In a Steampunk World there's a Steampunk Europe, a Steampunk England and... the New World, who looks at Steampunk People with fear and suspicion.
There are Steampunk Zombies, too, because what a Post-Steampunk-Horde-World would it be if there weren't Steampunk Zombies?
People in the New World die of consuption, and women are compelled to marry if only seen being kissed by a man.
People in Steampunk Europe get easily healed by bugs running through their veins, and their sexual habits are more liberal (but helping a lady getting rid of her gloves can nonetheless cause flicker of lust here and there). Zombies are Steampunk People gone bad because of some experiment made by the Steampunk Horde in the Land Of Ago. You don't want to be bitten, or eaten, and you shoot at sight.
In Steampunk Europe there are: Incredible Steampunk Technology; a Terrifying Steampunk Kraken or two; Fabulous Steampunk Airships; and almost everyone is an Enhanced Steampunk Cyborg, stronger and quicker than the average human being.
There are also Steampunk Opium Guns, which sound like fun.
Steampunk gears and gadgets do not prevent people from being traitors, conspirators, thieves and assassins, and the characters find themselves heavily involved in all kind of intrigue.
And, there's always a Big Love Story. It doesn't hurt, does it, except it is always quite the same:
1) She's tiny, beautiful and smart - and has never had a man, but she has a Weakness:- She's sick and dying [The Blushing Bounder]
- She's a fugitive [Here there be Monsters]
- She's a pariah [The Iron Duke]
2) He's handosme, big, muscled, unreadable and has a reputation for being merciless. And he has The Power:
- He's a constable (he hasen't a reputation for being merciless, but his female thinks "he's horrid" - her words) [The Blushing Bounder]
- He's a respected and feared Captain [Here there be Monsters]
- He's the most honoured and untouchable man of all England, AND a brave and capable Captain. [The Iron Duke]
3) She fears and/or resents him, because:
- She was compelled to marry him after he compromised her [The Blushing Bounder]
- He is a pirate, and a merciless killer [Here there be Monsters]
- He kills people and rapes women without a second thought [The Iron Duke]
4) She is physically attracted to him, her body's reactions threaten to go out of control every so often BUT He doesn't take advantage of her, even though he'd have every right to since:
- She's his wife [The Blushing Bounder]
- She's offered to share his bed in exchange for free passage on his ship [Here there be Monsters]
- She's accepted to share his bed in exchange for help in finding her kidnapped little brother [The Iron Duke]
5) She doesn't give in to her desire because:
- She believes he has cheated her of her inheritance [The Blushing Bounder]
- She doesn't trust condoms and is afraid of getting pregnant [Here there be Monsters]
- She doesn't want to ruin his reputation in case of him being associated with her [The Iron Duke]
6) At last they end up happily-everafter because:
- She knows the truth (he did what he did because he was in love with her, he hasn't kept her money for himself) [The Blushing Bounder]
- She knows the truth (he only kills the Bad Guys) and she makes a scene for the world to see that she's not his lover but a sort of a slave - so as to save his Bad-Boy reputation [Here there be Monsters]
- She knows the truth (he only kills the Bad Guys and doesn't rape women) and public opinion is slowly changing so she's not seen as a pariah any more [The Iron Duke]
Question: three stories show three women terrified by the thought that the man they find themselves involved with is a brute, and all three are wrong because the man in question is invariably more gentleman than any man any woman In Real Life has ever met. With such a ratio (3 gentlemen out of 3 men), how can a woman in that world think a man is less than a gentleman? Where does she get the idea that men are brutes? Who Knows.
Meljean Brook might not have a particularly various imagination when it comes to love, but the Steampunk World she created is really cool, and the stories are well written and enjoyable. So, if you don't fear a bit of "mushiness" here and there, you can appreciate the setting and the intrigues.