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The Inventor's Companion

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  402 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Gabriel Blackstone’s world is divided quite clearly into castes: everyone knows their place and abides by it. As an inventor in the merchant caste, his life is predictable in its routine until the night his best friends and assistants, Caleb and Andrew, purchase the time—and body—of a companion for his birthday. As an activist in the Caste Equality movement, everything Gab ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published March 11th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 10th 2011)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  402 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Sep 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nomance

The two main characters make me feel like I'm reading about two women instead of men, with the amount of lovesick sighing around. To believe that they're in love at all requires a suspension of disbelief in itself. They fell in love at first sight, practically at chapter one, and have absolutely no reason to do so. Lucio at least have a weak excuse to be in love. Nobody's ever treated him like a human being before except Gabriel. Gabriel's excuse is that Lucio is hot and likes his machi
Cleon Lee
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is her first book I've read and certainly won't be the last. The romance building is sweet and touching, no sex at first meeting, although they did fall in love at first meeting. But the way it's handled, we can see why they fall for each other and how deep their connection is. So sweet, touching, and sad at some time.

It is a very realistic view of a society which allows slavery, (although the society doesn't outright says it is a slavery). It is certainly not a slavery as titillation story
Augusta Li
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of Ariel's books so far. The main characters were so well done that I cared about them and their struggles almost from the first page. The supporting characters were also deep and multi-faceted, each of them engaging in his or her own right. The world building is solid, and I enjoyed the exploration of an industrialized society that adhered to a caste system, particularly in how the privileged justified the system. Each person in this world, aside from the aristocracy, is bra ...more
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, steampunk, queer
I went up and down on whether I liked The Inventor's Companion for the first 50% of it. I like the setting, and the fact that it's a serious exploration of a caste system, rather than something done purely for titillation. I quickly got to love Gabriel for being a decent guy, though perhaps too good to be true. I got very fond of the supporting characters -- there was a lot of attention given to developing all the characters, which has been somewhat lacking in some of the other LGBT books I've r ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I just couldn't see how the author was going to tie everything up in the number of pages she had left. I was halfway through the book and scared to death. It builds so seamlessly and Lucio is so tortured and Gabriel so long-suffering and they love each other so much and it was killing me that they couldn't be together! The humiliation Lucio suffers that is contrasted so heart-breakingly with the love and tenderness that Gabriel shows him got me teary. So I wanted the happy-ever-after in neon lig ...more
Riina Y.T.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This piece of work is beautifully written! I'm in love with the characters, the story, the setting - just brilliant! Very touching but not depressing, sappy maybe but I loved it. No to mention there's a good amount of hotness! :)

To be honest I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this, it's also the first time I considered this genre; Victorian steampunk-ish and def. AU? I had no idea! And less could I have imagined how great this could be! If there are more well written novels in tha
3.5 stars

A steampunk M/M romance involving a rigid caste system. Who'da thunk?

The Inventor's Companion is exactly that. Set in a steampunk world in which your role in life is determined by birth and tattooed on your hand for all to see. The only ones without tattoos are the aristocracy. Gabriel is an inventor (merchant caste) and spends his time in his workshop, making a meager living off whimsical commissions from the nobility (including a mechanical dog), but his real pride and joy is his secr
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
After reading the book's official description and excerpt, I think I expected Lucio to be something like Inara from the TV show Firefly: elegant, cultured, and relatively in control of his life. Maybe he didn't always like his clients, but he could choose to leave behind and never see again any client who really crossed the line.

Yeah, not so much. Over and over, readers were shown how awful Lucio's life really was under its pretty, cushy surface. As long as they were offered enough money, Lucio'
Discovering a gay steampunk romance elicited a squeal of glee, not unlike that of one plagued by Bieber fever - however that affliction is much more grave. Who could have thought a combination of such marvelous things could exist between the pages of one book. After several recommendations, I immediately ordered this novel, eagerly awaiting its arrival. However, this book ultimately disappointed me.

As I said, It was glorious finding a novel compiling a gay romance AND steampunk elements. It's ni
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
3.5 stars.

The world building was awesome and it's clear the author thought of it thoroughly. The society is organized in a caste system, which is almost unchangeable. People carry tattoos on their hands stating their caste, only the aristocrats have no tattoo. In the society there is unrest and a few people are trying to make people understand the injustice of that system.

Gabriel Blackstone is an inventor and he belongs to the merchant chaste. Lucio is a companion and his station in society is v
Deja Dei
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty good romance story with interesting characters, though I had a few problems along the way. The world is well built if a little generic Victorian England. However, the people living here can't escape the assigned roles tattooed on their hands. Gabriel is designated an inventor, and Lucio is a companion, which is basically a sex slave who has to service any one he's sent to. His life is horrible, and it made me angry and upset to see what Lucio had to go through while other people dismissed ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked this story!

The background of the story was similar to 19th Century England, the only difference being the tattoos that were forced on certain casts. I liked the idea and would have enjoyed a more in-depth analysis of it, not just having to read time and time again how the characters wanted the system changed.

