Soulless: Book One of The Parasol Protectorate Series

I hope you're all having a Spooktacular Valentines! This year we had kind of a wonky calendar, what with Lent starting exactly one day before Valentines. So if you're Catholic, like me, and gave up sweets for Lent, like me, I hope you're still able to go about enjoying Valentines day. (My advice - don't be weak! Yes, that temptation makes it very, very, very hard, but that's exactly what it's all about. Don't try to squirrel out of it.)
Mardi Gras was a very quiet, rainy affair for us. It's only natural that I camped out all week in my bed, reading and gorging myself on candy (while I still could). And the book I picked to read? Perfect for Valentine's Day. I couldn't have planned it better if I tried, and honestly I didn't.
Now, to know me is to know that I like to celebrate Valentine's Day with Buffy marathons and red velvet cake (if possible), and that "bad" Steampunk Sci-Fi is a special guilty pleasure of mine. Soulless isn't quiet Buffy, but it's in the same vein, and if the book reviews on GoodReads are to be trusted, this book is indeed bad.

Wise words of wisdom.
But since this sort of thing is my Honey Boo-Boo Child, I really enjoyed this book. A lot. I mean, since I'm a paranormal romance/steampunk loving fool, and all. And really, I wasn't too far off the mark before when I mentioned Buffy. Soulless is about a half Italian, smart-ass spinster named Alexia who lives in an alternate-past London. In this version of London, werewolves and vampires live-in with the rest of society. It's all very proper and dignified. And while werewolves and vampires are still considered dangerous, they are accepted and normal. What isn't considered normal, however, is to be preternatural like Alexia. In other words, she has no soul. In other words, she is neither human, nor supernatural, and can't be turned as you would have to have a soul first.
That's pretty cool. But most importantly, she's entertaining as hell. We here at Feast of Poetry love a strong female lead. We also do not believe that that necessarily has to take away from the fact that any romance intended for this strong, independent lady has to be dry and lacking of luster. Because there is a certain Scottish alpha werewolf (Cliche? Perhaps. Do we mind? Not really.) who has set his cap towards our little Alexia. And while the resulting trysts are only PG-13, if even that, they certainly still had me, as the expression goes, "clutching at my pearls."
I really liked the tone of this book. I loved the idea for an a-typical paranormal romance that's refreshed a little bit by adding steampunk elements, Victorian manners, and sassy mouthed heroines. It's not perfect, but it's a fun, light-hearted way to spend a rainy pre-Valentine's week.

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