Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross - a free Kindle download

The blurb:
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

Time flew quickly as I read Kady Cross's The Strange Case of Finley Jayne.  While I'd stayed up too late reading,  I wanted to order the next book in the series once I finished this one.

Kady Cross has set the adventure in a steampunk Victorian England.  Finley Jayne has exceptional, almost supernatural, strength.  At the start of the novel, she's just lost her job when she punched a governess for hitting her young charge.  Finley heads to her mother and stepfather's home, helps out with their bookstore when she receives an unusual offer from the generous Lady Morton.  Lady Morton offers Jayne an exceptional salary to act as companion for her young daughter, Phoebe.

Unlike her previous employer, Lady Morton is drawn to Finley's strength and her willingness to take risks to protect someone else.  In fact, Lady Morton is hoping that these traits in Finley will lead her to watch over Phoebe.  Finley is taken into the family as much more than a paid companion - the Mortons represent her to be a country cousin and bring her to all their social gatherings. 

Finley quickly learns why - there's something strange about Phoebe Morton's fiance but Phoebe can't just break off the engagement.  As Finley spends more time with Phoebe and her fiance, she slowly learns a devious and terrifying secret.

Finley Jayne is a warm, sympathetic, and a feminist of sort.  When she discovers that Lady Morton and Phoebe are more friends than employers,  Finley seems to come into herself and become stronger.  The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is so short that you'll want to read more about Finley Jayne just as you finish the book, which makes sense since it's a free prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset.    It's a fun, steampunk adventure - and a quick, addictive read!

ASIN: B004WEKR1W - Kindle Edition 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 1, 2011), 78 pages.
Free download from Amazon.

About the Author:
Kady Cross is a pseudonym for USA Today bestselling author Kathryn Smith. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and a pride of cats. She likes singing with Rock Band on the 360, British guys, Vietnamese food, and makeup (she’s hopelessly addicted to YouTube makeup tutorials!). When she’s not writing Kady likes to catch up on her favorite TV shows, read a good book or make her own cosmetics.