Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious (Steam Guardians, #1)” as Want to Read:
A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious (Steam Guardians, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious (Steam Guardians #1)

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Beneath the Surface of Victorian Life Lies a Very Different World…

Hated and feared by the upper classes, the Illuminists guard their secrets with their lives. Janette Aston’s insatiable quest for answers brings her to their locked golden doors, where she encounters the most formidable man she’s ever met.

Darius Lawley’s job is to eliminate would–be infiltrators, but even he
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published August 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,051)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Blodeuedd Finland
Lingering between a 2 and a's more 2,5

This was a bit of early steampunk. Dealing with crystals and a secret society that most look down upon. So they are not secret in that sense but they do not let people in.

The heroine Jeanette wants more from life, society is strict. She wants to try and wear pants, study and just be free. The Illuminsts are everything she should not want to be. She was a free spirit and I liked her courage.

Darius is a guardian and looks after his fellow Illuminists. I
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So, I'm 53% in, and after much flipping and trying to like it, I can't. This is straight up - a romance novel. With all the insta-love and insta-lust, his and hers POV describing the other's looks and their lust. Bleh! They're a jerk but you just feel "deep in your passage" they're special/kind/etc. He keeps "warning" her about him and she gets all saucy. That wouldn't be so trite if it hadn't happened in nearly all of their encounters. The "steampunk" bits are passe, seems like the author took ...more
Janette Aston is fascinated with science. She is always reading up on the latest scienific experiment. The most recent discovery that has Janette's attention is electricity. This is not something that a proper lady should be spending her time on. If Janette was not a woman, she would be an Illuminist. The Illuminists are a secret group of men, who are into science. Janette crashes one of the meetings. It is there that she meets Darius Lawley.

Darius has an agenda. To keep an eye on Janette. Alth
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at: http://www.longandshortreviews.blogsp...

Lady Janette Aston loves science and has a fascination with the Illuminists. It’s forbidden by her father but she refuses to be cowed by him. She sneakily reads their magazine, hiding it in her bedroom. But when she dresses in pants and visits their building, she’s gone a bit too far…

The Illuminists use the power of crystals to make energy that powers lights and doors and heats water. She is totally fascinated by how it works and what
For this review and more visit my <"

*I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review*

I have been looking for a good adult steampunk romance ever since I read The Iron Duke earlier this year, and for the most part A Lady can Never Be too Curious fit the bill.

I really liked Janette. She was not meek or silly; she was a fighter and saw no reason why she could not be an intellectually equal to a man. She was not easily frightened and
Chrystina Williams
I really liked this book! It had really likable characters, awesome world building, and the romance between the main characters was hot! Even the supporting characters were interesting and well-developed. I read it straight through and loved every minute of it.

Janette has spent her whole life trying to be the good little girl her father wants her to be, well at least she let's him think she is. She's been secretly reading scientific articles and has been tutored behind his back *gasp*! A love o
I honestly loved this book and cannot wait for the next installment in the series. A wee bit long on character development but you really do need this in order to get the just about what the series will pertain to. It took me twenty four hours to go from beginning to end as this is a page turner.

Janette Aston has been brought up as a Lady with the prospect of marrying up into the right type of class. Inquisitive beyond the bounds of proprietary, oh heck beyond the bounds of even the most normal
Originally published at Reading Reality

This story had potential. It really, really did. But it never quite lived up to its title.

What we have is the rather ordinary story of a Victorian young lady who chafes at the restrictions laid upon her by society’s expectations and her ridiculously authoritarian father. I say ridiculous because he expects her to be the obedient fluffhead that society demands while he never noticed that her mother snuck tutors in behind his back and gave her a real educatio
From my reading list in January it would almost seems that steampunk is the new black this year. But as black has many nuance, so has the genre. This story is driven more by fantasy than science, but it's not its main problem. The book was pleasantly bland, but with books as with the sex they often show off, pleasant is not always a compliment.

It is full of cliched characters and details, plus an ungodly interest in 'anatomy' in the steamier stuff, and I am not talking of engines, unfortunately.
I have to say, my overall reaction to A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious is fairly neutral. I read the book, I liked the book, but it’s not a book I would necessarily recommend. There are some definitely strong aspects but, overall, it’s not the greatest steampunk romance and there are definitely other books that I would recommend to friends before this one.

That being said, there are some good things in A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the worldbuilding.
Demi Zade
This book was fun, and had some hot romance, but was far from brilliant. I enjoyed the author's idealized gender politics embodied in the secret society's policies, but the plot wandered from predictable to potholed, the science/magic hasn't got much of a system to it, and the author makes a grievous error in giving a date around 1840 (or a bit earlier?) when what's described is clearly a fantastical, unresearched version of the 1870s or 1880s. In a genre where clothing, and the removal of cloth ...more
SERIESous Book Reviews
May 08, 2014 SERIESous Book Reviews rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical romance fans wanting a taste of steampunk
A Lady Can Never be Too Curious (ALCNBTC) is admittedly a book I read mostly because of the cover. I don't know why I like it so much, but I really do. The synopsis leaves something to be desired and I didn't know what to expect from this book in any aspect. I actually think I decided to bypass this book when I first saw it but I eventually caved in.

