Grrl Powered Steampunk!
Nothing gets me squeeing louder than discovering new-to-me steampunk/steampunk romances that either prominently feature the heroine (especially on the cover) and ones that are f/f/lesbian romance in nature. The pairing of two dynamic heroines is particularly notable because these types of stories are incredibly rare. So imagine my delight when I discovered three of these types of stories all within the course of twenty-four hours!
I’m really thankful for indie and small-press authors because that’s where I usually find a supply of SFR and steampunk stories that cater to readers who are strongly invested in the heroine’s journey (as opposed to the traditional, male-centric hero’s journey). While I enjoy romances featuring a variety of pairings, I’ve come to realize that my primary interest these days is SFR/steampunk romances with a sharp focus on heroines having fabulous adventures.
I discovered author Eve Francis through a routine Google search. Ironically, I was searching for information about another author when Eve Francis’ book appeared in the results. How’s that for a happy coincidence? It looks like this author has other offerings up my alley, so I’m looking forward to a further exploration of her work.
Here’s the blurb for her spicy f/f steampunk romance, which features a steam-powered vibrator and what looks like deliciously subversive story elements.
Behind the Red Curtain (JMS Books) – Eve Francis
Cassandra Lightman grew up making trinkets and toys. She was on her way to inventing a “flying machine” when she was committed to a sanatorium for hysteria. That’s where Dr. Timothy Brown found Sandra and saw her promising intelligence. After Sandra shows Dr. Brown how to cure hysteria in women, she begins to work under him in his medical practice. Since Sandra cannot practice medicine and has no support from her family, she must carry on her position in secret. She goes into Dr. Brown’s office through the back door, speaking to no one, and always covering her face. Sandra soon meets Bedelia Morten, one of her patients behind the red curtain. Bedelia Morten is an upper class wife with a banker husband and three children of her own. She suffers from insomnia and nightmares, which leads her to seek out Dr. Brown’s practice. Though Bedelia is initially skeptical of Sandra’s skill, she soon learns to appreciate Sandra’s talent and company. When their relationship becomes too close, Sandra is encouraged by Dr. Brown to invent a “stand-in” for herself. Sandra goes back to her experimental roots and visits her idol-inventor Marlin Manchester. Sandra works many long nights in hopes of creating the first steam-powered vibrator. When Sandra’s invention takes off, she is forced to reconsider her role both in and out of the examination room, her future, and who she wants by her side.
I was on a hunt for steampunk romance at Amazon when the beautiful cover of Skyjackers caught my eye. It’s the first of a serial. The blurb hints at a romance, but since the author is new-to-me, I have no way of knowing if the romance will have an HEA. Regardless, it looks like an action-packed adventure featuring a plucky heroine for the win!
Skyjackers – J.C. Staudt
Vivian Caine is the eldest daughter of the most notorious airship pirate in the world. Her swashbuckling family has enjoyed a long and lucrative reign of terror over the people of Esperon. That reign will soon come to an end, if fresh-faced Captain Jonathan Thorpe has anything to say about it. A recent graduate of the Sky Marshal Academy, Thorpe is determined to uphold the law where his colleagues have failed. There’s one thing neither Vivian nor Jonathan had bargained for, however: a rivalry steeped in attraction. Vivian soon finds herself battling her feelings for the smitten young marshal, even while fighting to keep her dysfunctional family from harm. Can Vivian and Jonathan pursue their passions while honoring their principles? Skyjackers is a steampunk adventure-romance serial containing six episodes. New episodes will be available each week. Kindle Unlimited subscribers may read the story in its entirety for free. Release schedule: Episode 1: A Proper Nuisance – March 6th, 2016 Episode 2: Going to Pieces – March 11th, 2016 Episode 3: The Winds of Justice – March 18th, 2016 Episode 4: Betrayals and Betrothals – March 25th, 2016 Episode 5: Beaten to the Punch – April 1st, 2016 Episode 6: Ransomed – April 8th, 2016 The Complete First Season will be available in May 2016.
Thanks to an intrepid book reviewer and the awesome network of the SFR community, I learned about a book that features an f/f romance between a spinster and a Roman centurion—can you say wow to that intriguing pairing, folks?! The story also includes a giant space squid, a tea cult, and twisty time travel elements.
The Tea Machine (The Teatime Chronicles #1, Ylva Publishing) – Gill McKnight
The story of a love that never dies…except it does, time after time after time. London 1862, and Millicent Aberly, spinster by choice, has found her future love—in the future! She meddled with her brother’s time machine and has been catapulted into an alternative world where the Roman Empire has neither declined nor fell. In fact, it has gone on to annex most of the known universe. Millicent is rescued from Rome’s greatest enemy, the giant space squid, by Sangfroid, a tough and wily centurion who, unfortunately, dies while protecting her. Wracked by guilt and a peculiar fascination for the woman soldier, Millicent is determined to return in time to save Sangfroid from her fatal heroics. Instead, she finds her sexy centurion in her own timeline. And Sangfroid is not alone; several stowaways have come along with her. Soon Millicent’s mews house is overrun with Roman space warriors and giant squid.
For more information about The Tea Machine, read Psyhotropek’s informative, in-depth review.