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May 3, 2015

Loved It: Combustion by Elia Winters

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: May 5. 2015
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance
For explosive chemistry, all you need is the right catalyst…

A war orphan, Astrid Bailey is content living her adult life alone, working as a contract machinist. Her real passion, though, is inventing felicitation devices that promote women’s sexual empowerment and help them find pleasure independent of a man.

The upcoming World’s Fair, with its substantial cash prize, is an opportunity to open the shop she’s always imagined and hopefully solve her financial woes. Except the committee has denied her entry unless she obtains a “sponsor”. Astrid suspects they mean “male”.

Eli Rutledge, noted watchmaker, knows entering the fair will solidify his reputation as an innovator —but he’s fresh out of ideas. Until Astrid approaches him with her outrageous product line. With no other options, though, he agrees to lend her his good name.

As construction heats up, so does their chemistry—and the complications. Astrid is unaccustomed to asking for help, much less sharing credit. And Eli fights an attraction that could spell professional disaster. As the Fair date approaches, Astrid and Eli must decide how far they’ll go. For the business…and for each other.

Warning: Contains period-appropriate graphic language, highly inappropriate amounts of M/F and F/F sex, and copious amounts of *ahem* product testing. May *ahem again* “spark” an online shopping binge for *cough* toys. Of the adult variety.
3.5 Cauldrons


I think I picked up COMBUSTION by Elia Winters because I thought it was Steampunk. I think it was tagged as Sci-Fi/Fantasy in NetGalley and based on the cover art, it does look like it's going to be another sexy Victorian adventure. 

Ummm... not quite... this is what I get for NOT reading blurbs and for being such a cover whore!

The story. It's what the blurb said, an enterprising inventor/machinist, Astrid Bailey, who is in the business of making dildos and vibrators and she is set on bringing her products mainstream. Fortunately for her, she has a few patron, unfortunately for her, the judges on the prestigious World's Fair doesn't think so. What happened next? Let's just say, it did end happily for Astrid but not without the help of a few cunning friends and a sexy fellow inventor, Eli Rutledge.

Normally, I'd be so mad for being duped by a novel that banked on "false marketing". Books pretending to be something, in this case, Steampunk, only to have a steamy and very imaginative historical romance instead. COMBUSTION has no distinct world building to speak of, nor is the novel peppered by peculiarities that would make it a sci-fi fantasy. The most fantastical extent the novel went with is calling England Britannia and having a society where Queen Victoria's people are somewhat okay with vibrators, or felicitation devices (bullets, rabbits, anal plugs, etc.), and have a fucking machine exhibited at the World's Fair. The old bat would faint at the scandal! 

But we all know these don't make for Steampunk!

The "bones" of COMBUSTION is good though, EWinters could easily expand the novel and world if she choose to, like adding depth and tone to the novel by creating more tension, firmer backstories, and an array of relationships for Astrid. Like stressing on the the taboos of self-pleasure,having a few moral antagonists, heighten Astrid's sexuality and non conformity, a strong group of influential female friends, etc. Plot devices like these could've easily made COMBUSTION a great read, or a sexy historical series even. 

Regardless, I did enjoy COMBUSTION, found it funny at times. Also I should know better, this is published by Samhain and Samhain is known for its hot reads! EWinters style is very engaging in its simplicity and though it wasn't a 5-cauldron read, the characters are well written and the conflict/resolution plausible. And did I mention how hot this was? Like African Summer level, hot? So girls and guys, grab your favorite BoB, COMBUSTION is going to be quite a ride. 









Talk Supe


23 comments:

  1. Even though it was not what you expected, at least not reading the blurb didn't get you in trouble. In most cases, my being rash leads me to trouble. Lol. Glad you ended up loving this one, anyway.

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  2. Good review. I always try to read the synopsis because i don't want to be duped into reading something that I might not like. So I get where you are coming from. This sounds like something that I would enjoy. Good review, SW.

    Grace @ Books of Love

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    1. I usually never do anymore. I look at the genre, author, and skim the blurb.

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  3. Lol. I NEVER read the blurb either, so I've ended up where you're standing quite a few times. Deliciously succinct review. Interesting concept, weaknesses notwithstanding. What can you do? Sometimes, you just can't have it all :) Enjoy your Sunday!

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    1. Exactly, we have to compromise sometimes. At least I had fun reading about her feliciatious (is that even a word?) encounters.

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  4. But they had dildos then, for hysteria, so the only new thing is that hey are not "hidden"

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    1. Yeah but they didn't have The Rabbit then nor the sex machine, right?

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  5. I totally judge the cover as well. Then as I was reading your review I was a little surprised. Definitely doesn't look like plain ol historical. Glad to see that in the end you still enjoyed this. I think I will have to add it to my TBR list. Don't think I've ever read a novel where the MC made dildos. LoL

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    1. There's always a first time for everything

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  6. Oh myword. I think I need this one. lol I never read blurbs so am always surprised to a degree with what I'm reading. That would definitely have made me thought steampunk. Glad you enjoyed it despite getting something a spot different!

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    1. ha! I was just about to tell you to read this, you'll love it, you little horndog!

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  7. Many times a surprise book works for me, but I just need to get past the adjustment period to what is actually there.

    LOL, yeah Vicky would be turning over in her grave if she was around for all that.

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  8. lol I've been fooled before like that, and based on the cover I'd assume steampunk too. Glad it worked out though!

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  9. HAHAHAH OMG BRAINE THAT WAS PURE GENIUS. You just made me laugh so much at your review, imagine the surprise you would have gotten! AND I LOVED YOUR PUN. So hilarious!

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  10. I really would have thought it was steampunk as well. I hate when they make something look like something it isn't. I would have been slightly disappointed. It's probably a bit too steamy for me but I'm glad you enjoyed!

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  11. That cover is really a bit misleading and I would have thought it was a steampunk book too. Cover is pretty though and I love the warning included in the synopsis. Glad you enjoyed even though it wasnt what you were expecting. Great review.

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  12. I would have thought that one was steampunk too. Great review Braine!

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  13. The cover says Steampunk to me as well, I would have done the same. I'm glad it all worked out well in the end. The romance sounds like it was what had the steam :)

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  14. Omg I have to read this because the main character MUST have to have ovaries of steel to try to bring female empowerment to the 19th century! I have done the cover-whore-clicky on Netgalley too and found myself reading a completely different book than I thought I would be! Glad to see you enjoyed it, regardless :)

    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

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