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I Belong

Review: Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden

Gilded LilyTitleGilded Lily

Author: Delphine Dryden

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Series: Steam and Seduction (Book #3)

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 042526579X (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425265796 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph



Frederique 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…

Quick & Dirty: An unconventional noblewoman and an awkward gentleman discover that romance can happen in the unlikeliest of circumstances in this entertaining installment of the Steam and Seduction series.

Opening Sentence: Rollo Furneval was in a position to make demands.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Frederique is not your typical noble Englishwoman. For one, she prefers to go by the name Freddie. She also has always wanted to be a makesmith, a profession no genteel woman would ever aspire to (if they aspired to a profession at all). Oh, and then there’s the fact that she often goes out dressed as “Fred Merchant” so she can make her makesmith dream come true. Definitely not your average noble!

Barnabas has come to England looking for his brother. He’s made contact with his brother’s former employer, who has given him a task: play suitor to his daughter in order to keep her out of trouble. This task does not fill him with excitement, to put it mildly. Imagine his surprise when the noblewoman he’s been asked to look after drags him into her world of makesmithing. Maybe this won’t be as bad as he thought…

If you’ve seen my review of Scarlet Devices (located here), you’ll know how much I absolutely adored that book. I was extremely eager to dive right in to book three. Unfortunately, this installment wasn’t as magical for me as the previous book, but it was still highly enjoyable, mostly due to the characters of Freddie and Barnabas. For those new to the series, this book could technically stand alone, but the storyline involving Barnabas’ brother is carried over from Scarlet Devices, so it wouldn’t hurt to read that first. As far as the steampunk aspect of the novel goes, it’s definitely very easy to understand, so those new to genre shouldn’t have any problems diving right in.

Freddie and Barnabas have wonderful chemistry together, and their every interaction just felt so real to me. Their banter with each other is simply wonderful and full of humor. I had a smile on my face most of the time I was reading. My only complaint would be that there is an instance involving a misunderstanding where their reactions felt a bit off/out of character to me.

I honestly wasn’t super interested in the mystery plot, but watching Freddie and Barnabas investigate kept things entertaining. Even though I wasn’t drawn in by the mystery, I was certainly never bored!

So, I guess overall, I’m saying that while this installment of the Steam and Seduction series wasn’t as thrilling as its predecessor, it’s still a fun time and is full of humor and a wonderful romance. If you’re looking for a quick and fun read, look no further! Personally, I’m hoping that if the series continues, the next couple featured will be Phineas and Sophie. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Meanwhile, I’ll go back and read book one so that I can experience all this series has to offer!

Notable Scene:

He took the still-warm mug from her hands, placing it carefully on the table by the bed, and drew her off to stand in front of him. The buttons of her shirt seemed to melt open under his fingers, but he stopped cold when he saw what lay beneath once the shirt dropped to the floor.

Padding. Layers of it, bandaged into place. All sodden, heavy, and now dripping seawater onto the floor by his feet. “I’d forgotten all about this. How can you stand it?”

“At least it’s kept me warm. Here, I’ll do that.”

He plucked at a knot where she’d tied a bandage off. “No. I’ll unwrap you.”

It sounded more intriguing than it turned out to be. In truth, the bandages were tricky to remove, and the prurience Barnabas had started out with was quickly subsumed by more practical thoughts. Such as whether to find a knife and simply cut through the entire mess, saving time and effort. Freddie refused to allow this, however, as she needed the stuffing and wrappings intact to wear again the next day.

The soaked linen seemed to have congealed where it was knotted, however, and Barnabas was yawning by the time he got the first one untied and began unwinding it, passing the wad of bandage around Freddie’s midsection with quick, efficient movements. She was already at work on another knot and kept having to move her arms out of his way. It made an odd ballet, the two of them working at cross purposes until they found a rhythm that allowed them both to operate.

“This is a great deal less lascivious than I had hoped it would be.”

Steam and Seduction Series:

1. Gossamer Wing

2. Scarlet Devices

3. Gilded Lily


FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Gilded Lily. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Review: Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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