Review: Geared For Pleasure by Rachel Grace

Wednesday, June 20

Title:  Geared for Pleasure*
Author: Rachel Grace
Series: Elemental Steam Romance #1
Genre: Steampunk Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Format: Print & E-book
Date/Year:  March 6, 2012
Reviewed by:  ELF

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

The world of Theorrey runs like a well-oiled machine. The elements are in balance, passion is tamed and the young queen is the heartbeat of it all. But in these two all-new stories of elemental steam, nothing is ever as it seems...

Earthly Desires

Demeter "Dare" Senedal is the Queen's Chalice-her protector and closest companion. So when the queen goes missing, Dare rushes to locate her, even though the search leads her straight into trouble.
A gentleman who trades in secrets and sin, Bodhan revels in carnal delights, but when a naked and bound woman appears on his shore, he finds his hunger to possess at odds with his need to protect. As Bodhan shares his knowledge of pleasure, Dare must decide if she can trust him, both with her mission and her heart.

Fiery Temptations

Seraphina always lands on her feet. After all, she is a Felidae-at times more feline than human-and an excellent thief. There has never been a job Phina wouldn't take or a man who could tame her...until she meets Cyrus Arendal.
 As the Queen's Sword, Cyrus should have known better than to fall victim to a beautiful bandit. Now, to find and retrieve the moonfire dagger, he'll need to convince Phina not to judge a man by his station, but rather by how completely he can satisfy her desires.

My Musings:

“Geared For Pleasure” by Rachel Grace (R.G. Alexander) is a delightful set of linked novellas.  “Earthly Desires” introduces Dare (Demeter) who is the Queen’s Chalice known as the Senedal.  She is a key member of the elite shield guard of the queen despite her shorter than normal stature and lack of personal ties to anyone other than her queen and her counterpart, Cyrus, the Queen’s Sword known as the Arendal.  An assignment from her monarch causes her to embark on a fantastical adventure that will utilize her hidden ability to sense the true emotions of those around her while introducing her to an amazing array of individuals.  Bodhan is not quite sure what to make of the feisty female whose indigo eyes and hair proclaims her as one of the elite and despised Wode but whose stature reflects her half-breed status.  His ship, the Siren, is a unique brothel that is able to travel under the water and is populated with intriguing females who provide pleasure for the right price but Dare doesn’t want to join their ranks.  A remarkable Felid named Seraphina becomes a questionable ally as Dare tries to cope with her intense and unexpected attraction to the charismatic Bodhan even as she strives to complete her mission to find the ship Defiant and complete the mission for her queen. 

The fascinating saga continues with the novella “Fiery Temptations” and highlights Seraphina, plus Dare’s missing counterpart, Cyrus, as well as the mysterious Captain Nerida Amaranthe and a remarkable airship.  There are more magical mechanical marvels revealed as a mysterious individual named Khepri continues to guide the disparate individuals who have a common goal of aiding Queen Idony.  Seraphina and Cyrus have a tortuous past which includes a searingly carnal relationship which ended badly but must find a way to work together to fulfill their respective commissions.  Their passion for their quests is more than equaled by their passion for each other but circumstances may prevent them from ever reaching a comfortable relationship. 

This was a wonderfully entertaining read combining the magical marvels of steampunk with the author’s facility for penning wonderfully sensual scenes.  The heat is a little milder than readers are used to with this author but this is more than compensated for by the sweeps of imagination that are displayed in this intriguing tale.  The scenes are described vividly with such great imagery that one can visualize this intriguing world of gears and magic.  The tension between the primary couples in each novella is a believable counterpoint to the overall quest  and a nice blend of romance and sensuality.  The villains are a bit two-dimensional but that is probably because they are still primarily shadowy figures at this point.  A great start to the series, can’t wait for the sequel.


Overall: 4.5 stars
Sensuality level: 4.0
  (Mild menage scene, f/f)
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