Katie MacAlister has a type of humor that can be hit or miss with me. Hits include A Hard Day's Knight and Men in Kilts. A miss is the truly awful Blow Me Down. Fortunately, Steamed was a hit. I caught myself chuckling more than once over something outrageous a character would say.
So the story. Jack Fletcher has just showed up to work (a nano-electrical thingamajig lab) when his sister shows up and literally starts shaking things up which results with both of them being flung into an alternative universe, where things are powered my steam - or aether as the case may be. (Aether as described in the book is that which binds us all, it's what keeps the atoms in the air and it can be extracted from the air and turned into a source of power.)
Octavia Pye is the woman who's ship Jack and his sister Hallie have landed on. Octavia is on her very first voyage as captain of an airship and she has a special cargo that must make it to its destination in Rome. Unfortunately, the presence of two unaccounted for persons spell doom for her mission, especially if they're discovered by the Emperor's men, who are very suspicious (spies you know).
A plan is hatched to get them off the ship without the crew and Imperial Guards knowing and so the only thing left to do is wait until they reach their destination. Over this short period of time (3 days) Jack learns all he can about the airship and Octavia Pye.
Unfortunately, things don't go as planned when they reach Rome. Revolutionaries attack the airship, and then those revolutionaries are attacked by Moghuls and then Jack's sister is captured and to be honest, this is where Steamed started to lose steam (har har).
For the first 3/4s of Steamed, I was enjoying the way the story was unfolding and laughing it up over the dialog. But once off the airship, the story kind of lost its way. Although this is where the romance got interesting. So even though the action plot somewhat floundered, I was enjoying the love.
Octavia was a fun heroine. She's a leader, she's loyal, she's not afraid of her sexuality (despite the somewhat Victorian feel to her universe) and she's got a good secret. She also keeps Jack on his toes. Which is a good thing. Back in his universe, he's sort of a ladies' man and Octavia isn't ready to jump into commitment, which drives him crazy. And Jack was a great hero. He had that perfect blend of jealousy and possessiveness I love. I also got a real kick out of Mr. Piper, a crew member. He has a certain fondness for shivs, and he's not afraid to pull his pants down. LOL
It had a good start but kind of flounders towards the end.