Title: Hand of Miriam (Bayla and the Golem #1)
Author: Eva Gordon
Source: Author Request
Genre: Steampunk Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 6, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
Rating - 3
Sexual - 2
On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force and
branded with the Hand of Miriam or Knowing Eye. Threatened by evil, she awakens the golem; a mythical man of clay, who protected the Jewish community over three centuries ago. The golem, Gesher, is surprised. Freedom –by a beautiful, enchanting woman. His desire is to return to the celestial spheres and regain his status as an avenging angel. Yet, Bayla challenges his mind, body and soul. Would he risk his return to the heavens for her? Besides, dealing with the otherkind, mad inventors and an unrelenting matchmaking aunt, Bayla is equally determined to resist her steamy attraction to the striking fallen angel. Thrust into a malevolent war, which includes facing Jack the Ripper, they must resist the magnetic pull toward each other, while protecting the world from encroaching evil.
Hand of Miriam is a great mix of steam punk and romance with just a twist of religion to keep it even more interesting. Bayla Gideon has been marked with the ability to sense evil with a touch. Bayla is unique from women of her time in other ways as well. She is an academic that loves to go on expeditions looking for antiquities. One of her late husband's great prizes is a golem. When Bayla's new abilities begin to lead to threats to her life she decides to give life to the golem, never realizing what his true history really is.
There is a huge storyline in this book - almost too much. It involves the presence of Jack the Ripper - only his victims aren't only human. He's been killing vampiresses as well (oh yes did I mention there are vampires, werewolves, ghouls, demons, all sorts of fun stuff). Bayla and her golem, Gesher, are out to try and find out just what is going on - madness ensues with lots of fighting and lots of Gesher saving the day. And all along the way they are slowly falling love - but if they follow their desires he will never be able to return heaven - major issue.
The story is how they deal with the baddies, resolve their love delimma, and end with a mostly HEA. It is a series so there has to be more to the story somewhere. The only downfall for me was there was one too many "endings". I thought for sure she had written a fantastic ending that I loved, loved, loved, and then there were another 50 pages and another ending that just wasn't quite as satisfaying for me. I think the extra bit was important to the overall storyline though.