I don't know if I can rate this book because I'm aware I'm rating it not against my standards, but against how disappointing it was in relation to the rave reviews it got. It's a perfectly fun and ordinary steampunk paranormal Victorian romance, with the usual dodgy writing, blood kink, possession kink, frock kink and ugly personality, conventionally pretty mamma/sisters. Alexia is a perfectly ordinary romance heroine. That is to say she would be immediately recognised as a Mary Sue if she turned up as an original character in fan fiction. She's unconventionally attractive, admired by all the gentlemen, smarter than everyone and has a unique superpower. I like her, she's fun. Her best friend isn't much more than a nod to a female character who isn't supernatural or the ugly sisters. She has an unfortunate hat problem which is harped upon incessantly. Poor Ivy cannot appear but her hats precede her. I thought of a great blurb for this book while reading it:Gail Carriger developed her plot and characters and then thought, hey, wouldn't this story be even more ace if I wrote the Drag Queen AU?Best typo in the copy I read: balmy for barmy. (But would Queen Victoria say barmy?)The downside was in the world building. It read a lot like a flippant Regency with machines and mad scientists. Recommended for lovers of steampunk supernatural Victorian romance that sound a little bit Regency. Bonus points if you have a possession kink - but vampires, werewolves: you knew that already.