Book Review

SCARLET DEVICES
by Delphine Dryden

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Steampunk
Sensuality: HOT

RT Rating

A wild race across the American Dominion keeps the story hopping in the second installment of Dryden’s sassy Steam and Seduction series. The protagonists in this tale will need all their wits and courage as a high-stakes competition turns increasingly deadly. Hang on tight: This is one competition you won’t soon forget!

Now that she’s done with university, Eliza Hardison is struggling to figure out the next move in her life. Workers’ rights are something she’s passionate about, and she is especially concerned about those individuals who mysteriously disappear and are presumed to have “gone west.” Matthew Pence is Makesmith Baron Dexter Hardison’s protégé, but it is time for him to strike out on his own. Competing in the Sky and Steam Rally from New York to San Francisco may be just the ticket. Dexter has his own entry in the race and he asks his cousin Eliza to drive/fly his machines. But it seems like sabotage is an ever-present threat. Although they each want to win, Eliza and Matthew realize they need to join forces just to survive. (BERKLEY SENSATION, Feb., 304 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed By: Jill M. Smith

Publisher: BERKLEY SENSATION

Published: February 2014

Reader Rating

4 Stars

Average Rating: 4 Stars
(1 ratings)

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LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Scarlet Devices

Submitted by MichelleLOlson on May 3, 2014 - 12:01pm.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Vivacious Valkyrie - Marta:
*Copy gifted in exchange for an honest review

This is the second book in the Stream and Seduction series which is set in a steampunk type setting. This book follows on from Gossamer Wing although it's not essential to have read that first as this is easily read as a standalone novel. Set in a world that follows an alternate timeline this book features all the technology that this genre is noted for with the addition of a romance.

Eliza Hardison is a young woman who is determined to right what she sees as wrongs. Strongly believing that workers rights are sometimes abused Eliza wants nothing more than to publicise the cause. She's an independent young woman with a flair for the mechanical and is reluctantly persuaded by her cousin the very talented Makeshift Baron to take part in the American Dominion Sky and Steam Rally. As Eliza is an adventurous sort the idea of a race both on land and in the air somewhat appeals to her.

The Makeshift Baron asks his protege Matthew Pence to watch out for Eliza whilst they both tackle the journey. Matthew has known Eliza for several years but the child he remembers is no more. In her place is a young woman who both challenges and yet fascinates him at the same time. Both Eliza and Matthew take the race incredibly seriously as winning would be both a great coup and wonderful achievement for the victor. The perilous journey will pit them against each other but will also throw them both together.
Things are not as straightforward as they should be though as sabotage is suspected right from the off. The arduous journey is made more dangerous as incidents begin to escalate and unfortunately it's soon clear that someone is out to subvert the rally.
Matthew's fascination for Eliza deepens as they face explosive trials together and it's clear that the forward thinking Eliza is not immune to him. Eliza is attracted to Matthew but has a world of her own to conquer that might not include a man! What started out as a race to win quickly becomes a race just to survive.

This was undoubtedly fun to read and kept reminding me of those old films that showed silly races with flying machines! It was quite easy to picture the events as they unfold and was very easy to follow. It's a different style to the first book though - Gossamer Wing, as there is a lot less espionage present here. What the author has delivered is a tale of action, adventure with more than a dash of romance. Writing that takes the reader on a great adventure against an odious villain who deserves to be taken down.

Overall this book was full of intrigue and deception not to mention likeable lead characters. So rare to read about characters that truly work together without one trying to dominate the other. This was a delightful foray into the steampunk genre and I would happily read more from Ms. Dryden.