Prudence is in a bit of a pickle. She's been ruined in polite society, and the only chance she has of staying out from under her father's wings is figuring out what the machine in her uncle's basement does. She's wagering she can make quite a bit of money on it...if she can only figure out what it does. Not wanting to but also not seeing any other options, she turns to a friend of her uncle's, a brilliant inventor. If he can't figure it out, nobody can.
The problem? He hasn't been answering her calls, so she decides to help him test a new machine he's making in exchange for his help. It's a machine that simulates sex, true, but Prudence is running out of time and ideas.
Will had asked for a prostitute to test his latest machine, so when he realizes there's a high-born lady strapped to his machine, he panics, thinking he's ruined both the lady and his reputation. But how can he feel guilty when every touch, every caress brings both of them closer to an intimacy they've never before imagined?
Steampunk is still a fairy new subgenre, and I find myself liking it. It's fun to read about these great steam-powered inventions, especially steam-powered sex machines, which is what's in this story. Basically Will has been commissioned to create a few different sex machines, and he needs someone to test them on. He doesn't expect Prudence to volunteer, and panics when he realizes who she is. But he can't let her go, and it doesn't matter what society says. It's a steamy love story with plenty of sex and lots of heart.