Saturday, May 3, 2014

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Scarlet Devices

Delphine Dryden majored in English at the University of Texas at Austin, and probably should have gone ahead and gone for that MFA and PhD to become an english professor like she planned. Instead, she took a detour through law school, practiced law for a woefully brief time, and wound up working in special education for the next fifteen or so years (first as a teacher, then as an educational diagnostician). Somewhere in there, she also obtained a Master’s in Educational Psychology/Special Education.

Delphine writes contemporary erotic romance for Carina Press, and mainstream steampunk romance for Berkley. She has also published with Ellora’s Cave and Cleis Press. Her writing has earned an Award of Excellence and Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times Book Reviews, an EPIC Award, and a Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence.

In 2010, Delphine gave up the day job to write full time. Now she balances that with parenting two kids and two dogs, and occasionally designing web sites or making trailer videos. She and her family are all Texas natives, and reside in unapologetic suburban bliss near Houston.
You can keep up with Delphine online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Scarlet Devices

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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?

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Vivacious Valkyrie - Marta:
*Copy gifted in exchange for an honest review

This is the second book in the Stream and Seduction series which is set in a steampunk type setting. This book follows on from Gossamer Wing although it's not essential to have read that first as this is easily read as a standalone novel. Set in a world that follows an alternate timeline this book features all the technology that this genre is noted for with the addition of a romance. 

Eliza Hardison is a young woman who is determined to right what she sees as wrongs. Strongly believing that workers rights are sometimes abused Eliza wants nothing more than to publicise the cause. She's an independent young woman with a flair for the mechanical and is reluctantly persuaded by her cousin the very talented Makeshift Baron to take part in the American Dominion Sky and Steam Rally. As Eliza is an adventurous sort the idea of a race both on land and in the air somewhat appeals to her.

The Makeshift Baron asks his protege Matthew Pence to watch out for Eliza whilst they both tackle the journey. Matthew has known Eliza for several years but the child he remembers is no more. In her place is a young woman who both challenges and yet fascinates him at the same time. Both Eliza and Matthew take the race incredibly seriously as winning would be both a great coup and wonderful achievement for the victor. The perilous journey will pit them against each other but will also throw them both together.
Things are not as straightforward as they should be though as sabotage is suspected right from the off. The arduous journey is made more dangerous as incidents begin to escalate and unfortunately it's soon clear that someone is out to subvert the rally.
Matthew's fascination for Eliza deepens as they face explosive trials together and it's clear that the forward thinking Eliza is not immune to him. Eliza is attracted to Matthew but has a world of her own to conquer that might not include a man! What started out as a race to win quickly becomes a race just to survive. 

This was undoubtedly fun to read and kept reminding me of those old films that showed silly races with flying machines! It was quite easy to picture the events as they unfold and was very easy to follow. It's a different style to the first book though - Gossamer Wing, as there is a lot less espionage present here. What the author has delivered is a tale of action, adventure with more than a dash of romance. Writing that takes the reader on a great adventure against an odious villain who deserves to be taken down.

Overall this book was full of intrigue and deception not to mention likeable lead characters. So rare to read about characters that truly work together without one trying to dominate the other. This was a delightful foray into the steampunk genre and I would happily read more from Ms. Dryden.

Scarlet Devices

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