The Lamplighter’s Love by Delphine Dryden
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Length: Short Story (66 pages)
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Amaryllis
Mary has trained for years to become the next Lamplighter of London. When her chance comes, however, she realizes the massive difference engines of the Lampworkers’ guild would be a cold substitute indeed for the passion she’s begun to explore with the current Lamplighter, Nicholas.
Though fate, it seems, is determined to separate them. A rival threatens to upset all Mary’s hopes and dreams within the guild, and with her newfound love.
Through intrigue and deception, bitter contention and scorching erotic discovery, Mary and Nicholas find new ways to get what they need as they create a future in which their love light shines.
I admit I was not much of a steampunk fan.. until I read this novella. What first drew me into The Lamplighter’s Love was the atmosphere. Ms. Dryden creates a beautiful, sensual world in this story. Mary is a sympathetic and accessible character and the story stays deeply in her point-of-view. She’s dedicated, hard working and prepared to devote her life to the Lamplighter’s way. Yet she finds herself capable of deep feeling and then she realizes life is not as simple as she had hoped it would be. She has done the unthinkable. She has fallen in love with the Lamplighter, Nicholas, who she is replacing. It’s easy to see why she fell so hard. Through her eyes we come to know Nicholas as intelligent, masculine yet sensitive and unbelievably sexy. These are fully fleshed characters who are easy to get to know.
The sex is white hot, beautifully and graphically portrayed. The heat, urgency and passion are fantastic. Yet there’s an undeniable romantic mood to the love scenes as well. It’s the perfect blending of sexual and emotional. This is erotic romance at its best.
The Lamplighter’s Guild provides a worthy and hard to conquer external force that threatens to keep Mary and Nicholas apart forever. The plot held me right on the edge of my seat wondering how they would ever find a way to be together and they surely did belong together. Ms. Dryden solves their issues and wraps things up in a way that is believable and satisfying.
This was my first story from Ms. Dryden and I will be looking into her other works. It took me to another place and time and by the end, I didn’t want to leave. Yet Ms. Dryden did all of that in sixty-six short pages. Even if you aren’t a fan of steampunk, if you enjoy emotional, sexy, lush stories about sensitive and intelligent characters, don’t deny yourself the pleasure of experiencing this exceptional short story.