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The Gunfighter and the Gear-Head

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An apocalyptic alien invasion set humanity on the edge of extermination. Unable to match technology with the invaders, humanity bet their existence on their physical strength overcoming. In a desperate last stand by the world's greatest scientists, the cataclysm electromagnetic pulse wiped out all technology on the planet, stranding the aliens on earth, effectively locking An apocalyptic alien invasion set humanity on the edge of extermination. Unable to match technology with the invaders, humanity bet their existence on their physical strength overcoming. In a desperate last stand by the world's greatest scientists, the cataclysm electromagnetic pulse wiped out all technology on the planet, stranding the aliens on earth, effectively locking them in the cage with the beasts of humanity that remained. Using pre-industrial weapons of war, the surviving humans fought back. Six years later, Gieo, the self-proclaimed last pilot on earth, was shot down yet again. She finds herself in the unwelcoming post apocalyptic old west town of Tombstone, the guest of the beautiful gunfighter Fiona with a turbulent history. Their budding romance hits an immediate snag when Fiona's mysterious past finally catches up with her, bringing with it old flames, hot grudges, and a rekindling of the war with the aliens that had cooled to a stalemate. Sky-captain Gieo and her fleet of steam-powered dirigibles are humanity's best chance to turn the tide of the war against the alien invaders, but only if Fiona can protect her from blind cultists, jealous ex-girlfriends, and a town of apocalypse cowboys with suspect sanity.


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An apocalyptic alien invasion set humanity on the edge of extermination. Unable to match technology with the invaders, humanity bet their existence on their physical strength overcoming. In a desperate last stand by the world's greatest scientists, the cataclysm electromagnetic pulse wiped out all technology on the planet, stranding the aliens on earth, effectively locking An apocalyptic alien invasion set humanity on the edge of extermination. Unable to match technology with the invaders, humanity bet their existence on their physical strength overcoming. In a desperate last stand by the world's greatest scientists, the cataclysm electromagnetic pulse wiped out all technology on the planet, stranding the aliens on earth, effectively locking them in the cage with the beasts of humanity that remained. Using pre-industrial weapons of war, the surviving humans fought back. Six years later, Gieo, the self-proclaimed last pilot on earth, was shot down yet again. She finds herself in the unwelcoming post apocalyptic old west town of Tombstone, the guest of the beautiful gunfighter Fiona with a turbulent history. Their budding romance hits an immediate snag when Fiona's mysterious past finally catches up with her, bringing with it old flames, hot grudges, and a rekindling of the war with the aliens that had cooled to a stalemate. Sky-captain Gieo and her fleet of steam-powered dirigibles are humanity's best chance to turn the tide of the war against the alien invaders, but only if Fiona can protect her from blind cultists, jealous ex-girlfriends, and a town of apocalypse cowboys with suspect sanity.