In the end, I'm not sure how I feel about this book. While I didn't find it a complete waste of my time, I feel like reading one of the 20 other boo
Melody May
First appear on

Well, today I finished A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious by Mary Wine. Here's what the book is about:

You meet Miss Jannette Aston who is fascinated by all things Illuminist. However, she was raised with a father who can't stand anything that pertains to the Illuminist.

While hanging out with her friend Sophia Stevenson, she decides to head over to the Illuminist place to see if she could get in. Jannette manages to get into the building and learns she
All Things Urban Fantasy
After struggling with The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series all week, I am coming to the realization that I like steampunk more as a flavor added to other story lines than as a genre all on its lonesome. Gail Carringer’s gorgeous Parasol Protectorate series mixes steampunk with fantasy and regency romance, Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series is almost indefinable with the gritty mix of apocalypse, technology, and history, and my expectations were high as A LADY CAN NEVER BE TOO CURIOUS starte ...more
May Mostly Romance
ชอบปกเรืองนีนะคะ และนีคงเปนขอดีอยางเดียวทีเราเขียนถึงเลมนีได เพราะมันเตมไปดวยความผิดหวัง

เราคาดหวังวาจะไดอานเรืองแนวสตีมพังค ไมไดถึงกับคิดวา จะดีเลิศเหมือนงานเขียนของเมลจีน บรูค แตสิงทีไดกลับเปนเรืองแนวยอนยุควิคทอเรียนทัวไป ทีคนแตงเอาอุปกรณ กับศัพทแปลก ๆ เสริมเขาไปในเรือง นอกเหนือจากนันกพลอตเรืองเดิม ๆ ตัวละครเดิม ๆ ไมมีอะไรนาจดจำ

เจเนตต แอชตันตองการเรียนรูเกียวกับสมาคมลับ แตเพราะเธอเปนหญิงสาวทีควรจะตองอยูในกรอบขนบประเพณี นันเปนสิงทีเปนไปไมได กระนันเธอกยังลับลอบเขาไปในสมาคมแหงนัน กอนทีจะถูกพบ และ
3.75. I really enjoyed the underlying story of the battle for the crystal energy source and I loved the steampunk elements with all of the inventions used by the Illuminists in the 1843 setting. There is also an interesting view on the fine line of male and female equality. Janette is a wonderfully strong character seeking independence and willing to explore the free love attitude of the Illuminists. Darius is brooding and resistant but also dedicated, loyal and a grand protector. There seemed t ...more
This book is a steam punk romance. It read very much like a fan fiction that got published only because publishers are trying to “ride the latest craze”. No vampires, luckily, but not really entertaining either.

The world building is adequate at best. I did like the use of crystals, which shows some creativity rather than just plain steam to power machinery. Of course there are “the goodies” and “the baddies” who have been fighting for power/dominance of the intellectual and tools of the steam p
Carrie Olguin

The plot seemed interesting when I read the BOB but the main characters were unremarkable (innocent miss and heart-wounded hero).

The story starts with the young miss in awe of the scandal of wearing pants. I didn't feel any awe, perhaps because I wear pants all the time.

This fantasy world requires set up to establish the good vs evil, the history of the private cult, the way society views the players, the background of the hero, the use of special crystals and the people with special gifts
A steampunk romance. That makes for an interesting book. Janette Aston (thanks to her mother's secret education) is a bluestocking Lady who is quite interested in the world of the Illuminists society and soon her curiosity and talent has her tangled in a dangerous adventure with a even more dangerously intriguing man. Darius Lawley, an Illuminist Guardian, wants nothing to do with Janette as she causes his life and heart to go into a frenzy, but when not only the Illuminists society but Janette' ...more
Had Few High Points
Janette Aston is a young woman ahead of her time. While her contemporaries are attending society balls and getting courted by wealthy and titled suitors, Janette is sneaking science circulars into her home and hiding them from her disapproving father. He wouldn't be happy with her interest in the Illuminists, a secretive order of scientists who are disdained by polite society.

Sneaking into their Solitary Chamber to listen to a lecture on electricity is the riskiest thing she's
Mad about
Janette is bright, curious and adventurous. All admirable traits in anyone but not suited to a young woman of the Victorian Age who's sole focus should be to just be a good wife and mother.

The Illuminists are a secret order exploring Science and the world but is closed to all but members. Their society holds knowledge and freedom, both things which are forbidden to Janette and one day the curiosity becomes too much and Janette enters the imposing doors to quench her thirst for more.

