Release Date: July 1, 2014
Genre: Adult Steampunk
HIDDEN IDENTITIES, SCANDALOUS SECRETS…
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…
GILDED LILY by Delphine Dryden is officially the first book I read this year (I hope y'all's 2015 is off to a GREAT start!) and obviously I am happy with how things are starting for me in the book reading realm. Incidentally, this is also my favorite Steam and Seduction book so far. After the last one, I decided that book 3 will be the deciding book for me. If I find it "okay" then I'm dropping the series and moving on. Not that the books are bad, I just feel the stories aren't for me. So thank the machine gods that I loved GILDED LILY and I'm looking forward to the next one. Hopefully it'll be about one of the side characters here, it would be a great second chance in love story and I absolutely love those!
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Instead of airships GILDED LILY takes us on an undersea adventure involving naval espionage, submarines, a shoal of cuttlefsih/squid, and an opium smuggler. The plot started simple enough, Frederique aka Freddie, wants independence even if it means she becomes a spinster as long as she can tinker with machines without pretending to be a guy or sneaking away from her father's watchful eye. Barnabas Smith-Grenville is on a mission to search for his brother, Phineas, a decorated naval officer who was reportedly dismissed dishonorably because he got addicted to opium. After much searching Barnabas landed on Freddie's father's employ to chaperone the latter. One thing led to another and these two fell in love and lived happily ever after... amongst Freddie's inventions.
GILDED LILY isn't as mech-ridden as the first two books and it was more espionage/suspense and outright action. Freddie and Barnabas are great as individual characters and as a couple too. Freddie is so daring and such a take-charge kind of chick while Barnabas is more laid-back and is more of an assistant, albeit a clumsy one, than the one leading the pack. The secondary characters are just as great, I wish we had more facetime with Freddie's parents because they're quite entertaining especially her mother. Barnabas' brother, Phineas, and her ex-girlfriend, Sophronia, who is Freddie's BFF, have an interesting backstory too and I'm hoping their story is the next one to be told. I do love reconciliations and such, I find that theme extremely romantic.
The best part is, GILDED LILY as well as the previous two books can be read as stand-alone. The characters are very, very loosely related and are mentioned here and there in the series but each book has its own plot independent from the rest. So if you're eager to try, I suggest you read the excerpts and see for yourself if it's something you'll like. It's a new year after all and hopefully diversifying your reads is part of your resolution, a little steam and punk never hurt nobody.