30 review for The Gunfighter and the Gear-Head

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Lesbian Steampunk? YES PLEASE! I would like to say I stumbled upon this book by doing extensive research. But that would be a lie. I'm much too lazy to do that. So instead I just stalked lov2laf. Thankfully she does not appear too be creeped out with my book stalking. I really enjoyed this book. And for the life of me cannot figure out why there are so many one star reviews. This is a post apocalyptic western story with fab world building. The MC's were sexy, smart and strong. And even most of t Lesbian Steampunk? YES PLEASE! I would like to say I stumbled upon this book by doing extensive research. But that would be a lie. I'm much too lazy to do that. So instead I just stalked lov2laf. Thankfully she does not appear too be creeped out with my book stalking. I really enjoyed this book. And for the life of me cannot figure out why there are so many one star reviews. This is a post apocalyptic western story with fab world building. The MC's were sexy, smart and strong. And even most of the minor characters were well developed. Major love to the tiny flying robot named Ramen with a puppy he calls "Shrimp Ramen." The book is pretty long but flowed along nicely to a climatic end with a cliffhanger. Highly recommend for anyone into steampunk. *Some reviewers whined about the explicit sex scenes. Puhlease. They were a teeny weeny BDSMy at best. 4.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Martine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I give up. I really wanted to like this book or at least finish reading it since I paid money for it but the only person who gives less fucks about the plot than me is the book itself, so gah. I assume for erotica that book isn't too bad but the thing is: I don't like erotica. Not at all. Yes, I have prejudices against the genre but I haven't found one single erotica novel that I considered a good book or that proved me wrong or that managed to capture me. If you liked the book and considered it s I give up. I really wanted to like this book or at least finish reading it since I paid money for it but the only person who gives less fucks about the plot than me is the book itself, so gah. I assume for erotica that book isn't too bad but the thing is: I don't like erotica. Not at all. Yes, I have prejudices against the genre but I haven't found one single erotica novel that I considered a good book or that proved me wrong or that managed to capture me. If you liked the book and considered it sexy – good for you! The sad thing is, this book had all elements to be rad. SciFi, steampunk, western and lesbians. How could you go wrong? Well, but because the book focuses more on the relationship between the main characters, all the cool stuff gets shoved to the side. I wouldn't have minded so much if the relationship between the characters would have been A+ but no. It's the typical cookie cutter UST with both parties trying to conquer the other without being conquered and their relationship is fueled by the constant battle for control. That's kink, not romance even though the book continuously tries to convince the reader that it's actually a romance novel. May have worked if the author wasn't so bad at delivering emotions. Hell, it might even have worked if there had been some vanilla sex scenes in the book to show yes, these girls are quite tough on the outside but when it's just them, they can be soft and tender. Tenderness does not make you weak! Ugh, I generally have a problem with how much women are fetishized in this book up to an extent where I assumed that it was actually written by a straight guy, but no. At one point there was even the term „slutty lingerie“. No. Just no! Lingerie isn't slutty, lingerie is sexy – by using the term slutty (and if it's just to trigger the kinky image of the „naughty girl“) the book is implying that sexiness is something bad and despiseable. I don't think the author was aware of this, seeing as she could not even properly use a simile (I will focus on that later), but calling yourself a slut and being proud of it doesn't make you a tough woman. It doesn't mock the way some men regard women, because by defining the term slut as something acceptable you are agreeing that there are women who can be looked down upon just because they have a lot of sex or enjoy having sex. Oh and there is a time for lingerie and that's not when you're going into a battle. just saying. In my opinion, this book is doing it's best to belittle women. Sooo, let's have some quotes to understand what's wrong with the book and why the writing is actually less than mediocre. Now, she was teaching a mental patient how to cook to avoid malnutrition, nursing a dangerously violent woman back to health in hopes of developing a relationship with her, [...] Emphasis by me. This sentence turns the main character into a douchebag, because it implies that she just takes care of the sick woman because she wants to bang her. You know, some people do that because they're decent human beings. NSFW stuff under the spoiler cut: (view spoiler)[She teased Fiona's nipples until they were solid little diamonds between her fingers. This is supposed to be a simile, only that it's not because there is no „like“ in the sentence, which makes the entire thing unintentionally hilarious because the reader can take it literally. Also, diamonds are a ten on the Mohs hardness scale, which means they are the hardest material of all hard materials, of course they are SOLID, that's the point of the simile, there is no need to state that. (Also, the comparison is a little over the top.) I think this sentence shows very well how little the author has understood some basic concepts of writing. Also, most aspiring writers come to a point where they look back at their old writing and realize that they have added unnecessary things just to be funny and how this can ruin the mood of your scene or make you look stupid. They realize that the key to being funny is not trying to be funny at all costs. This author hasn't reached that point apparently. Have a look at that snippet, which is right during the preparation for a battle: „How are you at handling big guns?“ Gieo asked. The other two women snickered a little under their breath. „What's that supposed to mean? I can handle them just fine,“ Stephanie snapped. „I don't know what you heard, but there are other reasons someone might choke on...I mean you throw up on one guy and suddenly...“ JFC, you are about to prepare for a battle, there is no reason to assume that „gun“ in this context means anything else but a weapon, especially if that question is asked by a stranger. But no, let's have some penis-innuendo just for the lolz. (I'm usually a sucker for sex accidents, I think they're extremely funny but these one... no thank you.) For a work of lesbian fiction this book is quite focused on penises, by the way. Every time they have sex, they are using the same sex toy, a strap on with a ridiculously large dildo, which was another reason why I assumed the author was actually male because it was giving me this 'women need the D to be satisfied' vibe. But maybe I'm reading too much into it. Maybe the author just sucks at writing vanilla and was kind enough to spare us her clumsy writing attempts. (hide spoiler)] Ah, but that's enough NSFW-rant, let's look at a more eloquent fail: The Slark were right in calling humanity beasts; Zeke may as well have been a grizzly bear in the midst of a kindergarten class for all the fight the Slark were able to put up against him without their precious technology. A strenge sense of pride came over Fiona knowing Zeke's triumph of strength was a human triumph. A strange sense of triumph indeed because the message the author tried to convey doesn't work out. How is that a human triumph, when you've spent the previous sentences to compare that human to an animal and therefore agreeing to the belittling statement of the aliens. I would have agreed if the triumph was a triumph of minds but strength? When you're pointing out animalistic qualities how can this be a human triumph? Also, why would the Slark refer to the human species as beasts? Wouldn't they call them aliens? By the way, it was vaguely mentioned that there had been some sort of communication but it's never really explained in the first two thirds of the book how they communicated, because... because screw plot, that's why. So excuse me, but I think I'll just go on reading some real steampunk books that actually values women.

