cover image Scarlet Devices

Scarlet Devices

Delphine Dryden. Berkley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-26578-9

Second in Dryden’s alternate history Steam & Seduction series (following Gossamer Wing), this delightful romp sees a mechanically-minded young woman participating in a hazardous cross-country race from New York to San Francisco, where she must team up with a childhood friend if she wants to win—or even survive. Eliza Hardison is determined to win the Sky and Steam Rally, even if it means putting up with Matthew Pence’s well-meaning but aggravating attentions. Frequent threats along the way, including sabotage, booby traps, and sky pirates, distract from their mutual attraction. But once they reach the aerial portion of their journey, they discover the true scope of the forces arrayed against them, and learn why so few travelers ever make it past the Sierra Nevada mountains. Possibly a callback to The Great Race, this romantic adventure shines, thanks to memorable characters, nifty steampunk technology, and undeniable chemistry between the leads. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Sanford J. Greenberger Associates. (Feb.)