I hadn't read the first book in the series (Infernal Devices) which details how Wallace (Horace's brother) and Permilia (dear lord where do these names come from?) met and found happiness together. In some ways I think that was a handicap as Barnette takes precious little time to discuss the club, The Two Aces, or very much about the male lead Horace. Instead she focuses more on who Tallulah (yes that's her name) is and who she hopes to be now that her husband James is dead.
I have read Barnette before though, her Naughtily Ever After duo (Glass Slipper and Giant) were fun romps with the trappings of fairy tale re-telling to give it a little bit of extra whimsy. In that respect Bound in Brass doesn't let down one bit; I thought the chemistry between both Tallulah and Horace was a good centerpiece to the story. I was initially turned off by the hot/cold switch that Horace flipped so easily, but some perspective is put on that later on.
Tallulah is an interesting character. Her moments of despair and vulnerability were almost out of place next to the vibrant, sexy woman that spent so much time tied up by Horace. Even while I wanted to know more about her history with her husband, I wanted her to open up to Horace sooner. ..to push him a bit further to reveal himself. They were both cautious people; this is despite Horace practically saying from the first page that Tallulah was perfect for him in every way.
The added 'steampunk' elements were intriguing and added a bit of flavor to the story. It definitely hoped it would give the story a little something different and add some steaminess (excuse the pun) to their encounters.the lightning rod for instance? Oh man. This book definitely put the steam in steampunk.
Still once everything was said and done, I felt like Barnette relied a bit too heavily for characterizations for Horace or the other background characters on the reader having read the first book. An enjoyable escape none the less!
CATEGORY: Historical Erotic Romance, Rubenesque, Steam Punk.
ELEMENTS: Adult Situations, Graphic Language, Strong Sexual Content Including Anal and Oral Play, Use of Restraints and Other Toys.
HEAT LEVEL: Fire Opal
The Two Aces. Victorian London’s most salacious secret, the club is a place where erotic fantasies are played out among clockwork automatons and aether powered machines. Where nothing is off limits and the pleasures are as wicked as the imagination will allow…
Tallulah Applewhite is an American widow abroad, finding all the pleasures Europe has to offer. She gets more than she bargained for when she ventures into the The Two Aces and meets the man known as the Ace of Hearts. Their sexual encounters push her to the very limits of desire, and together they find just what her unhappy marriage was missing.
Horace Sterling has never wanted anything that he couldn’t have, but he’s surprised at how much he wants this fresh Georgia Peach. Uninhibited and alluring, she enflames his passion like no other. The only thing more scandalous than taking up with a widow who should be in mourning would be taking up with a married woman—and both he and Tallulah are in for the shock of their lives…