  3. 5 out of 5

    PointyEars42

    Well, that was... uncomfortable. I’m not sure how or why I managed to get through to the end. I loved the premise of the book and as I was reading I kept marvelling at the scope of the story and at its potential as a series. Every moment, every relationship, every bit of human interaction, however, carries an undertone of abuse; selfishness; self-loathing; meanness; and plain old stupidity. Toxic relationships are the norm and you’re left wondering why anyone bothers with anyone else for any rea Well, that was... uncomfortable. I’m not sure how or why I managed to get through to the end. I loved the premise of the book and as I was reading I kept marvelling at the scope of the story and at its potential as a series. Every moment, every relationship, every bit of human interaction, however, carries an undertone of abuse; selfishness; self-loathing; meanness; and plain old stupidity. Toxic relationships are the norm and you’re left wondering why anyone bothers with anyone else for any reason. Better to throw humanity to the invaders than have this lot of poisonous personalities define what is left of our species. The much touted “erotica” is actually an occasional brief or off-screen encounter that is usually one-sided or abusive or calculated towards a nasty end goal. Far from living up to the promise of the ridiculously hot cover of the book, the contents prove to be anything but arousing. You know, there were moments when I wondered if this was actually written by a man who inherently dislikes women, but was still turned on by the sort of rough, unappetising, girl-on-girl porn that’s made for men, and was working out his confusion by writing about clichéd or fundamentally unlikeable lesbians and the horrors they’d visit upon the world if given any real power. Either that, or there are some bad relationships and/or some severe internalised misogyny on the author’s part. There is so much about this world and its survival that drew me in, but it all became so mired in this unending swamp of unpleasantness that I just couldn’t stop feeling distracted from the plot. You know a book isn't working for you when you hope all the characters go their separate ways and the town falls into a sinkhole and you’re still only halfway through – I guess I just can’t read about characters who play games and drag others down into their self-destructive patterns. If you’re more inured to emotional harshness than I am, you won’t see any of the problems I choked on and will rate the novel higher than I did. I still might check out other things by this author at some stage, but I’m not reading the sequel.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Author calls non-paid reviewers "twats". Thanks, no. Author calls non-paid reviewers "twats". Thanks, no.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Kind of a steampunk, post-apocalyptic, western, alien invasion mash-up, The Gunfighter and The Gear-Head is the most fun I've had between the pages of a book all year. It's sexy, it's funny, it's action-packed, and did I mention, it's sexy? :) While you'll find the usual steampunk technology here (like steam-powered dirigibles and methanol powered automobiles), it's the more bizarre contraptions that excited me. For example, who wouldn't want a Sapphic Intimate Encounter Reciprocity Concluder tha Kind of a steampunk, post-apocalyptic, western, alien invasion mash-up, The Gunfighter and The Gear-Head is the most fun I've had between the pages of a book all year. It's sexy, it's funny, it's action-packed, and did I mention, it's sexy? :) While you'll find the usual steampunk technology here (like steam-powered dirigibles and methanol powered automobiles), it's the more bizarre contraptions that excited me. For example, who wouldn't want a Sapphic Intimate Encounter Reciprocity Concluder that "let's a lesbian couple know when they're done having sex." Because, as we all know, "without it, girl-girl sex could hypothetically go on indefinitely." Technology aside, it's the interplay between Gieo and Fiona really drives the story. Theirs is one of the weirdest, most wonderful romances in speculative fiction, as much a battle of the intellect as it is a celebration of the physical. There's a scene where an exasperated Fiona asks if there's anything she can do that Gielo won't enjoy, to which Gielo responds "I'm not sure. Why don't you start doing things to me, and I'll let you know when I don't like one of them?" that really sums them up nicely. There are also some very absurd, Monty Python-esque developments to the story that should make you groan with feigned outrage, but which you can't help but clap delightedly at. The methanol addicted cultists are a prime example - having noticed the alien invader's aversion to blindness, they volunatrily drink themselves blind to protect themselves. That might be fine, if all they did was hole up in a cave and hide, but these crazy cultists want to fight . . . even though they can't see two feet in front of their faces. Extremely well-written, with a story that's told a break-neck pace, but which never becomes tiresome, this is a book I would gladly read again and again. I know I'm not doing it justice here, but it's so hard to explain, without spoiling the story. Suffice to say, if you're up for an imaginative, slightly-absurd, reluctantly romantic buddy-cop style comedy, set is a post-apocayptic future decimated half by aliens, and half by human insanity, then I can't recommend this highly enough. Read it and enjoy!

