Title: Miss Bramble and the Leviathan
Author: Kristen Painter
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Steampunk Romance
Release Date: September 13, 2010
Blurb from Goodreads:
When Pandora Bramble steps aboard the Company’s premiere airship Daedalus it’s not for the exclusive VIP tour. It’s to secure proof that the Company stole the regulator valve her father designed—even if it means tearing the engine apart. Foiled by the unexpected appearance of a handsome crew member, she despairs of ever getting another chance—until he kisses her.After getting my first taste of steampunk with Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series (review of The Iron Duke here), I was anxious to delve further into the genre. It was fun, fresh and fascinating.
Captain Theolonius Hatch, sentenced to engine room duty for refusing to take part in the Company’s fleet week activities, never dreamed a woman like Pandora existed. Her brains match her beauty, a combination that adds up to more trouble than he ever expected.
As Pandora allows Theolonius to sweep her into a whirlwind courtship, her wildest dreams come true. As do her greatest fears, leaving her to decide what matters most. Loyalty…or love.
I really liked Pandora. She’s a fun, smart, fascinating heroine. She’s more at home tinkering in an engine room than in a formal dining room and when she is in formal society she’s in the shadow of her beautiful, society-minded friend. All this adds up to a woman who’s a bit alone in the world, taking care of her father and their shop essentially by herself.
I had a few problems with this one though. First, the steampunk world was more window-dressing than anything else. It didn’t play a very big part in the story, and could just as easily been a regency romance. That’s not such a big deal, but I think I would have appreciated it more had I know that going in.
The second is mostly I think due to the length. I just didn’t feel like there was enough time to properly develop the relationship between the hero and heroine. Pandora and Theo were keeping secrets from each other, truthfully thinking the other already knew, but not talking about them, for most of the story. This is one of my pet-peeves in reading so I’m not sure how big of an issue it really is. The things that they don’t talk about – like her father’s design – is a pretty major story point, and while I can understand each of their motivations for keeping mum on the subject it just got to be a little too much for me.
That being said, I loved how it ended. Kristen Painter didn’t take the easy way out with the ending, and I really appreciated the complexity that she layered in there. I definitely look forward to trying more out by Ms. Painter in the future.
Book Link | Kindle | nook | kobo | Borders eBook | Sony | Samhain Publishing