Tag Archives: steampunk

4 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Goblet’s Edge by Lore Graham #MM #Fantasy @LT3Press @Grahamlore

CoverTitle: Goblet’s Edge
Author Name & Publisher: Lore Graham (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 25, 2016 – 68 pgs

Synopsis

August and Laurence have been lovers for years, and it’s a love August has never had any cause to doubt, even if Laurence is also his employer—until they arrive in Umbra and meet Queen Maeve, the woman Laurence is to marry.

It’s immediately clear to August that Maeve is more than a little interested in Laurence, and as the gap between him and lover widens, Laurence growing increasingly reserved and distant, August fears the moment he’s always dreaded is near to hand.

And the end of their relationship might be easier to accept if he could hate Maeve, but asking him to hate the beautiful, intriguing Maeve would be like asking him to stop loving the Lord he’s served and adored so long. Which just makes August more miserable than ever, and waiting for the moment when he’s finally cast out.

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Review

FourStars

Lore Graham’s worlds are complex and interesting, and I love the way the world-building is threaded into the plot seamlessly. I enjoyed discovering August’s culture and surroundings as the story unfolded.

For the most part, I enjoyed this story. The characters and setting are interesting. Although I wanted to know more about their society, there was enough detail to keep my attention, and I didn’t feel as though it were lacking. It’s more that I want to see other stories set in this realm.

I liked August very much, but I’m not entirely sure how I feel about his relationship with Laurence or with Maeve for that matter. I am still on the fence about the power imbalance. I don’t really think August is being used, exactly, but he certainly isn’t on the same level with the others. It particularly bothered me that August seemed more like he was servicing Laurence than that Laurence actually cared about him as a person, and that bothered me a bit. I was left with the impression of “we trust you and we will occasionally have you in our bed, but you’re basically still a servant and should know your rightful place.” It may just be a case of it not really being my thing.

Other than that, though, it was very well written. There were some nicely steamy moments, and I definitely appreciated the skill regarding the creation of this world. I hope to see more about it in the future.

~Amy

ThreeStar

Although I did enjoy this quick read, I was left feeling as if there could have been much more to this story.

August in my opinion really does get the short end of the stick in this book. He works for Laurence basically as his personal assistant to whatever he needs and he is his secret lover also but I feel as if he is being used and nothing more. Then you throw Mauve (Laurence’s soon to be new wife) into the mix and I feel as if both Laurence and Mauve are both getting their cake and eating it too.

I believe that August is in love with Laurence and would never deny him any of his wishes but what I did not like about the story is Laurence never really said how he felt about August one way or the other and also Laurence is rather gold to August for the most part throughout the book.

What I did enjoy about the book is the fact that Mauve was a very bright woman and treated August with respect even though she really did not have too. I think that she actually has feelings for both men. The fact that she wants to include instead of exclude August in their wedding night was more then August could have ever asked for. Not to mention she did not want him to leave when they were done.

I enjoyed this story but I really wish that Laurence’s character would have been more forth coming with his feelings and I wish that he would have made it clear what he really wanted from both Mauve and August.

Tosha

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Filed under 3 Star, 4 Star, Amy, Bisexual, M/M, M/M/F, New Release, Review, Tosha

NEW RELEASE: TWO 4 Star Reviews for Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone by Rachel White #FF #Fantasy #Steampunk @LT3Press

CoverTitle: Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone
Author Name & Publisher: Rachel White (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 8, 2016 – 205 pgs

Synopsis

Enne Datchery and Muriel vas Veldina, ex-lovers and witches with a shared apprentice, are tasked by the Citadel, to repair an old grimoire together, despite the fact their relationship is tense at best.

The situation is further complicated when the book is stolen, and tracking down the thief stirs even more of Muriel’s past. It swiftly becomes clear to the two that dealing with their fractured relationship is going to be the easy part of the assignment—if they can live long enough to complete it.

