This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Riptide
Released on February 10, 2020
Wild, wild western… women? Oh yes, folks! She’s the bandita by air ship robbing and pillaging and her crew has just taken hostage a timid librarian- telegraph operator who happens to be more than she seems. I was all in for this female western adventure romance.
The Persephone Star begins with somewhat naive and timid, but sensible and capable postmistress Penelope Moser living her days in a small western town secretly dreading when the wedding with the fiance her banker father chose for her. The virile and blustering sheriff might make every other woman’s heart go pitter pat, but Penelope doesn’t miss his promises that when they are marriaged things are going to change. Her life will be more confined to housekeeping and babies. Penelope dreams of being a librarian and inspiring literacy in the town. She loves her job as the postmistress and telegraph operator. She isn’t unaware that the sheriff plans to keep up his bachelor lifestyle at the saloon with his cronies and the women there. Her father wants her settled and seems to have forgotten that she has a mind that was equal to his own when he talked his banking business with her. Their planned future for her is stifling.
But, then word of Mirage Currier and her Persephone Star are spotted in the next town. The residents of her town are terrified, but the sheriff who put Mirage behind bars and testified against her sister declares it will be a showdown and he’ll gun Mirage and the whole crew of her ship down. Penelope seeks ways to avoid bloodshed in the town, but then she ends up a kidnapped hostage aboard the Persephone Star. A whole new world opens for her in the freedom of the skies with an outlaw crew of women no less. She can’t understand her reaction to the woman known as Mirage at first and then has to decide if she can throw off everything she knows to embrace what she is feeling. But, the crew and captain are faced with the hanging of one of their own and Penelope just might be the only one to find a way through the danger.
The Persephone Star had the elements to make up a good western, but all seen through a feminine lens and a strong female-driven slant. I had the impression it was a steampunk and it is, but only a whiff. Not much alternate history or gadgetry like one usually sees. That didn’t detract from the story, but just took some adjusting in my mind.
Penelope is the sole narrator and it was neat seeing her start out so parched and not seeing herself well to growing and flourishing as she faced each choice and event. She had to deal with a great deal of male braggadocio and chauvinism, but she still wanted to keep everyone safe even the ones who probably didn’t deserve it.
I loved the colorful, eccentric outlaw crew and learning how they came to join together. The time aboard ship was my favorite part of the book.
The big climax was exciting and I loved how the author ratcheted up the tension in the last half.
It was a quick and didn’t spend a long time developing the action and the character relationships, but I don’t want to give the impression that it was devoid of development. It was fun and boisterous and had me wanting to yell with the Persephone Star crew, I am female, hear me roar. Haha! I would recommend this to those who enjoy a sweet sensual f/f western historical romance.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #9
Literary Pickers #20 steam engine
Historical Fiction #10
Romance BINGO #12 steampunk romance