Type: Historical (Steampunk) Romance
My Copy: Sent
HIDDEN IDENTITIES, SCANDALOUS SECRETS… DEADLY ATTRACTION. Frederique Murcheson’s introduction into society hasn’t gone smoothly—some would even call it a disaster. Only Freddie considers her debut a success. Her scheme to become a makesmith has gone off flawlessly. The only thing that could upset her plans now would be if someone discovered that brilliant tinker Fred Merchant is, in fact, a lady in disguise.
Wooing a spoiled heiress is not exactly Barnabas Smith-Grenville’s idea of high espionage. However, considering his brother disappeared on the job, supposedly into the most iniquitous of opium dens, he cannot expect much better. At least the assignment will afford him time to search for his brother, whom he suspects is in spy-related trouble rather than a drug-addled haze. But when Freddie proves to be both irresistible and the key to the answers he seeks, Barnabas finds himself not only entwined in a scandalous mystery involving lethal submersibles and deranged dirigibles, but also in a dangerous game of the heart…
Steam and Seduction is such a great series, I have devoured each book, as the world and the characters all add up to intriguing and delightful stories that have enough action and heat to satisfy any historical and Steampunk fans.
Barnabas has been hired to watch over Frederique (Freddie) Murcheson, the daughter of Rutherford Murcheson, this works to his advantage as he has been searching for his brother for several years and his last employer was Murcheson. Barnabas even entered the American Dominion Sky and Steam Rally (last book) to follow a lead in California only to get sick before the race ended. His friend Eliza saw Phineas at the conclusion of the race but was unable to contact him before he disappeared. Now he has been spotted in London and Barnabas is on the hunt.
Freddie has been working secretly as a makesmith or tinker, disguised as a man, her two friends Dan and Sophia help her to avoid her father. She is from a wealthy family and was popular her first season but she does not pretend to be something she is not, which keeps the suitors at bay. When she meets Barnabas, she wonders how to get rid of him so she can go about her life, but as they spend time together they realize their missions are not that different and they work together to find out what her father is up to, who is moving opium using submersibles and where Phineas is located.
Gilded Lily is another wonderful addition to this series, the story picks up from the previous book as there was some unfinished business with minor characters and I can definitely say that the conclusion was all I had hoped.
Freddie is perfectly created for this world, she is intelligent, a bit geeky and her pure curiosity is what motivates her in everything she does. I love how she just jumps in with both feet and the men in her life just follow along hoping she does not get in too much trouble. Dan is her friend that usually accompanies her when she is off either working as a tinker or investigating something, but Barnabas takes his place when he is hired by her father and fireworks ensue.
Barnabas is an interesting character, also a bit on the geeky side with a very beta hero personality. I cracked up when Freddie was able to get information out of him within five minutes of being together. He berates himself saying that he can’t even pull off being a spy to a novice like Freddie, how is he supposed to find his brother and I like how honest he is about himself and his abilities. He was cute when he fell asleep while Freddie and Dan were driving through town and when he awoke he was clutching a wrench for protection only to find he forgot about the gun he had, all typical of someone who is a bit quirky yet intriguing. I like the romance in this one, there is initial attraction and it grows throughout the story gaining momentum until they are finally able to be together, they make a great pair. I adored Phineas, he is interesting with just enough mystery to gain my attention, the author gives us a peak of what he has been up to, including his relationship with Sophia, and I would love to read his story.
I thought the pace of the book worked well, there is action from beginning to end as they try to find out about Phineas as well as the opium trafficking that seems to be invading London. I thought the book did change directions from what I thought was the main objection to where it ended, we had several different items that they were looking into, Phinieas’ whereabouts, the opium trafficking and the whole mystery about the submersibles and Cephalopod’s which at time seemed to change importance to the characters. However it is very enjoyable and I liked the conclusion. This is the third in the series and does have some carry over from the second book, but the author brings the reader in seamlessly so you can read this as a standalone. I am not sure if there are more books in the series but I for one am a fan and would love to read more.
I give Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden 4 stars!