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Review

FourStars

A very different take on witchcraft. This author relied on her characters to relate the story rather than concentrate solely on magical spells or potions.
It was  interesting to hear the plot from two such contrasting points of view. The tension between the two witches was almost palatable.
I enjoyed this novel because of its uniqueness but found it difficult to like one of the main characters, which is why I awarded it four stars.
Chris
FourStars

This was an interesting world, and although we don’t get the reason for why everything is the way it is, there is an underlying order and basis for the way the world works. I really enjoyed Enne and Muriel as witches, and their relationship was fascinating in the way they interacted with each other. It’s very rare to sit in on the end of a relationship, to be able to watch how miscommunication and pride get in the way of the feelings that are still there. The crisis that they have to address forces them to work together, and that closeness makes them each notice the other in different light. It makes them look past their own prejudice about what happened in the relationship and remember what drew them together in the first place. Muriel’s beliefs about balance, made more poignant by her own past wickedness, are an interesting theme within the story. I like this book because it shows that sometimes things work out, that sometimes good things don’t have to end, and yes, that sometimes love conquers all. I definitely liked this book.

AmyP

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TWO 3 stars for Circus Games (Mecha Mania #2) by Lilliana Rose #FF #Lesbian #Steampunk @LT3Press

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Title: Circus Games (Mecha Mania #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Lilliana Rose (Less Than Three)
Publication Date & Length: March 30, 2016 – 67 pages

Synopsis

Nessie is overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done to manage the Mecha Mania business she now owns with her father. Balancing accounts, stopping Operators from fighting, and ordering parts keeps her busy—so busy, in fact, that she keeps pushing Joy away. As frustrations build, the distance widens, and what could be slowly starts to move closer to what might have been.

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Review

ThreeStar

This book was well written by an obviously talented author The tension centred around the enigma of Nessie and her emotional relationship with Joy.
However I felt the relationship between the two women overpowered the essence of steampunk. I would have loved to hear more detail about the mechanical workings and their ultimate fight. The skeleton of a brilliant confrontation was there unfortunately, for me, it was much too succinct and lacking in tension.
I would also have liked to learn more particulars about the garments worn not only by the more well off but also the workers, once again I found this rather overlooked.
It was an interesting novel but I felt there was so much more content and potential bubbling underneath the surface.
~Chris
 ThreeStarI was disappointed with this story. I really liked the first book in this series, and I’m a fan of the steampunk worlds Ms. Rose creates, but this book did not do it for me. There is a vast amount of romance in the first 60% and it’s just the same thing over and over. “She loves me.” “She hates me.” “Maybe she likes me.” Honestly, the only reason I continued reading is because I’ve read the author before and enjoyed her work.

 

Now, the second half of this piece redeems the first half. There’s plot. Good plot that carries from the end of the first book into the new world that Nessie is facing. There’s conflict, issue, and definite character growth. I did feel as though these two characters didn’t quite match up to their personalities in the first book, which I expected with Nessie and her gain of now being the boss, but I did not expect the change with Joy.

 

I’m also glad the issue with rigging the fights was resolved in the very last few pages because I kept sitting there thinking the exact same thing Joy was thinking the entire time. Lastly, I struggled with the writing in this one, not sure why. But there was an abundance of passive phrasing that kept throwing me off and out of the moment of the piece itself.

NOTE: This piece can stand-alone from the previous one.

~AJ

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THREE 4 Star Reviews for The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz #FF #Ace @MeredithAKatz

CoverTitle: The Cybernetic Tea Shop
Author Name & Publisher: Meredith Katz (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: March 16, 2016

Synopsis

Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular ‘Raise’ AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.

Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master’s dream for the shop.

When Clara stops by Sal’s shop for lunch, she doesn’t expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on…

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Review

FourStars

This was a quick read and a sweet romance. I wasn’t expecting it to be as focused on the romance as it was, honestly, and I’m not sure why. Thecybernetic aspect was absolutely fascinating to me, and I wish the piece had focused a bit more on that and bit less on the romance going on. Don’t get me wrong, this is an asexual story. It took a bit for that to come around, and I kept waiting for it.

This piece was slow moving, especially in the beginning. I actually feel as though the first chunk of it (before Clara moves) could be eliminated from the story and we wouldn’t lose anything from the plot at all. That’s what made it incredibly slow for me. Once the two characters meet, the piece picks up and moves along at a great pace.

