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Review: Badlands by Seleste deLaney

Badlands by Seleste deLaney
Steampunk, Romance
Ebook $3.99 (CARINA PRESS)
Audiobook $15.71

After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation's border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.
Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen's assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever's reluctant ally.
As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands—if death doesn't find them first...

Author Site: www.selestedelaney.com

Romantic American Steampunk (4 stars)

Mash up great steampunk elements into Civil War Americana, make women as tough as nails and throw in a weak splash of adventure and you'll get Badlands. The blurb pretty much says everything that could be said to summarize this novella length story.

Ever is one really strong heroine and Spencer makes a terrific hero. Their attraction wasn't fully felt by me as a reader, there was a hurriedness to it that frustrated me. I think if given more time to develop it would have been much more enjoyable as I very much liked both characters. The sexual tension element was palpable and could have really come to a proper crescendo if it had been built up over several more chapters.

I loved the world deLaney presented in Badlands but it felt so very shadowed, not enough was given to really make a reader get the motivations of the characters. Even still I managed to enjoy what was there and would definitely read more of this particular flavor of steampunk. My biggest complaint overall is one I am finding myself giving frequently on novella length steampunk stories... not long enough! With great secondary characters and the appeal of post-Civil War America as a canvas I would recommend this one for fans of the genre looking for something a bit out-of-the-box.

Other Reviews:
Naughty Edition Reviews
Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
PonyTails Book Reviews
Bad Ass Books

Notes: Received Review Copy via NetGalley.

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