Title: Boots for the Gentleman (Steamcraft and Sorcery #2)
Authors: Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont
Cover artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner press
Amazon: Buy Link Boots for the Gentleman
Genre: Steampunk/M/M/M Romance
Length: Novel (320 pages)
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: Steampunk romance with an interesting plot which is set in a well-drawn world, but I had some issues with the characters — and who names their child Querrilous?
Steamcraft and Sorcery Book One
Hired by a mysterious faerie gentleman to steal seemingly worthless artifacts, Querrilous Knotte is seen as a traitor by the humans of Halcyon. But as long as he’s getting paid, Querry doesn’t mind. When his client makes a cryptic comment about a certain house, Querry contacts his old flame Reg—a former street rat who now works in the Royal Archives—to learn if the property contains anything of value.
Though Reg has no answers for him, Querry learns there is indeed something precious in the house, something Reg is convinced will bring nothing but trouble. The armed guards that attack the thief prove Reg’s prediction true, and he can’t leave Querry to face it all alone. Not when Reg’s feelings for the man may not be as extinct as he’d thought.
The trouble is, Querry’s heart doesn’t just belong to Reg anymore, and surprisingly, Reg’s heart no longer belongs only to Querry. In the end, it may not even matter, because if Querry, Reg, and their hearts’ desire can’t stop Lord Thimbleroy from draining Halcyon’s magic, they won’t live long enough to regret their unresolved romance.
Recently one of the commenters on this site left a half-joking comment on one of my reviews where he lamented about the unfortunate pattern of some writers to name their characters with unusual names to make the character more distinctive. The name he took an issue with was Trynt. The main character in this story is named Querrillous Knotte. Try to say it out loud and then faster? Yeah, I know. Luckily the character himself recognises that his full name is a mouthful, so he and people around him mostly call him Querry. I am afraid I was not impressed with shortened name either. And please do not tell me that since this is steampunk you have to come up with the most unusual name either. I guess I should stop talking about his name, but not before I tell you that another important character in this book is called Frolic… I unfortunately renamed him Colic in my head.
I really enjoyed the setting and the world the action in which is taking place. We know that it is happening in the 19th Century (there is a definite year in the book from which you can more or less calculate at least the century). We have the most fascinating machinery present in the story and wizards, faeries — a delightful mishmash of things which is the trademark of steampunk, if I understand it correctly (I have read several steampunk books, but I still would not consider myself an expert on it).
I also really enjoyed the plot of the book; it is as much an action/adventure as it is a romance. The action/adventure part stems from Querry being a thief and I really want you to be surprised about the plot, so I will not to give out much about it.
Be warned: the romance here is a very real threesome, which was I thought pretty well done. The characters are given time and place to realize that all three of them are attracted to one another. Having said that, I wished for more character development for all three of these men outside of the “falling in love” part (or “reconnecting” for two of them) of this book. My only problem with the romance was Frolic; I just could not suspend my disbelief as to how he came to be and his absolute perfection annoyed me.
This is book one of a new series, so I am hoping for more character development in the second installment. The writing is engaging for the most part, and I could see the places in my head, but just a tad too flowery in places for my taste.