“Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance” Book Review
Steamlust is a erotic romance steampunk anthology published by Cleis Press and edited by Kristina Wright. The book is formatted like all Cleis Press erotic anthologies, and it includes stories from many different writers. The book has 14 stories on 225 pages.
The theme for this book is steampunk erotic romance. I honestly can’t define steampunk myself nor do I find myself too fond of it (in most cases), but this book focuses on steampunk and erotic romance. The romances in this book are almost always been a male and female, but there are a couple different threesome-couplings thrown into the mix. The majority is of the male/female variety, though, and I can’t say that I minded.
You know what I found interesting about this book? You read my review of Carnal Machines and know how much I love it, right? Well, this book is not at all the same. I was really expecting the book to be at least similar to what I remember loving from Carnal Machines. It really isn’t. As these two books (Carnal Machines and Steamlust) are really the only two erotic Steampunk anthologies, I was expecting them to be relatively the same.
They aren’t, really – at all. In fact, they’re really different. Steamlust mostly focuses on the steampunk theme of it all; the clothing is steampunk, it’s set back in the steampunk timeframe, and mannerisms were different. That’s about where the focus lies with that. However, Carnal Machines took all of that and added sexual machines. Carnal Machines focused on steampunk sex machines; Steamlust mostly focuses just on the character relations (who build machines that are usually not of the sexual variety) that tends to happen in the steampunk era. Does that make sense?
I must admit that I was really impressed by how Kristina Wright chose to end this book. Normally, with erotic anthologies, I usually don’t have an opinion as to which story comes first, second, third, etc. However, with her book, I feel like the ending story, “Rescue my Heart” by Anya Richards, really was a perfect choice. It’s a fantastic story about a ruling female who is on a quest to free a slave from another ruling male to give to her own partner. The slave is being held in a sex city, and it’s just a really interesting story with an adorable and heartwarming ending that leaves the book on a fantastic note.
As always, all of the writing in this anthology is great. There were a couple stories that I wasn’t fond of, but a lot of the stories were really good. I found myself more attached to the relationship between the main character rather than the sexual aspect though; the relationships and romance of the characters seemed to be the focus (as the title would imply), and that’s where I found myself usually drawn into the story. Each story is longe than your average anthology story as well, so you really get the time to get to know the characters and fall in love with their plot.
Overall, I really like Steamlust. I love the plot that it portrays, and I love the focus on the relationships between the characters. The stories really draw me in really well. I wouldn’t say that this is the most erotic collection of stories that I’ve read, but it certainly is a joy to read, and it’s well-written and contains a great variety of stories. Thanks to Cleis Press for sending me the Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance book.