  6. 4 out of 5

    T

    Even in the science fiction genre, there are just so many redundant themes/plots. This story is a great deviation from anything you'll have seen thus far. It combines cowboys and steam-punk beautifully and in a way only someone with the most colorful of imaginations could come up with. The setting and the story line were very interesting and fun. The characters were over the top crazy fun and sexy characters. Very enjoyable journey where the women hold the power. It lost a star for the abundant r Even in the science fiction genre, there are just so many redundant themes/plots. This story is a great deviation from anything you'll have seen thus far. It combines cowboys and steam-punk beautifully and in a way only someone with the most colorful of imaginations could come up with. The setting and the story line were very interesting and fun. The characters were over the top crazy fun and sexy characters. Very enjoyable journey where the women hold the power. It lost a star for the abundant run-on sentences, which made the reading a little slow. And i also found the ending a bit abrupt. Just a pet peeve of mine when a story throws the resolution at you without spending any time with the characters debriefing. What happened to them after the war? Did Carolyn hunt them down? Who is the new White Queen? How did our heroines mourn the loss of their friends and colleagues? Just wish there was a little closure, discussion, whatnot. But then, maybe it is just the setup for a sequel. in which case, it's perfect.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ni_kii

    After the reptilian Slark’s attacked Earth, civilisation as we know it ceased to exist. In a post-Apocalyptic world, society seems to have reverted back to the old West. When Gieo is shot down from the skies, she finds herself in Tombstone; a town full of crazy Cowboy’s and blind cultists. The Wild West rules are in full effect but amongst the chaos she finds herself undeniably attracted to ex-model and current Gunfighter Fiona. Their passion is apparent to all, but their relationship hits many After the reptilian Slark’s attacked Earth, civilisation as we know it ceased to exist. In a post-Apocalyptic world, society seems to have reverted back to the old West. When Gieo is shot down from the skies, she finds herself in Tombstone; a town full of crazy Cowboy’s and blind cultists. The Wild West rules are in full effect but amongst the chaos she finds herself undeniably attracted to ex-model and current Gunfighter Fiona. Their passion is apparent to all, but their relationship hits many bumps along way as Gieo struggles to come to terms with both Fiona’s present and her past. When a civil war starts to heat up in the area between the Cultists and the residents of the town, Fiona has to do something quite drastic to tie Gieo to her and keep her safe. When all the fighting seems to stimulate the war with the Slark, things become quite perilous for all the residents of the town. Will all the external stresses mean their fledgling relationship ends before it really has a chance to grow into something deeper? When it becomes clear that there is an external agent driving all the friction to achieve his own personal agenda, the situation in Tombstone deteriorates to never before seen levels. Things will never be the same again, but will they throw away something that has the potential to keep them warm on the cold nights to come? I had to read this book a couple of times before actually sitting down to review it. Please don’t misunderstand me, this isn’t because I didn’t enjoy it, it’s because there is so much going on. Action packed doesn’t quite cover this tale so I wanted to make sure I had it sequenced properly in my head. There are no wasted sentences; every word has its purpose but, I will admit, that although this made this book quick to read but harder to digest in one sitting. It is a fun, imaginative read that is certainly unlike anything that I have read before. Fiona is an ex-model forced into the life of a Gunfighter. When the Slark’s attacked Earth, the deadly situation reverts Human civilisation back hundreds of years. Isolated Towns run themselves, people settle arguments with guns rather than the Law and people battle constantly over the ever dwindling necessities. When we meet her she is looking for Slark’s to behead simply because their heads are worth fuel. She doesn’t really fight her attraction to Gieo, she simply ignores it. She is a tough cookie, has done things that others would find distasteful to survive, I don’t think that she wants to feel weak. When she finally does give into the temptation, things from the past start to reappear that have the potential to cause problems. Veronica, her ex-girlfriend, appears in her town with the Ravens, an all-girl outfit. Fiona ran away from them, leaving Veronica behind without a word. Once she reappears, old feelings are stirred up and Fiona struggles with closing that door to her heart. When the Cultists start a war with the town, tensions start to run high and she is forced to collar Gieo to keep her safe, forcing the relationship to a different level. Gieo is the polar opposite of rough and ready Fiona. A delicate yet feisty genius, she charms everyone that she meets within seconds. I loved her cute little robot and her quirky ways. Unfamiliar with the rules of a town such as Tombstone, I was glad that she hooked up with Fiona as she needed someone to keep her safe. She struggled with the way of life that Fiona had chosen for herself but I willed her to accept it. She was attracted to the image of Fiona, to the woman who had graced the cover of many magazines. In accepting Fiona’s choices, I felt a bit happier about them as a couple. She did, however, lose quite a lot of my respect with an act that happens about 60% in. This is an area of the book I never give spoilers for, but she crossed a massive line. I’m all for people getting second chances, and people making mistakes in the lead up to a HEA, but, to me, this happened when they were an established couple and not a work in progress. I struggled after this as it isn’t something that I can usually deal with in a romance. However, the sex between them is very hot and very imaginative (this is helped by the fact that Gieo is involved :D). Once they begin having sex, it is clear that the chemistry between them is truly potent…..there are definitely some clammy hand scenes. Alongside the love triangle, the crazy cultists (who by the way are blind by choice as they realise that the Slark’s don’t like blind things), the reigniting of the battle with the Slark’s and the Wild West Rules, there is also the crazed town leader who seems to be trying to make sure his hold on the Town can never be removed. As I say, there is a lot going on but it certainly makes for an interesting read. I couldn’t process it all in one read, but this is probably because I’m used to reads with only a few plot threads happening at once. I enjoyed the fact that this one was so different and that it made me work a little; Cassandra Duffy is certainly a woman that knows how to write. On a side note, there were some beautiful little illustrations throughout this fairly lengthy book and they really did enhance the story. I will definitely be reading more from this author. A Sci-fi/Wild-West/Lesbian tale with a lot of action, a lot of sex and a lot of well-written characters that grab you from the off-set. Give it a go, you may just love it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Spiceland