Darius is the
Lisa Jo

Full steam ahead! Mary Wine's first venture into the ever-popular steampunk genre is an absolute success! Fans looking for that gutsy historical with extraordinary twists will love A LADY CAN NEVER BE TOO CURIOUS.

Lady Janette Aston has been told all her life what she can and can't do. Frustrated by all the pleasures of the world she has been denied, Janette's curiosity always has her grasping for whatever knowledge she can find. One day she stumbles upon a secret society, the Illuminists, where
Really 3.5 stars but since I have read all Mary Wine's highlander stories and love her writing style I rounded up to 4.

I don't normally read "steampunk" novels but since I enjoy this author and I find it good to read something a bit different now and then, I decided to give it a try.

Well, this was certainly different. I didn't mind the steampunk aspect of the book or even the secret societies. Since I don't normally read this genre it was all new to me and since I had nothing to compare it to
After struggling with The Ministry of Peculiar Occurances series all week, I am coming to the realization that I like steampunk more as a flavor added to other story lines than as a genre all on it's lonesome. Gail Carringer's gorgeous Soulless series mixes steampunk with fantasy and regency romance, Meljean Brook's Iron Seas series is almost undefinable with the gritty mix of apocalypse, technology, and history, and A LADY CAN NEVER BE TOO CURIOUS is a light, fun, historical romance with famili ...more
There were some fun aspects of this bodice ripper, like some of the steampunk elements. Some of the world building was interesting. I like how spunky and witty the female lead could be. Things like parents committing their female children to mental hospitals because they found them too spirited or "unladylike" was historically accurate.

And there were definite issues. I dislike the whole, "I'm a strong smart woman who can take care of herself, but I always need saving from the bad guys by the mal
Rating: 3.5 stars

Its the first time I've read this genre, so I found the premise original and interesting. I have to say I was surprised by how erotic the story got (really wasn't expecting that, for some reason I had mentally put the story into the "Young Adult" bin) but I enjoyed the characters and their interactions.

Be aware that the story ends with a HEA but with quite a few plot threads left hanging for the sequel to pick up, rather than being a fairly stand alone book.
3 1/2 stars. This only became really enjoyable roughly half-way through. Prior to that, the narrative crawled, the only notable occurrences appeared to be Darius' growled threats to tarnish Janette's high-born propriety (because he was "no gentleman") if she continued to push further into the Illuminist society. It was starting to become "creepy uncle"-ish. (view spoiler) ...more
I wavered between a 2 and a 3, so my rating for this is really 2.5. Interesting enough premise, but the characters just don't work for me. Janette is flawless, written as perfect in every way, so not a lot of room for growth to be had. And then there's Darius. Darius is a dick. No better way to say it, really. I love an alpha hero, but he doesn't read as alpha to me. Instead, he has some vague, unexplained past trauma that's used an excuse for acting like a prideful, arrogant, jealous, overbeari ...more
I just finished reading Mary Wine’s latest paranormal/historical romance A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious. It was a interesting read because the storyline involved the Illuminists which is secret society in Great Britain around 1843. They use Deep Earth Crystals as an electrical device to operate their machines. Only certain people with “abilities of pure spirit” bloodlines can make use of them. On a whim, Jeanette Aston, outfitted herself with clothes that the society wears and went to one of th ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Seduction of Phaeton Black (Paranormal Investigator, #1)
  • Touch of Steel (Clockwork Agents, #2)
  • Her Sky Cowboy (The Glorious Victorious Darcys, #1)
  • Gilded (The St. Croix Chronicles, #2)
  • Skies of Fire (The Ether Chronicles, #1)
  • Geared for Pleasure (Elemental Steam #1)
  • Heart of Iron (London Steampunk, #2)
  • Badlands (Badlands #1)
  • The Hunter (The Legend Chronicles, #1)
  • Gossamer Wing (Steam and Seduction, #1)
  • Iron Dominance (Steamwork Chronicles, #1)
  • Like Clockwork
  • The Mysterious Lady Law
  • Chase Me (Underbelly Chronicles #2)
  • The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale (Stormy Gale, #1)
  • Her Ladyship's Curse (Disenchanted & Co., Book 1, Part #1)
Mary Wine has written over twenty novels that take her readers from the pages of history to the far reaches of space. Recent winner of a 2008 EPPIE Award for erotic western romance, her book LET ME LOVE YOU was quoted “Not to be missed…” by Lora Leigh, New York Times best-selling author.

When she’s not abusing a laptop, she spends time with her sewing machines…all of them! Making historical garment
More about Mary Wine...

Other Books in the Series

Steam Guardians (2 books)
  • A Captain and a Corset (Steam Guardians, #2)
To Conquer a Highlander (Highlander, #1) Highland Hellcat (Highlander, #2) In Bed With A Stranger (McJames, #1) Highland Heat (Highlander, #3) In The Warrior's Bed (McJames, #2)

Share This Book