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A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious

(Steam Guardians #1)

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  77 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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published August 1st 2012)
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3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  477 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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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
Blodeuedd Finland
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
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
Dec 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc, adult
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
Aug 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yuck, did-not-finish
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
Aug 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
This was not steampunk, I feel deceived. It's the kind of romance where the male lead is like, "She could make me a better man but I mustn't" and the virgin female lead orgasms instantly her first time after perfunctory foreplay. The plot was atrocious and the small amounts of sexy times didn't justify how flimsy the rest of the story was.
This was very strange for me. This was my first taste of steam fiction. I don't think it is my thing.
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Chrystina Williams
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-arc
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
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, steampunk
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 read Mary Wine before and I've liked her books and this one is no different although it's a different genre.

In this one, we get Janette Aston, a society lady that has to hide the fact that she is a curious intelligent woman because she is a lady and in her society knowledge is only for men. Women are only pretty decorations to be showed off.

Darius Lawley is the head guardian of a cell from a secret order called the Illuminists and his job is to make sure their secrets don't get out to t
Donna Till
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
So this is another SteamPunk book and I did enjoy reading it. This one is focused on the use of crystals and a secret society of illuminists, different to other SteamPunk books I have previously read but like I said I did enjoy it. The main two characters are Jannette Aston and Darius Lawley. Jannette is part of a society that looks down on the illiminists, but Jannette is different, she yearns to be part of the society. Darius is an illiminist guardian and he has to deal with Jannette when she ...more
Andria Potter
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Curiously Fun Adventure

Apologies for the pun, but I couldn't resist!

This book was enjoyable but also quite frustrating at times. I liked how the plot flowed, I disliked how it kept changing characters points of view though it did fit the story as it occurred.

Regency England is a fascinating era one that I love reading about, though I hate how women had no say in pretty much anything. But the women in this book certainly proved that they were more than a pretty object to look at!

I could go on
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This is an interesting read. It kept me engaged but I didn't really feel attached to any of the characters. The premise is interesting, but in a society where women are accepted there was still a lot of annoying alpha behavior from Darius. The goals of either side weren't really all that clearly defined. I'll read the next one since I have it already and see if I can make it through it.

Addendum: I forgot to mention that the trainers have keys to the trainees rooms, and that they use them
Laurel Richards
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pros: I loved the unique twist to Steampunk in this book. The world building was original and intriguing, the heroine was a great deal of fun, and the love scenes were scorching. There was never a dull moment in this book.

Cons: The hero was a touch too moody for me, blowing hot and cold. The reader also wasn't given his backstory, only hints of it that didn't really explain much.

Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Victorian era steampunk erotica! I should have loved this book. The cool elements that moved it along stalled out with other awkwardly forced passages. It fell flat and left me unsatisfied.
Whitney Cowling
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I loved the concept and the world, but the storyline was inconsistent and left me with a lot of questions after finishing it.
Lisa Jo
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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
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
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
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.
Lauren - SERIESous Books
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mad about
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Melody  May (What I'm Reading)
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
May Mostly Romance
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: steampunk
ชอบปกเรืองนีนะคะ และนีคงเปนขอดีอยางเดียวทีเราเขียนถึงเลมนีได เพราะมันเตมไปดวยความผิดหวัง

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

เจเนตต แอชตันตองการเรียนรูเกียวกับสมาคมลับ แตเพราะเธอเปนหญิงสาวทีควรจะตองอยูในกรอบขนบประเพณี นันเปนสิงทีเปนไปไมได กระนันเธอกยังลับลอบเขาไปในสมาคมแหงนัน กอนทีจะถูกพบ และ
Tracy Emro
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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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

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