~AJ

FourStars

A very unique book full of humour and banter, complete with quirky idiosyncratic characters. I really enjoyed it.
It was a distinctive take on how caring for others can change your  whole outlook on life as well as changing you as a person. Using non humans morphed with humans added extra depth and appeal to this novel. The best and worst of humanity were touched. The power of love and acceptance also shone through.
Personally I could have enjoyed hearing further specifics about the trio and their relationships with one another. A great and imaginative novel that was  over all to quickly.
Chris
FourStars

I found this a fascinating read. I’m always interested in the ethics of artificial intelligence; how we treat artificial beings who are sentient, and sapient according to this book, legally and socially. Here are two people who are outsiders, one by choice and one by design. Clara is a wanderer, leaving behind people and things as she moves from place to place. Sal is a robot, one of the last AIs in the world, and her appearance makes it clear what she is and sets her apart. When the two meet, the connection forms and deeply quickly. The two believe that their time is limited; Clara will move on, and Sal is anchored to her deceased owner’s tea shop. Events happen that will make both of them rethink what they believe about themselves.

It’s interesting that it’s something so fundamental that sets Sal free, so basic to who she is. And Clara finds that maybe she doesn’t have to leave everything behind. This was my first asexual book, and it makes total sense in this read. I’m not sure I fully understand it; I have questions that I have no idea how to even articulate. But my under-educated sensibilities have never impinged upon my open-mindedness and desire to learn. This was a great short read, and I have no problem recommending it to those who like sci-fi, and AI and robots as well.

Amy P.

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New Release: Naughty Lovers: Love Is In The Air by Tina Donahue, Charlotte Boyette-Compo, Suz deMello, Terry Rissen, Nicole Austin, Regina Kammer, Berengaria Brown, Kate Kingston #MM #FF @NaughtyLiterati

Naughty Lovers Boxed Set Photo

Title: Naughty Lovers: Love Is In The Air
Author Name & Publisher: Tina Donahue, Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Suz deMello, Terry Rissen, Nicole Austin, Regina Kammer, Berengaria Brown, Kate Kingston (Naughty Literati)
Publication Date & Length: February 18, 2016 – 350 pgs

Synopsis

The Ride of Her Life ~ Tina Donahue

Maddy’s so desperate for fun, she’s signed up for speed dating. Ew. Before she can ditch the event, Ben, her sexy driver, arrives. After one sinfully hot kiss, they’re breaking all the rules, and then some, on a sensuous spring night.

Love In The Air ~ Suz deMello

Jill’s been curious about BDSM since reading Fifty Shades, and firefighter Zack is more than willing to scratch that itch for her.

Renaissance ~ Alexa Silver

Kira meets Sage, one of the guys from her favorite band, at a “rock workshop”. Can she trust this handsome rockstar or is he after more than her talent?

Bastard’s Bonus ~ Terry Rissen

There is no love lost between the Glass Spinners’ Guild and the Tavern Keepers’ Guild. For Ian and Zane, it means they can never be together, or risk losing everything.

Cinderella Scandal ~ Nicole Austin

It was a onetime indulgence—a random encounter between strangers. A good girl’s dirty little secret with her bad boy stepbrother. Anything else is forbidden. Or is it?

Swing Follies: Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles 3 ~ Regina Kammer

Blimey. Delia’s besotted. With Edward. But when an old flame from Edward’s revolutionary past swings by and steams up the laboratory, has Delia missed her chance at love?

Sappho’s Sisters ~ Berengaria Brown

Lady Eustacia Lumley, the only child of the Earl of Wentworth, must marry well and ensure the succession. Only problem is she’s falling in love with another woman.

Blast From The Past ~ Katherine Kingston

Lynn’s past relationship with Ryan wasn’t healthy, but when she meets him again after a long separation the old flames reignite. Can they have a more mature relationship now?

The WyndRaider’s Conquest ~ Charlotte Boyett-Compo

Prime Reaper Xandon Cree must pick the next test pilot to fly a super-secret war craft. Picking a female for the job is not what he had in mind.

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3 Stars for For All the Gold in the Vault by Jasmine Gower #MM #Steampunk

1.5

Title: For All the Gold in the Vault
Author Name & Publisher: Jasmine Gower (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: January 20, 2016

Synopsis

Arturo is on the run for murder, and trying to survive in the wild west. He was creeping by undetected until he was snagged by Ezekiel Estridge, a sinister man who has need of Arturo’s talents as a thief to steal back a collection of inventions created by his father and stolen by a traitorous friend.

