Review: The Inventor’s Companion #steampunk

(Note: This is a Recycled Review from Lyndi’s Love Notes, Nov. 1, 2011. I read it on my Kindle.)

The Inventor’s Companion
by Ariel Tachna
Erotic Male/Male Steampunk
Dreamspinner Press

Inventor's Companion coverGabriel Blackstone’s world is divided quite clearly into castes: everyone knows their place and abides by it. As an inventor in the merchant caste, his life is predictable in its routine until the night his best friends and assistants, Caleb and Andrew, purchase the time—and body—of a companion for his birthday. As an activist in the Caste Equality movement, everything Gabriel believes in tells him to refuse the gift, but then he meets Lucio. The beautiful and alluring companion is far more than the vapid courtesan he’d expected, and he can’t get the man out of his mind.

After that night, Gabriel tells himself to forget about Lucio, but a chance meeting at a ball makes it clear neither of them is willing to ignore the compelling chemistry between them. It will take all their combined trust and cunning, plus the help of a wily aristocrat and a plucky political activist, to overcome the challenges of infidelity, abuse, and social stigma that lay along their road; however, Gabriel knows it will all be worth it if at the end of the day he can call Lucio his own.

This is a fantastic read. The world was fascinating, in many ways like Victorian England, but with a rigid caste system including pleasure slaves known as companions. Gabriel’s inventions provide the steam technology, and his work to overturn the caste system adds the punk, and the hot sex scenes make it steamypunk. It’s a very emotional read, with great character development. Highly recommended for fans of male/male romance.

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Linda / Lyndi

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Recycled Review: The Iron Duke

(Note: This review has been recycled from Lyndi’s Love Notes, March 1, 2011.)

The Iron Duke (A Novel of the Iron Seas)
by Meljean Brook
Berkley, 2010


First in Brook’s fabulous series “where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas”.


After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power–and fear–of his name. When a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles on a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans. And Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to stay with her Iron Duke.

Brook’s world building give new name to the words “alternate history”. In her world, the Mongol Horde conquered Europe, and ultimately, England, aided by superior technology, including nano technology. Her steampunk world bears some resemblance to the usual Victorian-style setting, with steamcars and airships, but women have more freedom. Mina, the half-Horde daughter of an earl, is also a police inspector.

The romance element is strong, with almost palpable sexual tension and some very hot love scenes. Rhys is very Alpha. He takes one look at Mina and won’t rest until he has her. But she’s a very strong woman and a good match for him. I enjoyed the book, though some readers may find the world building intimidating.

If you enjoy steampunk and/or alternate history mixed with romance, I recommend The Iron Duke. [Note to FCC: I purchased this book and read it on my Kindle.]

Linda / Lyndi