    I noticed an interesting phenomenon on goodreads in re Cassandra Duffy: There are a bunch of really nasty comments by some "reviewers" The funny thing? Each person applies the same words verbatim in her comment on each of Duffy's works. What this implies is that the person has maybe sampled a story or two, found it not to her liking, and painted each work with the same brush. Or that, maybe, they didn't read anything at all, just based their judgement on what someone else told them. This is disi I noticed an interesting phenomenon on goodreads in re Cassandra Duffy: There are a bunch of really nasty comments by some "reviewers" The funny thing? Each person applies the same words verbatim in her comment on each of Duffy's works. What this implies is that the person has maybe sampled a story or two, found it not to her liking, and painted each work with the same brush. Or that, maybe, they didn't read anything at all, just based their judgement on what someone else told them. This is disingenuous at best, blatantly dishonest at worst. I don't know what this (presumed) clique have against Duffy, but it seems personal, and I find it a little disturbing for them to air it in such a public forum. Anyway, _The Gunfighter and The Gearhead_ is clearly Cassandra Duffy at her best, and, while it's not perfect, it is a cut above her other output, and suggests considerable potential. Those who refrain from it due to some previous bias do themselves a disservice, and miss out on a helluva lot of just plain fun. Not only is the scope of her story-telling greatly expanded here, but the author shows herself capable of much greater character development than her previous works would suggest. There are adequate descriptions of the plot available, so I won't belabor that here except to say this is an action-packed, sexy steam-punk romp through a forbidding post-apocalyptic America, intertwined with a rather sweet romance. To be sure, there are a few things a strong editor could tighten up, and numerous copy-editing opportunities as well -- don't use "proscribed" if you aren't sure what it means -- but, on the whole, Duffy acquits herself very well in this more expansive format. She shows she's capable not just of the logical plotting required of a novel, but of the character development that goes with it. The world-building is credible and creditable, and, while the characters are pretty over-the-top at times, they're also genuine and lots of fun to be around. Duffy offers us a fresh take on both steam-punk and post-apocalyptic fiction, with a dose of feminism and a lot of genuine good fun. Too many books today tend to pretentiously regard fun as something to be avoided. Thankfully, Cassandra Duffy isn't one of them. There's a lot of sex, here, but it never feels either forced or gratuitous; it flows naturally from the action of the story. I admit that some of Duffy's stories skirt that blurry line between erotica and porn, a line we all have to define for ourselves, but here, each sex scene serves to bring the characters closer together, or to allow us to learn more about them. IOW, the love-making is integral to the plot or to character development, or to both. And, along with it -- here's that word again -- it's simply fun. (Note: Not *every* depiction of lesbian sex has to be _Curious Wine_.) Okay, so TGaTG-H isn't high literary art -- not much is, when you get right down to it -- but it isn't supposed to be. So, why did I devote so much time to it? Maybe just because of all those other reviewers' snarky remarks like "Stricken" or "I'd rather be murdered." Anywho, I believe Duffy is simply trying to entertain us with a good story, while hopefully making us think a bit at the same time. These are both admirable goals, and, at least for me, she succeeds admirably. I look forward to even better things from her in the future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    LVLMLeah