But Arturo isn’t the hardened criminal his wanted posters claim, making him less than ideal for the job. For one, he’s not actually a cold-blooded killer, and refuses to become one for Ezekiel. The payment, however, is enough gold to pay off the price on his own head, so he agrees to the job. But theft and avoiding murder are easier said than done, and the growing attraction between him and his strange employer doesn’t help matters.

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Review

ThreeStar

I want to start of this review with I really liked the aspect of this authors story in this book and the characters this author wrote in this story.

But it was just one of those times where this was such a short story I was left feeling like this story felt really rushed to me. There was action and steam which was fade to black between these two men which I really loved but everything between them felt so rushed to me and I was left feeling unsure of how I felt about these two men together. There was also other parts of this story that I felt a little confused by too.

So I did like the pretense of this story but in the end this novella just felt way too rushed to me and I was left feeling like I need a little more with these two men together..

Kara

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5 and TWO 4 Stars for The Persephone Star by Jamie Sullivan #FF #Steampunk @poor_medea

1.5

Title: The Persephone Star
Author Name & Publisher: Jamie Sullivan (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: January 13, 2016

Synopsis

As Post Mistress of Fortuna, Penelope Moser knows just about everything about everyone. It’s a job she takes seriously, no matter who comes to pry for gossip, or how unsettling the messages are—but even she is more than a little frightened by rumors that The Persephone Star has been spotted nearby. That means Mirage Currier is out of prison and coming to settle up with the man who put her in jail: Cullen Wiley, Sheriff of Fortuna and Penelope’s fiancé.

The worst comes to pass when Penelope is kidnapped—or so she thinks. But the simple truth she thought she knew starts to unravel, leaving her to choose between the man she promised to marry or the woman destined for the gallows.

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Review

FiveStars

I wondered if this novel was loosely based on the female mythological female from Greek/Roman myth. Like the myth it is a captivating tale of good, in what ever form that may take, defeating evil.
This is a really indulgent, warm hearted novel, one that keeps you entertained from beginning to end.
The characters are an assortment of strong independent woman who have a great sense of camaraderie and bring humour and a deeper understanding of their quest for justice and what is right to this wonderful novel.
An easy to read book that made me feel good, what more could you ask from any novel?
I look forward to reading more from this absorbing and competent author
Chris
FourStars

This was a bit different than my usual genre, but I found the book interesting and easy to get involved in. I found the dichotomy between Penelope’s “normal” life and life aboard the dirigible interesting. It’s true that men made the rules of polite society then, and didn’t care much that they didn’t follow the rules themselves. The lack of opportunity for women, the strict roles respectable women were forced into, the shaming and use of women who had no other options in life are all examples of things we’ve supposedly moved beyond in our more enlightened times. The author doesn’t overtly state that we haven’t overcome some of these things, but creates a way for us to think about the way things used to be and wonder how much they’ve really changed.

That said, it’s obviously a major part of the story, and for the most part, Sullivan addresses it well, making it integral to the story and something that the main character ponders quite a lot. She does it in a way that makes it something that the characters are struggling with, and not preaching to the reader. But there is a lot of it, and sometimes it does become a bit overwhelming.

The end of the story, however, felt quite rushed. When this happens, I always wonder if the author hit her word count and needed to wrap up the story quickly, or if she just didn’t want to expand on the end. And in this case, I think that’s a bit of a shame. We don’t know how the women of the Persephone Star treated Penelope’s return. And we don’t know if Penelope ever overcame her own inhibitions and allowed herself to explore how kissing Mell made her feel. We don’t even know for sure that Corinna was saved and was able to rejoin the crew, other than what Penelope put in her rather short missive to her father.

All in all, an enjoyable read, but the ending leaves you a little less than satisfied.

Amy P.

FourStarsThis was a quick read which spiked my interest and made me want more. I only hold two complaints about this short. The first would be that there wasn’t much in the way of romance in any form, some type of connection between the characters. While it is labeled as a F/F read I didn’t really see much of a need for it to be (Outside of a drunken kiss I can’t remember a single scene which would make me believe this to be a Lesbian Fiction story.). The second is simply that it is so short! There was a lot of opportunity for some mischief and mayhem I believe were wasted.

Otherwise it was fairly well written and I quite enjoyed the characters. I would love to see this made into a full length book with plenty more action and maybe a bit of romance for the main character!

~Rhayne

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