Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (Aug 7th, 2012)
Paperback: 320 pages
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
On the outside, Janette Aston appears to be a proper young lady; however, the people of England have no idea that this poised young miss secretly studies the scientific discoveries of the mysterious Illuminist Society. Janette soon grows hungry for more secrets about this Society, and she finds herself impersonating an Illuminist to discover more information. As she is exposed to secrets and dangers she never could have imagined, she begins to wonder if she’s finally gone too far. But when she runs into gorgeous Illuminist Guardian Darius Lawley, she finds that, while her life is in danger, her sense of curiosity is most certainly piqued..
A steampunk romance. That makes for an interesting book. Janette Aston (thanks to her mother’s secret education) is a bluestocking Lady who is quite interested in the world of the Illuminists society and soon her curiosity and talent has her tangled in a dangerous adventure with a even more dangerously intriguing man. Darius Lawley, an Illuminist Guardian, wants nothing to do with Janette as she causes his life and heart to go into a frenzy, but when not only the Illuminists society but Janette’s life is endangered, will Darius do what is required of him or what his heart is telling him?
The book finds a good balance between the story of the secret workings of the Illuminists (and their enemies) and the romance between Janette and Darius so I was never left feeling wanting one more than the other. The basis of their romance is nothing too out of the ordinary in the realm of historical romance, with a strong-willed girl and a charming man refusing to believe in love, but I still enjoyed their adventure together.
There were a lot of characters introduced and also many different side plots, understandable so as this is the first book in the Steam Guardian series. This did lead to frustration for me as it took away from the lead couple, and set up the first book as almost a stepping stone for questions without answers. I however will let it side because it was a good enough teaser of the future couples and conflicts that it basically guaranteed I’ll read the upcoming books. Overall the book was a good blend of science, adventure and romance. Recommended for those who like a little more action to their romance.
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