Lucio and Gabriel made an interesting couple. And while I could understand Lucio's immediate reaction to Gabriel's behavior, I wasn't sure what exactly had interested Gabriel in Luci
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: au, rent-boy, steampunk, four
It was AU, and steampunk-ish. I loved Gabriel (the inventor), he was quiet and somewhat shy, but participated in political protests to abolish or at least change the caste system which was very unfair. Lucio was the companion (escort). He was born into this caste and like Gabriel he had a tattoo on his hand to show this. Anyway, they meet and like each other because Gabriel treats him like a person and not a sexual object (gasp!). This is the story of how they get together (in this society that ...more
4.75 stars

I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book. It was romantic, passionate, and clearly a feel-good book as most of the major conflicts were addressed after the facts. I would like to see a sequel, just to see how the author would treat the other slightly loose ends in the book, but it clearly can be a stand alone, and the reader left to presume about the rest.

The visual formatting of the book is also very nice, however there are very few typos that don't affect the enjoyment but doe
Apr 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, historical
This was a sweet, straightforward story with a perfect HEA.
Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
I could barely finish this book. It was so sappy and had pages and pages of the mc's expressing their feelings for each other. It could have done with a good editing down to about half its length.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
As much as I enjoyed this (and I do love me some steampunk) I felt like there was too much left unsettled.
nisie draws
Jun 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gay-romance
did not finish. it started out promising but after a while i just got bored of the characters having the same arguments over and over again.
Jacq ~
Aug 17, 2012 rated it liked it
OUCH! Angst... A bittersweet love story . Three stars for a sweet ending ; )
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I'd recently read Langdowns series by Ariel Tachna and was totally head over heels for her M/M romances, so I gave The inventor's companion a go. I didn't regret it. In a ficticious world where castes rule, Gabriel and Lucio met and fall in love. However, their assigned professions prevent them from being together since Lucio is a companion, a person whose job is to procure sexual pleasure to the high society members. Gabriel, being an inventor, is rather independent but second class citizen al ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
(From the review printed in Steampunk Chronicle) Candy is dandy but steampunk is quicker-

There’s seldom call to start a review with the word “SQUEE!!!,” especially as a (former) professional broadcast journalist, but sometimes one gets a little peanut butter into her neighbor’s chocolate – and a delectable creation is born. I love a good Steampunk tale, and I love me some M/M (NO, not the candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hand. If you don’t know – perhaps you shouldn’t look it up. One
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:

“I cannot change what they do to my body, but I will never kiss anyone but you.” A kiss was all that Lucio could give Gabriel to show his love.

This book went a long way in derailing my thoughts and feelings when I first started reading mainly because I had no idea where I was as far as time and space was concerned. Steampunk is brand new to this reviewer and it took a few chapters to realize the story took place in the Victorian era w
Maiko-chan [|]
The Inventor's Companion felt like a new experience for me to dive into. I'm not familiar enough with steampunk to feel it as anything but a new experience, and one I was quite liking. Ariel Tachna's prose and imagination made for an nice read. Her world is interesting and certainly creative, as are her characters. Overall, the story was engrossing and enjoyable.

One would think (as I did) with so much good that I would be compelled to reach the end. Sadly, this is not the case as I found myself
I enjoyed this book for the relationship between Gabriel and Lucio which was surprisingly sweet. There was a lot of tenderness between the two and for a rentboy Lucio was shy and tentative. I liked watching their relationship develop over the course of the book and was happy to see them together. I did feel like the pacing of this book was off. The first half I was at times irritated by the constant "I hate Lucio sleeping with other" that seemed to be a constant refrain. I felt a tension through ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting steampunk society and a sweet romance

Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 8/10

- This author knows how to tell a good story. She creates well-rounded characters and intriguing settings (this one is steampunk), and whenever she sets you up for something by hinting that some action or another is dangerous or inevitable, she doesn’t let you down by failing to follow through on plot points.
- I like that there are no games or hidden agendas b
Olivia Helling
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyndi Lamont
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Gabriel Blackstone’s world is divided quite clearly into castes: everyone knows their place and abides by it. As an inventor in the merchant caste, his life is predictable in its routine until the night his best friends and assistants, Caleb and Andrew, purchase the time—and body—of a companion for his birthday. As an activist in the Caste Equality movement, everything Gabriel believes in tells him to refuse the gift, but then he meets Lucio. The beautiful and alluring companion is far more than ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm giving this 4 stars but it's probably - 3.75 :p

Heh, in seriousness, for the most part, I really enjoyed this. The steampunk elements were nicely balanced, and I felt like the author did a lot of behind-the-scenes work in world building, that she had a lot conceptualized so that even things not described felt realized. Good plot, mostly engaging characters (although the villains were fairly one-dimensional) - the one drawback is that the 'sweetness and love discussions' got a little bit repet
Fi Brit
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic book. I just loved the MC's, their connection felt so real. The story and background was extremely well developed and the writing quality was exactly what I've come to expect from such a quality writer. In spite of all that though, this will never rank amongst my favourites because I hated the cruel hopelessness of the caste system and spent my time desperately wanting something nasty to happen to the handlers who were, to my mind, the true monsters of the situation. Sure, ev ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, romance, steampunk
When I write reviews, I like to start with the words I say to myself when I finish the book. In this case, it was "Oh, that was sweet!". This was a cute tale of an inventor in an AU regency England who falls in love with a companion, i.e. prostitute. The world is such that everyone is assigned a caste and has that level tattooed on their hands. The companions are similar to Whedonverse Firefly companions in that they are beautiful, well-educated, and live in luxurious surroundings. They are diff ...more
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Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their cat. Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with both France, where she found her husband, and India, where she dreams of retiring some day. She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit, and is as in love with languages as she is with writing.

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