    Wow, this was the most unusual and fun book to read. I don’t think I can even classify it as it’s kind of a hodgepodge of genres that come together in creative and delicious way. It’s post-apocalyptic America. A war with an alien invader called the Slark has basically destroyed life as people knew it. Although the time period is not clear, references to current pop culture are made so it’s clear it’s sometime in the future but not far from our current time. Since almost all has been destroyed, i Wow, this was the most unusual and fun book to read. I don’t think I can even classify it as it’s kind of a hodgepodge of genres that come together in creative and delicious way. It’s post-apocalyptic America. A war with an alien invader called the Slark has basically destroyed life as people knew it. Although the time period is not clear, references to current pop culture are made so it’s clear it’s sometime in the future but not far from our current time. Since almost all has been destroyed, including most of the population, the remaining survivors have come together in pockets around the country and are slowly setting up their own little societies and factions, many resembling the lawlessness of Wild West of America during the 1880’s. In this new world, particularly in the central western states, women, prostitutes from Las Vegas mainly, have come to power and have started organizing armies and weapons to finally get control of the western states, which are still controlled by the Slark. Most of this story takes place in Tombstone, one of the last free barrier towns between the Midwestern states and Southern states, which have formed their own societies based on old world mores, and the western states. Tombstone is basically controlled by a power hungry man who is able to control everyone due to his monopoly of Slark fuel, which is far superior to oil. The hunters, those who hunt Slark and kill them, are a rough and tumble lawless group. However they’ve created their own codes of behavior, which are a bit barbaric, but which they strictly adhere to. Fiona, one of the main protagonists, is a deliciously intense character right out of Tarantino film. She’s a Slark hunter and takes no shit from anyone. She’ll kill without flinching or remorse if anyone breaks the hunter’s code and to defend herself and what’s hers. She’s a renegade and honorable warrior rolled in one and does what she has to to survive. She’s also quite powerful in Tombstone and people don’t mess with her since she has no scruples and parades the results of what happens when she’s crossed for all to see. It’s quite the contrast to her former life as famous world top model. Gieo, on the other hand, is a naïve genius dreamer who keeps trying to fly her dirigibles close to Slark territory to map out the areas they control. She dreams of one day being part of an air force that will wipe them out. However, she’s the sort of happy-go-lucky type that can’t imagine killing either. Her dirigible goes down in the outskirts of Tombstone and it happens to be Fiona who’s out hunting who finds her and brings her back. She’s a technological wiz and this is how she survives. Both women just happen to be lesbians and the only women in the Tombstone. These two make an odd but colorful couple. Fiona can’t believe it when after Gieo’s first night there, she finds Gieo surrounded by the roughest of men blithely trading her fix anything tech services for machine parts and technology she needs to get her gear going again. In an interesting twist of fate, in order to protect Gieo, the only other woman in town besides Fiona and who the crazy, fundamentalist cultist who live on the outskirts of town want to kill, Fiona has to claim her as her property by law of the hunter’s code. Gieo quite gets into this wearing a dog collar and letting Fiona treat her as property in a semi-serious, teasing and flirtatious way, which bugs Fiona since this is not what she’s about. Their interactions are subdued on the one hand, Gieo only letting Fiona rub off on her but not getting off herself and keeping some distance, and yet, there’s a smoldering sexual energy that keeps them attracted. They kind of dance around each other in a somewhat cocky and playful way taking turns exerting power over each other. I rather liked the push/pull and even the evasiveness on both parts in between some juicy sexual encounters. It’s a lust at first site but a budding love in a slow bloom, which made me root for them even with the many obstacles, including Fiona’s past catching up with her in the form of past lovers and betrayals. Fiona wasn’t a saint before she ended up in Tombstone. And Geio, while being a straight up innocent in general, allows herself to get seduced outside of her relationship with Fiona. However, I liked the way it was handled. It showed character growth for both women. Outside of the very entertaining and unique plot line and world building, there are many fascinating characters in this story as well. I think Cassandra Duffy created a very sophisticated world with characters, each having their own strong personalities---entrances and departures---that fully added to this story. Particularly all the women are portrayed as strong, sometimes ruthless, but very intelligent, which I liked. The writing is very tight, no extra lines, characters or even tangents that didn’t add to this story. Fiona and Gieo aside, I’d love to read more from this world that Ms. Duffy has created. She definitely has a unique voice. I definitely recommend this book if you’re into any of the genres but particularly if you just want a unique, entertaining read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    lov2laf

