A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure breathes fresh life into a Victorian storyline with a Jules Verne flair for adventure.


The Description

Publication Date: February 27, 2024

Miss Clara Marie Stanton’s family may be eccentric, but they certainly aren’t insane.

London, England, 1860
When Clara’s ex-fiancé begins to spread rumors that her family suffers from hereditary insanity, it’s all she can do to protect them from his desperate schemes, society’s prejudice, and a lifetime in an asylum. Then Clara’s Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings on an apprentice with a mechanical leg, and all pretense of normalcy takes wing.

Theodore Kingsley, a shame-chased vagabond haunted by the war, wants a fresh start far from Kingsley Court and the disappointed father who declared him dead. Upon returning to England, Theodore meets clockmaker Drosselmeyer, who hires him as an apprentice, much to Clara’s dismay. When Drosselmeyer spontaneously disappears in his secret flying owl machine, he leaves behind a note for Clara, beseeching her to make her dreams of adventure a reality by joining him on a merry scavenger hunt across Europe. Together, Clara and Theodore set off to follow Drosselmeyer’s trail of clues, but they will have to stay one step ahead of a villain who wants the flying machine for himself—at any cost.

The Review

Poor Clara Marie Stanton has her hands full trying to corral her eccentric family while the rest of London whispers. It’s not until her grandfather hires a new apprentice that life starts getting really messy.

Author Angela Bell sprinkles in plenty of Victorian whimsy with A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure. This delightful tale features vibrant characters whose larger-than-life personalities will encourage readers to stay engaged.

For those with experience in the steampunk genre, Drosselmeyer’s inventions will certainly be of interest. Her grandfather’s technological skills are what bring Clara and Arthur/Theodore into each other’s orbit, albeit grudgingly. However, when Grand takes off in his owl-flying machine across Europe, it’s time for an adventure.

Clara’s mother can always be counted on as comic relief, whether protesting the use of feathers in fashion or a witty retort. The laughter is balanced by Clara’s frustration at not being in control, especially with a twist of danger coming from an unexpected source. Arthur/Theodore’s struggle to overcome the nightmares of the past illustrates his brokenness as a character.

Family and faith both play essential roles throughout the story as the characters deal with a number of challenges, culminating in the sweet romance between Clara and Arthur/Theodore.

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About The AuthorAngela Bell is a 21st-century lady with 19th-century sensibilities. She resides in Texas with her charming pup, Mr. Bingley Crosby. One might categorize her books as historical romance, but Angela likes to describe them as a cuppa Victorian whimsy. Whenever you need a respite from the 21st-century hustle, you’re welcome to visit her imaginary parlor at, where she can be found waiting with a pot of tea and a great book.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure breathes fresh life into a Victorian storyline with a Jules Verne flair for adventure.5-STAR REVIEW: A LADY'S GUIDE TO MARVELS AND MISADVENTURE by Angela Bell