REVIEW by @GinnyLurcock: Under Her Brass Corset by Brenda Williamson – Release Date 2/27/12 (@brendawmson)

Since the loss of her father, Abigail Thatch’s life has been in turmoil. Her social status is in shambles, her finances depleted, and she’s on the verge of losing her beloved home. But everything changes when she meets the dashing flying machine captain Jasper Blackthorn. Not only does he introduce her to a world she thought only existed in myth and legend, he awakens sensual feelings deep within her…
Jasper may be immortal, but he hasn’t truly lived in years. Having secretly watched over Abigail as a favor to her notorious grandfather, he can’t resist arranging a “chance” meeting with the beauty. But he has an ulterior motive: to retrieve the mystical Crystal Compass hidden in her house before it falls into the wrong hands. He never imagines he’ll be tempted to love again…
When Abigail learns the truth, she and Jasper embark on a journey that will change both of their lives—and possibly the world…
This book actually helped me figure out a very important philosophical question I had been pondering.  Do I just automatically like anything steam punk simply for the fact that it is steam punk?  Well after reading this book I can successfully say that I do not.
I’m still having trouble actually rating the book, so let me type it out for you and see if that helps shake things loose.
Jasper Blackthorne is an immortal.  Ok, I’m cool with that.  He’s watched over Abigail Thatch her entire life as a favor to her grandfather, the famous pirate Blackbeard.  Again, that’s kind of awesome, an immortal guardian angel.  Oh, and he’s fallen in love with from afar and now she makes him get rigor mortis in his wee wee.
Wait, wut?
Abigail Thatcher is an improper Victorian lady who not only has a job, and a brain, but also a former fiancé who she seduced than found lacking in bed and controlling so she tossed aside.  Good for her!  She also has a tattoo.  Thus making her more unbelievable to me than the immortal former pirate.
They meet for the first time in her adult life shortly after the death of her father.  Of course she falls instantly into lust with him.  He walks her home, she wants to invite him in, and he wants her to invite him in.  They both get a case of the “it’s not proper”s and go their separate ways, thinking they’ll never see each other again.
So of course the next night on her walk home from work he’s waiting for her.
The book progresses quickly from there.  There’s a troll, a break in, a betrayal of trust, hunting someone down, being attacked by pirates, being attacked by an octopus, being attacked by pirates again, all while on a ship THAT CAN FLY.  It’s too much.  It feels jammed and crammed together and it feels rushed.  I really wish that the author could have stretched things out a bit more, perhaps explained things better or given the  characters time to grow together.
You know when they could’ve had this plot development?  DURING THE SEX SCENES THAT TOOK UP PROBABLY 40% OF THE DAMN BOOK.  Again, I don’t mind naughty scenes.  Heck sometimes I just read straight up erotica, but when the sex scenes manage to steal important time from the plot, I get a little cranky.
Plus there was the fact that leading up to the sex scene the characters were a little schizophrenic.  First they wanted each other, but wouldn’t act on it.  Then she kissed him and he pushed her away, then she got all timid when he wanted her to kiss him again.  Then he tried to seduce her and she stopped him.  Listen, that’s all well and good, but at a certain point you’re just throwing obstacles in the character’s way for the hell of it.
Not that they got any less confusing after the sex.  Did they want each other?  Did they trust each other?  They both seemed to shrug when the questions came up and went “Oh who cares, let’s just get horizontal!”
I’m not saying there was nothing good about the book, but all the best bits seemed to be truncated in favor of the back and forth and the… err.. in and out, if you know what I mean.
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but in the end it fell short.  It earned its 2 stars, but I feel like with a good editor (or a snarky bff) the author could’ve done so much more.
Oh, I should mention… a brass corset is not an effective means of stopping a bullet, and actually sounds like it would suck to sit down in.
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