Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden

Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden
Series: Steam and Seduction, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Steampunk Romance Gilded Lily Cover
ISBN: 9780425265796
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Frédérique Murcheson’s introduction into society hasn’t gone smoothly—some would even call it a disaster. Only Freddie considers her debut a success. Her scheme to become a makesmith has gone off flawlessly. The only thing that could upset her plans now would be if someone discovered that brilliant tinker Fred Merchant is, in fact, a lady in disguise.

Wooing a spoiled heiress is not exactly Barnabas Smith-Grenville’s idea of high espionage. However, considering his brother disappeared on the job, supposedly into the most iniquitous of opium dens, he cannot expect much better. At least the assignment will afford him time to search for his brother, whom he suspects is in spy-related trouble rather than a drug-addled haze.

But when Freddie proves to be both irresistible and the key to the answers he seeks, Barnabas finds himself not only entwined in a scandalous mystery involving lethal submersibles and deranged dirigibles, but also in a dangerous game of the heart…

Gilded Lily is my favorite Steam and Seduction book to date! Author Delphine Dryden has delivered an exciting steampunk adventure with original characters and fast-paced plots that will delight many a reader.

Freddie is a woman ahead of her time. She’s more comfortable fixing machines in trousers than dancing the night away in a gown. I loved her ingenuity and spunk, and wanted to see her find someone who could keep up with her and would appreciate Freddie for who she truly is. Barnabas is definitely that hero. He’s knocked off his stride by Freddie and is clearly out of his depth in the world of espionage, but he doesn’t let that stop him. He’s flat-out adorable (though not in a childish way) and I just loved that he was both unique and blessedly average. The growing attraction between Barnabas and Freddie charmed me and their romance was simply lovely to watch develop.

Gilded Lily also features my favorite Steam and Seduction villain so far. Newly risen drug lord Rollo Furneval was a fully developed character in his own right and I found him as interesting as Freddie and Barnabas. The interweaving of the opium smuggling, Atlantis Station, cuttlefish, and the missing Smith-Grenville brother plotlines made the pages of Gilded Lily fly by. Add in Ms. Dryden’s delightful inventions and it’s clear to see why I thoroughly enjoyed this third Steam and Seduction outing. Gilded Lily is pure fun from beginning to end and I hope Ms. Dryden has a story in store for Phineas Smith-Grenville!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.