Thursday, September 8, 2011

Satisfaction Delivered

Steam and Sorcery
Cindy Spencer Pape
Kindle Edition (Text-to-speech enabled)
File size: 447 KB
Publisher: Carina Press
Release date: March 7, 2011

Well, I finished the book. Happily. I went in expecting entertainment and adventure and that is what I got. Miss Caroline proved to be as competent an opponent to the bad guys as she was introduced as. Her variously talented charges proved to be as worthy of her love and care as we want them to be. And Sir. Merrick proved to need them all as much as he denied he did. Was there anything wanting?

Yes and no.

I wanted to be better prepared for the sex. This is not the "boy's own adventure played out with girls" as I naively expected it to be. I should have looked more deeply at where I was getting this steampunk novel from. Carina Press is a romance publisher. Knowing that would have better prepared me for what was definitely not R rated scenes. I read Urban Shaman by C. E. Murphy, a Harlequin novel, and there was not a kiss (of consequence) in it. Definitely a "boy's own adventure with girls."

Having said that, there was nothing else wanting, for this reader. The sex was well-placed and suited the genre. Governess and her employer with heaving resistance go about their business, mostly. The suspense of the adventure was not overshadowed by the potential for the relationship. The children, more importantly, were not props. They were as important to the story, the whole story, as the heaving resistance was.

Mind you, I did kinda figure out who the bad guy was, but I wasn't disappointed with the reveal. Rather, I found myself soundly vindicated in my expectation, taking great pleasure when the sword-cane and umbrella-wielding happy-ever-after ending took him down.

As I said before, Pape writes engaging characters, realistic settings, and in the end constructs a satisfying adventure, albeit with benefits. I am not only recommending the novel. I am also, after a couple of cooling-down stories, ready to indulge in another of her books. She has another one, Photographs and Phantasms, in this genre and three others set in the Motor City (Motor City Wolf, Motor City Witch, and Motor City Fae).

Oh, my cooling down book? The Emperor's Edge, by Lindsay Buroker. I'll let you know how that is going, next time.

Meanwhile, tell me, what surprised you about the last book you read? Was it tasty?

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