Arthur is master clockmaker who dabbles in other mechanical creations, he charms his way into wealthy homes with his clockwork wonders by day and by night steals trinkets from the wealthy to fund his experiments for the poor. But his latest client/mark is not quite what he seems and little does Arthur realize that his thieving days just might be coming to an end. Lord Percival is a part time investigator, he takes on jobs for the wealthy for his own amusement and when his uncle asks him to investigate a theft he swears to find the culprit. Percival becomes intrigued by the suspect Arthur and beings to fall for the clockmaker, and when he discovers the truth he doesn't know if he can hand over the culprit but he can't be with a thief either.
This is a cute little short steampunk story that has a wonderful developing romance. Arthur might be doing well with his business but it isn't enough to fund his experiments, he takes drastic measures and justifies his actions because he wants to help the poor and infirmed. Percy has a very strict moral code and although he becomes close to Arthur he can't accept Arthur's reasoning. Both men have to come up with a solution to the quandary they find themselves in if they wish to be together.
Arthur is a great character, when he meets Percy it is more that just his curiosity for the work that is piqued and as their relationship develops he doesn't have the heart to steal from Percy. Percy is intrigued by Arthur and not just for his mechanical wonders, as they grow close his doubts about Arthur begin to vanish and he becomes enthralled with Arthur's work. When the truth comes out the two men are already in love, and Percy has a choice to make. The story flows smoothly and we get to see the developing attraction as it evolves from glances to touches and sweetly written letters, to embracing their attraction and then the devastation and confusion they both feel when the truth is discovered.
I recommend this to those who love steampunk, a sweet developing love, gentle courtship, great characters, doing the right thing, acceptance and forgiveness and a sweet reuniting ending.