    This is not your typical lesfic book...like, at all. First and foremost, "The Gunfighter and the Gear-Head" is a post-apocalyptic western that takes place in modern day after an alien race has invaded Earth. All technology, modern niceties, and governments have been decimated and humans are doing what they can to rebuild while still fighting off the surviving alien race. It's gritty, lawless, strange, and "good" people are few and far between. Most characters are prickly, at best, and Gieo is uni This is not your typical lesfic book...like, at all. First and foremost, "The Gunfighter and the Gear-Head" is a post-apocalyptic western that takes place in modern day after an alien race has invaded Earth. All technology, modern niceties, and governments have been decimated and humans are doing what they can to rebuild while still fighting off the surviving alien race. It's gritty, lawless, strange, and "good" people are few and far between. Most characters are prickly, at best, and Gieo is unique in that she's about the only person left in the world with spunk, optimism, and a semblance of innocence. There are numerous characters, a complex plot, ongoing action...just a LOT going on, in general. However, the story is rooted in the perspective of either Gieo or Fiona so, as the reader, we're grounded that way and I felt that all of the plot points came together well. There is skilled writing here and a lot of imagination. The combination of steam-punk, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic dystopian old western is unique and ambitious and something I think the author ultimately pulled off. Your enjoyment level may vary depending on how much you like or dislike Gieo or Fiona because neither one is the warm and fuzzy type. Gieo is awkward, in your face, quirky, geekily intelligent, and quick to act which is both good and bad. Fiona has a "chaos trigger" for violence, isn't too deep, is often cold, impulsive, and is less intelligent than the women she shacks up with. Gieo and Fiona are the romantic leads in the story but, as you may guess, they have an on again/off again, push-pull power dynamic where their relationship initially leads with sexual tension rather than a deeper intimacy. It takes awhile for more to come through and both characters are fraught with issues that only complicate matters. So no, this is not a two women falling in love happy feeling kind of romance. However, it is not completely without satisfaction, either, and the characters do evolve some. When it comes to sex, scenes are short but explicit involving dominance, submission, power play, strap-ons and even anal. Yep, not typical lesfic at all. There's also infidelity...so I think *that* combo of elements may really send some lesfic readers screaming...BUT, I think Duffy handled them really, really well. So yeah, I liked this story quite a bit and am kind of amazed standing back looking at it all. I think the initial few chapters are bumpier to get through than the rest of the book so hang in there and it'll hit its stride...or you will. I do have an admission that I first attempted to read this book a few years back when I had only just started reading lesfic and it didn't sit right with me. I don't know what I was expecting but the coldness and lack of the warm fuzzies made me put the book down. I didn't "get it". Since then, I've read a good variety of genres in lesfic and also other books by this author so I was ready and it worked this time. I've also been able to stomach "The Last of Us" in the gaming world in chunks so maybe that's part of it, too. Yes, I enjoyed this book. I do recommend with the caveats of what I mentioned above and am on to #2 in the series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kageashi

    The most concise explanation I can give for this piece is that this is how steampunk sci-fi erotica should be written. If Hollywood were to do a blockbuster movie featuring the fallout of an alien invasion reducing society to a mash-up between steampunk and Mad Max and include the blatant eroticism, then this would be the novel to use. Despite the first chapter's severely rough edges, the book gains its stride in the second chapter and continues a roller-coaster pace: sometimes slow and climbing, The most concise explanation I can give for this piece is that this is how steampunk sci-fi erotica should be written. If Hollywood were to do a blockbuster movie featuring the fallout of an alien invasion reducing society to a mash-up between steampunk and Mad Max and include the blatant eroticism, then this would be the novel to use. Despite the first chapter's severely rough edges, the book gains its stride in the second chapter and continues a roller-coaster pace: sometimes slow and climbing, sometimes rocketing through curves, but always entertaining. The protagonists make an interesting pair, and the character development and intrigue surrounding Fiona "Red" Bishop's background adds spice throughout the novel. Add to this the undercurrents of a society teetering and attempting to regain some semblance of balance and multiple plot threads weaving across each other and you've got the weft of a captivating novel that happens to include some stunningly erotic and beautiful (and sometimes unpleasant) sex scenes. In short - Cassandra Duffy has managed to merge the 50's sci-fi trope of lizard men from outer space with the cult classic "Mad Max" and infuse steampunk and erotica in a way that produces an oddly entertaining and engaging novel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rae Storey

