Alexia Tarabotti doesn't really expect much out of life, but to be left alone. She is Italian, tall and dark skinned, and with a strong face, and in her twenties, so a spinster she will be. On top of her unacceptable looks for the time period, she is also preternatual and has no soul and the ability to negate supernatural powers. However Alexia has attracted the attention of the Alpha werewolf Lord Maccon, who wants Alexia, not just for the way she attracts him, but also because she seems to be the key for solving some supernatural murders and disappearances. Can Alexia nab one of the most eligible bachelors and solve the mystery? More importantly, will there be food along the way?
I loved this start to the series. Gail Carriger created some hilarious moments and captures the stuffiness of the Victorian period with a nice blend of steampunk creations and a hot under the collar romance. I loved the secondary characters as much as the first, particularly Lord Akeldama, a gay vampire, and Lord Maccon's beta Professor Lyall, who is charming and smart with his gadgets. The romance was a bit steamy, but not too over the top and also a bit sweet. I loved the mystery element and I can't wait to see what hijinks Alexia gets up to in the next book. 5 cups of cocoa and a strong start to the series!