aid he will attempt a method which endangers his life or will leave him more crippled.

I give my kudos to Duke Avenbury, his kids are head strong. While juggling a country’s international espionage he is trying to save his family’s position for his girls to make good marriages.

I really enjoyed this story. There was lots of action, romance… Now there are a few Harlequin romance sex scene.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • TROY J CRANE
  • 17-07-2018

I Can't Hear Performance

I really enjoy Anne Renwick-and was so excited to listen to yet another saga. But after book 1-I am done. The performance voice has so many highs and lows in tone that she is too loud or too soft. If I'm busy doing my thing-the last thing I want to do is adjust the volume thru the listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-10-2017

Enjoyed this tremendously

Great story. Intelligent, engaging heroine and interesting secondary characters. I particularly liked the excellent world building. The narrator did a fine job. I'm off to buy the second book right now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lupe Fernandez
  • 03-02-2019

I want more stars!

I am going to finish this series, it's a moral inparitive. I need four words more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rose Tyler WHO?
  • 26-01-2019

Dirigibles, krackens, and gypsy murders, oh my!

What a fantastic ride! Smart, sexy, and intriguing story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Forbidden romance, unique scientific inventions, and spy chasing will keep you guessing until the end. Very well done. I can’t wait for book two!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cecelia
  • 16-08-2018

Highly enjoyable book; narrator issues

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it is solid steampunk literature and the romance was lovely as well.
One major issue. It is a rather large issue for me... the Romany should have Roma accents. They would not sound like south London workmen. It is bothersome; moreover it takes away from the performance of the novel. The Roma accents should add more variety and without them it leaves a lot to be desired.
Oh, also a minor issue with the narrator: the pronunciation of ton. When referring to the upper class of the time it is NOT pronounced like “won”, but like “on”.
So I only had issues with the narrator. The story is great. I look forward to the next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara
  • 27-02-2019

Good Mysterytainted by unnecessary sexual inserts

the mystery was good but all the sexual by play was detracted from the great mystery.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica Reyer
  • 23-06-2019

Not What I thought based on summary

The narrator was semi monotone which added to the lack luster feel of the story.

I thought there would be more action and more wit. The story was a bit bland. A lot of medical jargin regarding nerves and nerve technology. There was a lot of talk about society and the need to marry. I was bored with borh.

I did not connect with this one.

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  • Karissa Eckert
  • 21-06-2019

Wonderful steampunk fun!

This is the first book in the Elemental Web Chronicles (which is a trilogy). I really really loved this book a ton. I felt like it was made for me. I loved the scientist/doctor female lead, I loved the Victorian setting, I loved the steampunk elements and mystery and the romance as well!

Lady Amanda blackmailed her father to allow her to go to medical school. Now she must find a husband by the end of year if she wants to stay in medical school. She has also created a fantastic invention/spider that allows her to spin artificial nerves, thereby curing paralysis and other nerve disorders. Things get complicated when her spider gets involved in a plot against the crown and Amanda is invited to work in Lord Thornton’s lab. Lord Thornton comes with a whole slew of baggage but him and Amanda are inexplicably drawn to each other in a more-than-professional way.

I enjoyed this whole story thoroughly from the beginning to the end. I would recommend to those who enjoy steampunk reads with a nice romance. There was also a very good mystery here and some fun technical discussion around various inventions and steampunk items.

The characters are very well done and the romantic scenes between them are amazing! I also really loved all the intriguing steampunk elements and the serial killer mystery linked to them. The world feels very complete and well thought out.

Overall I really loved this and definitely plan on continuing the series! This book had a very good balance of steampunk elements, action, science, romance, adventure, and mystery. Recommended if you like steampunk romance with a heavy science theme to it.