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I actually liked this novella slightly more than FORGED BY DESIRE; the romantic elements were subtler, but it delivered a better rounded plot action-wise. I think my opinion of the most recent full length book would have been higher had I read this short first instead of after because it made amends for certain areas in which the other lacked. The author succeeded in fleshing out Garrett and Perry's relationship better in these 181 pages than in the former's 436. It's rare that two main protagonists get a novella and an installment within the same series, so obviously McMaster had similar thoughts. The whodunit mystery was cleverly executed, and THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE CLOCKWORK MENACE helped put into context a couple of tidbits that pop up in book 4. I'm not usually a fan of shorts because I find that as a general rule they add little if anything to the main plot arc, but in this particular instance it was a welcomed extra. I'd recommended reading this novella and FORGED BY DESIRE back-to-back for maximum enjoyment.