When the proud fall, they land hard. Gladys DeWalt is a shining star who is rapidly falling out of the sky. She's a scientist whose mission failed and her punishment is to not only be demoted but re-assigned to a new mentor: Sebastian Cromwell. Sebastian taught Gladys at one point and his strict requirements and high expectations frightened Gladys. To be completely under his thumb again is more than she can bear.
Ms. Swann is a new to me author and she shows great potential. She creates an interesting steampunk world. She captures the Victorian society and mixes it just right with guilds and steam driven machinery. Hopefully there will be more in this world so she can expand upon the world she's built so far.
Her characters are well done. Gladys is easily understandable. She is flawed just right for this story to work. Sebastian is a perfect balance for her headstrong impulsive behaviour. Incorporating domestic discipline into this story enhances a reader's enjoyment. The attention to detail Ms. Swann uses in her descriptions of Sebastian's Library as well as the underworld to Nigel's secret laboratory is divine. She incorporates more than just sight. Her description of scent helps make these places vivid and come alive.
The undercurrent of erotica through the disciplining spankings is so delicious. Seeing Gladys being corrected is so good. She needs maintenance spankings and perhaps a good figging! Sebastian is a sexy stoic character. He is logical and exudes a dominant presence. Even his mechanical body parts is attractive.
The story does feel rushed to a conclusion. From the point of the villain's plot revealed to the resolution, it moves fast and concludes too quickly. A couple of the secondary characters seemed to be left hanging. They were mentioned in a way that made them important yet when it came to the resolution of the story, their contribution fizzled out. This yields a 3.5 star rating.
This steampunk romance is recommended for domestic discipline lovers.
*I received this book as a review copy in return for an honest review