Series Review: Steam Guardians by Mary Wine

Series: Steam Guardians
Author: Mary Wine
# of Books: 2 (A Lady can Never be too Curious, A Captain and a Corset)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes — But I’m not sure if there will be a third
Genre: Steampunk, Romance, Science Fiction
Heat Rating: warmer than most
Point of View: Third Person


It’s no secret that I am a huge steampunk fan. I try to get my hands on as many books in the genre as possible so when my local library gets a new one in, it almost immediately gets on my to-read list.

A Lady Can Never be Too Curious (ALCNBTC) is admittedly a book I read mostly because of the cover. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I really do. The synopsis leaves something to be desired and I didn’t know what to expect from this book in any aspect. I actually think I decided to bypass this book when I first saw it but I eventually caved in.

In the end, I’m not sure how I feel about this book. While I didn’t find it a complete waste of my time, I feel like reading one of the 20 other books I seem to have out from the library (is it just me or does every book you put on hold ALWAYS come in at the same time?) might have been time better spent.

The book starts off slow but it does reach a climax–unfortunately its just a little too late for my personal tastes. I went in hoping it would be a more thrilling book but it wasn’t (when it easily could have been). Janette is nothing overly special and neither is Darius–they are your typical heroes who follow a typical historical romance plot (but in a steampunk setting). Though I will admit that I liked the sexual tension between them; but sexual tension isn’t enough to drive a book on its own and I wish the plot was stronger than it was.

I think why this book didn’t do much for me was that it reminded me of a tamed down version of Bec McMaster’s series, London Steampunk (which I use as the standard of all adult steampunk novels I read). It just doesn’t have that dark edge to it or the heat of romance I’ve come to expect from steampunk novels. As I was reading it I could tell I was reading a novel written by a historical romance writer and not someone who specializes in steampunk and I think that attributed to its lackluster reading for me.

But to be fair, the book does pick up and I like the direction it seems to be going in for the next book, A Captain and a Corset. I’m hoping that there will be a third book regarding a particular couple that is hinted in ALCNBTC because I would love to see what happens there but I’m not sure if that will happen or if it is talked about in book 2.


While I do plan on reading the sequel, it’s not at the top of my “must-read” list. Those who want a more mild steampunk novel (that is more like your typical historical romance novel but with a twist) will enjoy this novel. Otherwise, I would recommend that steampunk fans stay away.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster (London Steampunk #1)

Synopsis for A Lady Can Never be too Curious (from Goodreads):
Beneath the Surface of Victorian Life Lies a Very Different World…

Hated and feared by the upper classes, the Illuminists guard their secrets with their lives. Janette Aston’s insatiable quest for answers brings her to their locked golden doors, where she encounters the most formidable man she’s ever met.

Darius Lawley’s job is to eliminate would–be infiltrators, but even he may be no match for Janette’s cunning and charm…

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