Gabriel 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..
I’m so flipping over Steampunk it’s not even funny, and didn’t even realize this was a book about it until a few pages in when they were talking about steam powered chariots. However, as the setting started to unfold I didn’t seem to be bothered by the concept.
The world is built wonderfully, an amazement really at how fun and original it is. You fall in love with Gabriel right away, and become enchanted with Lucio from the very first meeting. I really enjoyed watching them fall in love, and really enjoyed their story as it came together. It kept me on my toes, and my heart wide open as if wanting (and secretly wanting) it to all fall apart. Besides, what sort of story is told without a few good bumps in the road (no pun intended). However, despite a few trials I was rather disappointed in that aspect.
The whole story built up to this huge arch in the storyline then just sort of…fizzled out, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. The intimate scenes were written really well, and were not as redundant. And even though I rolled my eyes at Gabriel and his treatment to Lucio a few times, I still loved them as a couple as much as I did from the beginning.
I did read a few reviews saying how the story sort of dragged on in the end, and I do have to agree with that. I wanted it to end a lot faster only because I felt it really could have with the whole scene of (things I won’t spoil for you, but it’s story about a whore and an inventor, you do the math). But I can tell why the rest of the story went on. However, I think instead of just slapping together a quick little ending and trying to tie up loose ends in a few chapters—write a second one!! I would LOVE to read a story about Lucio and Gabriel with their children or what ever happened to the revolution. But I haven’t looked at the author’s profile to see if there is a second one yet, so maybe that will fix.
Let’s Get Technical:
Unfortunately, I did find a few mistakes in this one, and though I am not perfect at grammar at all (really I had to spell check to make sure I spelled grammar right, and I’m still not sure) I can excuse a few things. But man, have not one, not two, but twenty eyes read your story before you publish it. I will happily volunteer!
Two of the most notable are here and here, which overall didn’t bother me as much. I was able to speed on by them without too much trouble, but they did stick out enough I had to highlight. (I could even be wrong on the second one, but it just doesn't sound right.)
To Sum It All Up:
I would highly recommend this book, because despite few little flaws I found (mostly my own opinion) I really enjoyed it. I loved the world, the characters were drawn out very well, and it was written beautifully. I loved the use of the fans, of the way the whole thing arched together, and most of all it's just a great summer read.
Go check it out!