Author: Delphine Dryden
What I’m Talking About:
After reading Gossamer Wing, I was curious about who the next story would focus on. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Scarlet Devices is the journey of Matthew and Eliza. After the espionage and intrigue of Gossamer Wing, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Matthew and Eliza, but I thoroughly enjoyed this second novel in the Steam and Seduction series.
Please note: this world is an alternate history; most notably this steam punk is based in a world where the revolutionary war never occurred. If you are interested in reading this fascinating series, please check out the author’s webpage first so you have a basic background of the world. Her background information is really interesting.
As the novel begins, we are introduced to Eliza, a determined young woman who desires to help those that are less fortunate. Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Eliza sees herself as a champion of the working class and hopes to make their lives better. When her cousin Dexter asks her to represent his company in the dangerous American Dominion Sky and Steam Rally, it seemed odd. Yet, Eliza, like her cousin, is a tinkerer and she is well versed in working on her own steam car’s engine. Eliza is content to refuse until Matthew, her cousin’s soon to be ex-apprentice and newfound competition, enters the picture.
Matthew is a good friend of Dexter’s even though he has been his second in command at Harding House. Yet, Matthew wants to venture out on his own. The Rally is a great way to accomplish this. By winning, he not only shows the world his prowess and skill, but the first place money will give him the investment capital he needs. Everything is going right along just as Matthew planned, until he is reunited with Eliza. As Dexter’s cousin, she was treated like a younger sister by both Dexter and Matthew as she tried to “work” in the shop. However, now that Eliza is back from university, Matthew cannot deny she has grown up. Eliza decides to participate in this arduous and dangerous competition just to prove to Matthew that she is no longer a child. To placate Dexter, Matthew promises to keep an eye on Eliza and protect her. But as the race progresses, the danger is only magnified as they realize there is someone plotting to keep all the racers from finishing no matter what.
I loved the intrigue of who is trying to sabotage the race and why. Even though the mystery is fairly simple to figure out, the way it climaxes and is resolved was a surprise to me. I really enjoyed how these competitors ended up banding together. The romance between Eliza and Matthew was truly entertaining to watch. Eliza tries to deny her feelings for Matthew, and Matthew tries to remind himself that watching out for Eliza does not include kissing and other sorts of things. I was completely gripped by Scarlet Devices and the different players utilized by the antagonist.
The Steam and Seduction novels are steampunk, but are more driven by the romance and intrigue/mystery. The science is light; however, there is enough there to keep the inner geek appeased. The Scarlet Devices combines both the steam cars and airships, and it was fascinating to imagine them as they raced across a wild United States (or in this world, the Dominion). This alternate universe is truly a fun and fascinating world that mixes this different reality with the historical attitudes, clothing and etc. It is just overall very entertaining. Both Gossamer Wing and Scarlet Devices can be read as stand-alone novels. So if you are interested, you can feel free to pick up Scarlet Devices without worry.
I continue to enjoy the Steam and Seduction series and especially this second offering, Scarlet Devices I eagerly look forward to the next installment, Gilded Lily.
Rating: A- — Enjoyed A Lot
About the Book:
DRIVEN TO WIN.
DRAWN TO LOVE.
Fresh from university, Eliza Hardison is determined to crusade for workers’ rights until her cousin Dexter, the Makesmith Baron, prevails on her to represent Hardison House in the American Dominion Sky and Steam Rally.
The competition is fierce, but only one opponent really matters to Eliza. Dexter’s protégé, Matthew Pence, was always like a big brother to her. But now she’s grown up, and Matthew has made a break from Hardison House with his own business venture—and made his own entry in the rally.
Matthew intends to win while keeping Eliza safe on the perilous route from New York to San Francisco. As the threats escalate through treacherous skies and uncharted American wilds, though, Eliza and Matthew must work together, discovering a bond deeper than either could have imagined but is winning the rally more important than winning at love?
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Series: Steam and Seduction Novel #2
Format(s): Paperback (304 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
Scarlet Devices (Steam and Seduction #2)
Reviews in the Series:
Gossamer Wing by Delphine Dryden (Steam and Seduction #1)