Badlands - Seleste deLaney Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews

Steampunk for me is one of those genres, very much like Science Fiction, that I can take or leave. I usually end up reading the genre only if a specific book or series has been recommended to me a billion times that I make an exception. And only if there is some Romance up in there. I have little to no experience with the genre, so I didn’t know what to really expect when I picked up Badlands. Sooo, I might have had to look up a few words in the dictionary like dirigible and tintype /coughcough/ but the setting wasn’t intimidating for me at all. I felt immediately scooped up and placed in to the Badlands along with our heroine Ever.

Badlands starts out action-packed right from the get-go and flowed really fast and smoothly with no data dumping. Longer than a novella, but shorter than a novel, the length was perfect for the story told. And the heroine is sheer solid kickass. Ever is a gritty, bold, (kinda scary) firecracker not afraid to throw down in a bar fight completely outnumbered by men, or take down an enemy dirigible with limited ammo. She has devoted her life to the Queen of Badlands and, in turn, her country. She is not a big talker, she prefers action. Her life gets totally tossed upside down when she meets Captain Spencer Pierce as he pulls her aboard the Dark Hawk… and then laughs in his face! My kinda girl.

Spencer Pierce is our noble hero, honorable, strong, calm, intelligent, but not at all alpha. I’m not sure he would necessarily appeal to me in another story, but he was perfect for Ever. Ever was so overtly dominating that she needed someone to balance and compliment her force. They are immediately drawn to one another, like magnets. Respectfully, he stood back and watched her do her own thing, only supporting her when she absolutely needed it. He admired her, and cherished her from the start, letting her come to him so as not to spook her like a wild animal. The tension between the two built very nicely and felt authentic.

Ms deLaney took some risks with Ever and Badlands, and it paid off. Badlands is a very different kind of love story I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot wait to read more stories from in or around the land called Badlands.