Recommend by: Riley
If you been reading my Teatime Reading recommendations, you know I am enjoying Cecilia Dominic’s Aether Psychics steampunk series. A new book, a prequel novella to the series, Noble Secrets was just released.
Edward Bailey is my favorite character in the Aether Psychics series, so I enjoyed getting a little insight into the beginnings of his aether research. And also into the unfortunate relationship with the woman who broke Edward’s heart. But, enough about Edward. You can read more about him in Eros Element.
If you have read Eros Element, you will have met Edward’s former assistant Pauline and his brother Christopher. Noble Secrets is their story.
Pauline Danahue is assigned to watch over Edward Bailey to keep him on track in his aether research as opposed to dwelling on that terrible woman that broke his heart. Christopher Bailey, Duke of Waltham feels obligated to check up on his brother to make sure Edward is okay and keeps his mind on his research. But perhaps ‘obligated’ is not the correct word. Since Christopher met Pauline, he is happy to check up on his brother.
There is a connection between Pauline and Christopher. But he is a duke and must marry the proper woman. Pauline grew up with her mother in a brothel, so she is well aware she is not the proper woman.
Pauline witnessed her mother’s death in the brothel she grew up in. Although she did not see the killer’s face, she has a special psychic talent to recognize a the intentions of a person, which would enable her to recognize the killer.
Noble Secrets is the story of two people, intensely attracted to each other, knowing it could never work. All along, a killer is hunting for Pauline. She is ready to run. Even before Christopher knows why, he wants to protect Pauline. And he certainly does not want her to leave, though he doubts she has a proper place in the life of a Duke. Emotions conflicting with intentions are what pulled at my reader’s heart and kept me engrossed in the story.
The romantic trope in Noble Secrets is not uncommon in historical romance and it is what I expected. This made the ending a bit predictable, but the path to that ending was well worth the reading. See the previous paragraph!
The novella length makes Noble Secrets a nice read for a rainy evening. The short novel lacks nothing in terms of character development and interesting plot. As steampunk goes, there are not a lot of genre elements. In the story, Christopher likes to travel by steamcoach. And there is Edward’s all important aether research which is the connecting theme between all books in the series, and one of the draws of Aether Psychics. As a prequel, Noble Secrets enhances the series and is a very satisfying and recommended steampunk romance/mystery!
Amazon Book Links for Aether Psychic series: