Have you ever been on fanfiction.net or a similar site, read one of those stories about a Beautiful Heroine With A Tragic Past (TM) and no money who meets a Ruggedly Handsome Rich Guy (TM), falls in love with him, then discovers that she is in fact a Special Snowflake With Awesome Powers (TM) and somewhere on they way she gets lots of pretty dresses and they have Absolutely Faboulus First Time Sex With Hillarious Euphemisms For Penis and Vagina In The Description Of It (TM)? Have you read one of those stories and thought 'I wish there would be one with better spelling, slightly fewer plot-holes and only three pages of dress-descriptions instead of six?'I have fabulous news for you: Such a book exists!
I almost don't know what else to say about Steam & Sorcery because that is basically it. I admit it started out quite enchanting. Of course it was obvious from the beginning that Merrick and Caro would end up together and I didn't mind that, I also wouldn't have minded if the book had been simply heavy on the romance but after a quite promising beginning in which some interesting elements were introduced (A WEREWOLF CONSTABLE! WHY DOESN'T HE HAVE HIS OWN SERIES??? freaking mechanical dogs and Merricks rather awesome aunt) the romance takes over completely and everything else gets shoved in the background: the children Merrick adopts barely get any personalty: Tommy is the oldest, Wink the one who builds the mechanical pets and also seems to make eyes at every handsome guy who appears (at least that is what Caro believes everytime Wink just looks at them/asks about them...always with an explanation why it's impossible) and I genuinly can't name the other three even though I only just finished the book and I only remember that one girl can talk to ghosts and one boy has prophetic dreams - with that each could be the main character of their own novel but it's barely gone into...It's also painfully obvious who the bad guy is (OK, I called one more or less the moment he appeared, I did not call the other but only because I had almost forgotten his existence between all the sex and drama) and after half the book it also doesn't really seem as if they still bother investigating, they only react if they're attacked but spent their free time swooning and angsting over each other. I just wanted to yell at them 'HELLO VAMPYRES TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!! Could you be bothered to think with your brain for a few hours and not with various other parts?' (Of course it's vampYres and magicK...because you simply get instant-awesome if you throw in a few Ks and Ys...didn't you know?).
Even if the book hadn't tried to pretend to be something else than a straight-up romance, the romance in the book was also somewhat lacking. Granted, there were a few cute scenes but most did boil down to 'Gawd (s)he's so HAWT' and Caro angsting about the fact that she's a bastard and he's a nobleman and now matter how much he's throwing himself at her feet and swearing undying love he would never really marry her. If done well I don't mind if the main character of a book worries about something that is completely obvious to the reader and I admit that Caro would probably doubt his sincerity especially considering her background but it wasn't done well. It came of as whining when there was never a serious doubt about the book having a HEA.So overall: not impressed. But hey: it had a werewolf constable!