I'll say it up front: Wicked Gentlemen, a book by Ginn Hale, is wickedly awesome!
Now I have little or no experience with books of this sort. I tried reading the Cat's Meow once (mostly 'cause Ayuku had it at hand and its title matched a character title in the Aion MMORPG - so yeah, characters named after a gay pron novel? Cool.) but left it, deeply disgusted, just a few pages in.
This one was different. I spotted it in a comment at Taylor's, read the synopsis and was allured by the promise of a dark urban fantasy mystery in a Victorian fantasy setting. Just to make sure, I cracked open a review... and was bought. Several minutes later, I was immersed.
The promises I mentioned were true to an extreme. At first, I wasn't so hot over the simple, sometimes raw language, but a few pages later it proved an essential part of setting the mood. And the mood is DARK.
The first of the two stories comprising the book is the mystery tale I've been hooked for. While it's not the sort of detective novel, where you can make what you will of the clues, it does a great job in having you wonder what's going on... And what happens next! The pace is swift and the narrative very interesting (but I won't spoil that, go read the book already!) The conclusion is so peaked that I just went on reading the second part just to see how it all impacts the story going on.
The second story, going on but a while after the first, or so I guess, is more of an action thing. I don't usually flail around and bite my nails over the heroes making a daring move, but as I said, this world is dark and I really wasn't sure whether they'd make it out of there in one piece. In some places, this part felt slightly more clichéd than the first one, and yeah, I could totally do without the page of XXX (but hey, there are far worse things I've seen; moving along), but then again, it does contain some nail-bitingly, blood-pumping action! Of ... the dramatic sort. You know.
But the dialogues! By the hells, when I wasn't writhing in my seat with unease, I was laughing my head off at all those witty remarks embedded especially by the end of the second part (though yeah, it was running kinda late...)
To sum it up: if you're looking for an awesomely wicked action/mystery steampunk short novel and don't mind that most of the romance revolves around two male heroes, hook onto Google or Amazon and get this book now!
However, I'd like to warn the would-be-tragic people among you: drugs are bad, not cool. So is alcohol and, as far as I'm concerned, tobacco. Have a nice day!