Simply put, I don’t really understand steampunk, or at least I did not really understand the appeal until most recently. Before I decided to look into this sub-genre I was skeptical and initially found it to be a tad puzzling. Why would anyone find this interesting at all? Mix science with Victorian society and I am at a loss. Give me vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, who have lived in different centuries, time traveling griffins with bunnies as best friends, etc and I can immediately get into the story but science and romance, please. I guess I can understand why it works: a society that has an extremely conservative view on class, race, gender roles and mix it with huge advancements on technology that have an immediate effects on the society and you have a recipe for either a real revolution or a major disaster. Steamlust: Steam punk Erotic Romance effectively deals with many of these issues and more and still tells stories of passionate and brilliant women and men who struggle to live their everyday lives while the world around them is in a constant state of change.

All of the stories in the anthology are very well-written. While one story did not stand out for me as the best, (which is not a bad thing at all), my favorites were the stories that deftly described how the mechanical aspects of these stories are integral to the heart and function of a character. These are not just fun sex toys for a nice evening alone with your partner but on occasion substitute as metal prosthesis for working parts. They work so well that they may be better than what they were replaced with. They weave the science and romance into such a wonderful tapestry that you have to wonder why this has not been brought to the mainstream a lot sooner.

One of the few negatives that I have about this book is the fact that there was not a lot of distinctive variation within the stories. Several of the stories seemed similar to one another the some of the sex scenes were repetitive even though this is an anthology with each story written by a different author. Another small complaint is that this is a very heterosexual centered erotic novel, which, to be honest, was a little disappointing. I usually expect with an anthology that many different expressions of sexuality to be represented; hopefully, with the next installment there will be. Overall though I think the editor did an excellent job bringing together this wonderful collection of erotic tales. One does not need to be a fan of steam punk in order to understand or enjoy this delightful book. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

Book Blurb for Steamlust

Steamlust is romantic erotica that reflects the excitement, fantasy and rebellion of steampunk. Not sure what steampunk is? Think Victorian elegance and aesthetics meets futuristic invention and exploration. The genre of steampunk itself has transcended the Victorian (or Edwardian) eras — in Kristina Wright's inventive anthology, it can be any time period, real or imagined, that blends elements of science, history, fantasy and technology. Until Steamlust, the genre had been missing romantic relationships and erotic encounters. Steampunk erotic romance is shiny brass and crushed velvet; mechanical inventions and romantic conventions; sexual fantasy and kinky fetish. It's steam powered sexy romance!

Editrix extraordinaire Kristina Wright creates a lush and fantastical world of women-centered stories and romantic scenarios, first for steampunk fiction. Fetishizing the wardrobe, language, fantasy and rituals of steampunk, Steamlust includes alternate histories, second worlds, time travel and contemporary settings.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2012 4.50