Ma ignored both the said and the unsaid. Ignored the hunger still present at the table, though the littles had eaten all that was there. "You want a good position? Marry."
Imogene raised her eyebrows. "Positioning me on my back, yet still dusting? You're too kind."
I was absolutely crazy for this one to be released! Mad inventors, f/f romance, wolves and vampires, and Gail Carriger's utterly delightful and amazing Parasolverse? And, not to mention, the perfect bribe for my first day Nano'ing.
Starting with Soulless, loaned by my brother (with whom I have a symbiotic book-borrowing relationship), I've been mad for Gail Carriger's books from the start. What other genre writer is this witty, this good at world building, and this concerned with the important things? Namely, what they wore and what they ate. But kidding aside, she is a masterful world builder and terribly terribly good at dialogue, so when I heard that Genevieve, the mysterious, moody scientist from the Parasol Protectorate books, would be getting her Happily Ever After, I was thrilled.
Imogene, a small-town girl with few ambitions beyond hiding the terrible secret of her desires, takes a position with the Countess Nadasdy hoping for the perverted ongoing that the village whispers and her mother shouts about. There, she finds dusting and drudgery and the attentions of creeps, but all changes when she meets a mysterious woman in a cravat in a pottery shed, tinkering with unknown things, a woman who "donned fine manners and big words as easily as she did a top hat" but who has carried her heartbreak half a lifetime. Genevieve discovers Imogene's mathmatical genius, and they become coworkers and comrades in arms--but will Imogene break through her emotional barriers and romance the inventor?
Being a Parasolverse book, there are political machinations, werewolve/vampire drama, and swoony romance:
Whatever drove Imogene, it pushed her hard enough to overcome the stuffed-down fear of discovery, the up-tilted arrogance of protection. Imogene leaned forward and kissed the inventor. Another woman. For the very first time. Full on the mouth.
Madame Lefoux tasted of the wine she'd been sipping at supper. She smelled of vanilla, warm and buttery. And she leaned in towards Imogene, responding.
Her lips parted on a light breath of shock. They were so very, very, soft.
Yes, there are dark days for Imogene, whose patroness has machinations and a footman has ill intent. But, with the help of the muhjah of London and her devoted (more or less) werewolves, Imogene triumphs. And, of course, being a Gail Carriger, the book is tremendously funny:
"We could still gertrude."
"Well, I figured the opposite of rodgering is gertruding."
Recommended entirely to steampunk fans, romance fans, mad inventor fans, and anyone looking for a getaway to a world where the wolves wear tophats and the inventors can be seduced with a bit of algebra.
Content Warning: Physical and Attempted Sexual Assault, Consensual Sex, Blood, and one wee bit of cissexism that the character wouldn't recognize as such
Acquired: Pre-ordered by myself on Amazon.com