Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new steampunk-style lesbian romance from Gail Carriager. ROMANCING THE INVENTOR features the lovestory of a woman I’d read about in her Finishing School books: Genevieve LeFoux. Genevieve’s all grown up, and the object of a parlourmaid’s curious eye.
Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires are keeping in the potting shed. Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French. With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?
This is a stand-alone LBGTQ sweet romance set in Gail Carriger’s Parasolverse, full of class prejudice, elusive equations, and paranormal creatures taking tea.
Delicate Sensibilities? This story contains women pleasing women and ladies who know what they want and pursue it, sometimes in exquisite detail.
Supernatural Society novellas can be read in any order.
This is a book set in the 1870s London in a fictional past that includes vampires and werewolves. Much of this world has been described in previous middle-grade/YA book series (Parasol Protectorate or Finishing School) though this is an adult book featuring adult characters–who’d been youths/younger in the previous books. I kinda think you’d enjoy this book better if you’ve read some of those, because the world is already built, and the paranormal elements not as thoroughly explained in this book, as a result.
Imogene Hale is a 28 year old beautiful woman in a village. She’s had many a suitor, but never accepted any man…because she’s attracted to women. When a vampire hive takes up residence at Woolsey Castle, Imogene seeks a job. She’s heard vampires are perverted, and she may be able to find satisfaction with the Countess, if she’s very lucky and doesn’t get drained first.
Unfortunately, the vampires are selective. They sense she’s an innocent, and want to “save” her for a special occasion. In the meantime, Imogene is a parlourmaid and begins to attend the needs of the Inventor, Madame LeFoux–otherwise known as Vieve, or Genevieve, from earlier books. Genevieve is a cross-dressing “tom,” a woman who likes women…and she very much likes Imogene. But Genevieve is still grieving her wife, and that’s damping Imogene’s prospects with the inventor.
There’s a lot of posturing, and scheming on the part of the vampire countess and the werewolves, who are close friends with Genevieve. It looks as if Imogene will become just another snack for the hive, but Genevieve is able to halt this pettiness, and make some small claim to regaining her heart and finding love.
This is a sweet, slow-burning romance. Imogene makes a good partner to Genevieve, having an affinity for mathematics that complements Genevieve’s ingenuity. There are many obstacles to overcome, but Imogene is a steadfast companion, and finally wins Genevieve to her side. There’s not a lot of steam, but the language is fun, and the situations engaging. The real focus here is on Imogene, and how this country lass makes a good life with Genevieve. There are many characters here that are part of the larger fictional world, and fans will be excited to see Genevieve get her happy ever after.
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