Expected Release Date: August 19, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Carina Press
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1,
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Chaste
Pet Peeves: No sex!
Favorite Tropes: Forbidden Romance, Aliens

Official Blurb:

Liverpool, 1891

Decorated artilleryman Edgar Mason was forced to find new work when the British Empire replaced its foot soldiers with monstrous machines. Now he waits on the Liverpool elite as a personal servant. He has just one rule: he won’t work for fashion-addled dandies.

Agamemnon Frost, however, is far from the foppish man-about-town he appears to be. He’s working to protect the Earth from an alien invasion being planned by a face-changing creature known as Pandarus. And on the night he plans to confront the aliens, he enlists Mason to assist him.

For a man to love a man is a serious crime in Victorian England. But when Mason meets Frost, his heart thunders and his blood catches fire. And when Pandarus drags the two men into the torture cellars beneath his house of death to brainwash them, Mason’s new passion may be all that stands between him and insanity.

The trilogy continues with Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships.

What Worked For Me:

  • Frost is delicious, and even though he’s a bit devious and underhanded, I think that adds a lovely sort of Bad Boy vibe to him, even when he behaves as the Proper English Gentleman.
  • The sexual tension was scrumptious. Mmmph.
  • I also really enjoyed Mason’s character. Sort of unwillingly dragged into this Martian drama when he was just looking for a job, and adding the almost insultingly instant attraction he had to a man he really shouldn’t trust, he was really the character that captured my heart.
  • I also really enjoyed the world-building. The concept was not something that I’ve come across before in reading Historicals, even those with a sci-fi/paranormal twist, and I admit I found myself almost reluctantly fascinated.
  • This novella was weird. But it was a good weird. The sort of weird that you find yourself re-reading, and then anxiously awaiting the next installment of, because it’s refreshing.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • Wahhh there’s no sex! *pouts* Okay, okay, given the short amount of time that actually passes in the book, not to mention certain…ah… adjustments… that have to be made towards the end, this wasn’t a huge point for me. Still, I’m dying for all of that delicious Unresolved Sexual Tension to get some resolution!

This was one of the more interesting novellas that I’ve read in a long time. Not only do we have very little “romance”, despite the copious amounts of delicious sexual tension, but we have some Very Bad Things happen that in no way get resolved by the end of the story.

Luckily, it’s clear from the beginning that there will be more installments to the series, and the fresh sci-fi take on Victorian London keeps things quite interesting.

On its own, this novella was a bit frustrating, both from the lack of consummation between Mason and Frost, and the almost cliff-hanger ending.  As the start of a new series, however, the story rates quite a bit higher, as I know that if future installments are as fascinating as this one, it’s going to be a great series.


4/5 Stars