Saturday, June 1, 2013

Review: A Captain and a Corset by Mary Wine

A Captain and a Corset
Steam Guardians #2
by: Mary Wine
$6.99 mass market paperback
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Historical Romance / Steampunk
Released: June 2013

Sophia never asked to have her sight transformed, making it impossible to go back to her family.  She never asked to be caught in a deadly tug of war between two secret societies.  Yet she somehow finds herself in exactly that predicament.  Becoming an Illuminist and learning all sorts of things a proper lady should never know is liberating, but the one thing she could do without is her mentor and shadow, Bion.  He's charged with keeping her safe, but if you ask her, he's charged with making her life miserable.  So why does her heart speed up every time he gets close?

Bion spent years as an airship captain with the Illuminists, hoping to one day be gifted with the thing Sophia got by accident.  Nevertheless, it's his job to train her, and so he does.  But he really doesn't have to do all the surprise inspections of her quarters late at night, catching her in naught but a corset.  He'd rather not question too closely his obsession with his charge, although seeing her blush so prettily makes teasing her such fun.  Too bad all he can think about most days is how flushed she'd look under him in bed.  Or against the wall.  Or on a table.  When a prisoner escapes and takes Sophia with him, Bion must race against the clock to get her back.  If she's forced to help their enemy, many of his people could die.  And while the thought breaks his heart, he knows that if he can't get her out safely, there's only one other way to neutralize her...

This is book 2, and I'm really getting into this series.  I just want to real quick point out though that you need to read these in order, otherwise you'll be lost.  It's about a secret society called the Illuminists, and theirs is the pursuit of knowledge.  They're not constrained by the rules of society, and women are encouraged to learn, and take lovers if they so choose.  Sophia's sight was changed by a root ball, which makes her able to see dimensional rifts.  it also makes her invaluable to a lot of people, since root balls are so rare.  She's trying to learn all she can and make the best of a bad situation, and I admire her for playing the crappy hand fate dealt her with her head held high.  Bion is used to being in charge, and isn't afraid to bend or break the rules if it suits his purpose.  He's drawn to Sophia's innocence, and loves making her squirm.  The world building was amazing, and I really felt like I was sucked into the story and swept along for the ride with the characters.  Plus the setup for book 3 was a nice touch, so now I have to wait for that to come out.  Well played, Ms. Wine, well played.

Carla gives this book a

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