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The Lamplighter's Love

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  45 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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' ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Ellora's Cave
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Jun 22, 2013 Cornelia rated it it was amazing
Nicholas, the lamplighter, operates a machine which controls the lights of London: drawbridges,lamplights, stoplights, factory whistles, the synchronized chiming of the clock towers, and al the other systems which keep the city going. As his apprentice of several years, Mary formed a friendship with Nicholas. He is now retiring, and as a master lamplighter herself, Mary has a chance to be the next Lamplighter.

Nicholas decides to teach Mary much more than that job. He introduces her to the pleas
Jenny Schwartz
Oct 08, 2012 Jenny Schwartz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, steampunk
Loved the style. An imaginative, original steampunk world that left me wanting MORE but not dissatisfied. I enjoyed the whole underground setting and the tentacles reaching out (this is my highly metaphorical description so that I don't inadvertently drop spoilers) to everywhere else.

Nicely played out complications of politics and personal relationships. I love that element of steampunk - the punk bit that acknowledges the role of power in society, and confounding it.

And wow, was the story sexy!
Heather C
I really enjoyed this little erotic steampunk story that surprisingly had an interesting plot!

Sweet and sexy and free!!

Would love to read more set in this world.
N.O.A. Rawle
Feb 23, 2015 N.O.A. Rawle rated it liked it
I got this for a little light reading - pun intended - and that it was. Easy to get through in a weekend with just enough romance (my secret sin in the reading department) to jolly the reader along and all the suitable pitfalls a heroine has to fall into before finding happiness with the sturdy man in the end. That's perhaps where this fell down (spoiler ahead) because Mary gives up all her hopes and dreams just for the pretty dresses and the nice house that Nicholas promises her. It has to be s ...more
There was just enough world-building to be interesting but not nearly enough character-building, because I was left uncomfortable with the ending and unconvinced that it'd be a happy ending.
Ruthie Knox
Sep 28, 2011 Ruthie Knox rated it really liked it
This steampunk novella is a tasty little morsel of pseudo-historical sci-fi erotic-romance goodness. The hero, Nicholas, is the Lamplighter. He lives underground and spends nearly every waking moment controlling the contraptions that keep London moving and producing–everything from train whistles to traffic signals to shipping lanes to the lamps. He’s almost solely responsible for keeping the city’s lights on, but he lives in the dark, having given up all semblance of a normal life for his work. ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:


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 capabl
3 stars.

Imaginative and yet familiar. Interesting premise. Very good world building in the short story; maybe needed a bit more romance?

The lead characters had depth and some dimension, but the secondaries (including the villain) were merely sketchy (pun intended).

Edited to add:
Upon consideration, I know what bothered me. Obviously, the ages at which their relationship began, and the disparity. But more importantly, it's an anti-feminist fantasy wherein the woman who has worked for a decade in h
Dec 15, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

The world building was really interesting, but I had problems with the characters.

The hero wasn't really developed enough for me to get a good handle on his character (granted, it's only a 60 page story, so there's not much room for character development). Add to that the self-martyr tendencies of the heroine -- not everyone has a problem with that theme, but it bugs me just as much in novels as it does in real life, and it's hard to enjoy a story when you want to smack the heroine upsi
Anne Dirty Girls' Good Books
I enjoyed this story but didn't like the ending. The world building was interesting and I'd love to read more in the world. About that ending, though... it felt a bit out of character for Mary. (view spoiler) Maybe if this had been hinted at earlier in the story it wouldn't have surprised me. As it is I found myself wishing for a different ending to ...more
Dee Carney
Great world building. Innovative concept!
Sweet, different, and a little bit steamy. The steampunk elements seemed a bit heavy-handed at times, but that may have just been my personal taste. On the whole, I'd recommend this one.
Tory Michaels
Jul 21, 2012 Tory Michaels rated it really liked it
3.5 really.
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After earning two graduate degrees, practicing law awhile, and then working for the public school system for over ten years, I finally got a clue. I tossed all that aside and started doing what I should have been doing all along, writing novels! In hindsight I could see the decision was a no-brainer.

I’m fortunate to have two wonderful, absurdly precocious children and two delightful if occasionall
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“You see,” he explained patiently after they both recovered their wits, “I’m quite fatally in love with you. And it has recently come to my attention that after the New Year, I’ll be in need of a countess.” 0 likes
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