Pagliassotti, Dru -- Clockwork Heart

As far as I'm concerned, this is bait to get romance readers hooked on clear-quill SF/fantasy. Up-front Austenite plot -- young woman of no particular birth meets two brothers, the blond charming flirtatious aristrocratic one and the ironic prickly withdrawn socially-out-of-favor one who wears black all the time. Behind that is a startlingly well-drawn fantasy world, with many threads (Victorian forms, weighty but not completely rigid caste system, fantasy-clockpunk hacker geeks, nation-cities trying to manage advancing technology) woven into a distinctive whole -- and still, I judge, plenty accessible to the SF-naive reader. Also a tidy police procedural with great action scenes. I think the ending is slightly weak (maybe the author couldn't bear to make the obvious villain really villainous) but I want her to write a lot more.

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