    I have always been a fan of the post-apocalyptic movies like Mad Max, The Postman, and Waterworld. I find the genre fascinating and exciting; survival tactics, ingenuity, and determination. In these settings, there is no place for the weak or timid, but being strong doesn’t have to mean total domination; enter the “reluctant hero”. In “The Gunfighter & The Gear-Head”, Cassandra Duffy has skillfully blended lizard aliens, wild-west gun fights, blimps, cults, and lesbian romance drama into an excit I have always been a fan of the post-apocalyptic movies like Mad Max, The Postman, and Waterworld. I find the genre fascinating and exciting; survival tactics, ingenuity, and determination. In these settings, there is no place for the weak or timid, but being strong doesn’t have to mean total domination; enter the “reluctant hero”. In “The Gunfighter & The Gear-Head”, Cassandra Duffy has skillfully blended lizard aliens, wild-west gun fights, blimps, cults, and lesbian romance drama into an exciting adventure using wit and well developed persons and places. Provided glimpses into their lives pre-invasion, the reader is able to connect with the characters as real people and become invested in their survival post-invasion.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sharon L

    This book simply does not appeal to me with it's content. Also, I respect the author's wish, which she stated quite politely, to not being reviwed. On a different subject- that still relates to the book's content (!!!)- the author writes lesbian erotica and also have a website in which she discuss many issues regarding being a lesbian. As I have a friend who struggles with her sexuality at the moment, I find the author's website a good instrument that might help my friend. Root over. This book simply does not appeal to me with it's content. Also, I respect the author's wish, which she stated quite politely, to not being reviwed. On a different subject- that still relates to the book's content (!!!)- the author writes lesbian erotica and also have a website in which she discuss many issues regarding being a lesbian. As I have a friend who struggles with her sexuality at the moment, I find the author's website a good instrument that might help my friend. Root over.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lesbian Reader

    While not normally my kind of book, I picked this one up and am actually kind of enjoying it. I just finished and read the sequel which I liked as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This is another where I wish there was a 3.5. The Gunfighter and the Gearhead is a self-published work that could have used some editing (and a good spell-check) but the story was actually good. It was an odd mix of steam-punk sci-fi, the movie Independence Day (lizard-like aliens invade earth, need to be run off), an old-fashioned spaghetti western, a mafia movie (complete with betrayals) and a lesbian romance. And it had a sense of humor. It is violent--humans and Slark are killed in rather vi This is another where I wish there was a 3.5. The Gunfighter and the Gearhead is a self-published work that could have used some editing (and a good spell-check) but the story was actually good. It was an odd mix of steam-punk sci-fi, the movie Independence Day (lizard-like aliens invade earth, need to be run off), an old-fashioned spaghetti western, a mafia movie (complete with betrayals) and a lesbian romance. And it had a sense of humor. It is violent--humans and Slark are killed in rather violent detail. So if that bothers you, be warned. But I enjoyed this. It's certainly original and the plot actually seemed more than an excuse for a sex scene. There's evidently a sequel so I'll add that to the list.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Pegau

    In-depth world building that intrigues and characters you want to sit and have a drink with. And have at your back when the shooting starts. Totally enjoyed the action as well as the emotional journey of each character. More, please, Ms. Duffy! :)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mike Reid

    Really cool story about a post apocalyptic USA staged in the southwest. The story flows nicely through the conflicts and the main characters, Fiona and Gieo are truly unique. Its kind of like Mad Max meets The Good, The Bad and The Ugly but with lesbian sex..:-)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Perhaps could have been a 4, because it certainly let me hooked but the first 70% of the book really hard to read. It was sexy, but kind of weird in the characters interactions, like when you are reading some ff that’s labeled as PWP and it’s sexy even if it doesn’t makes sense, but someone decided to put plot on it and I couldn’t wrap my head about some things. The last part of the book? I liked a lot.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I really enjoyed this. It was unlike anything else I've read in the lesbian romance genre and that's a good thing. Duffy created a strange and interesting world and her leads were very compelling. Gieo and Fiona were very well defined and I ended up caring for them a lot. I've heard this book described as steampunk, but that's only one part and personally I thought it was more post apocalyptic Sci-Fi than anything else. The relationship between the leads was unorthodox to say the least, but by t I really enjoyed this. It was unlike anything else I've read in the lesbian romance genre and that's a good thing. Duffy created a strange and interesting world and her leads were very compelling. Gieo and Fiona were very well defined and I ended up caring for them a lot. I've heard this book described as steampunk, but that's only one part and personally I thought it was more post apocalyptic Sci-Fi than anything else. The relationship between the leads was unorthodox to say the least, but by the end their connection was wonderful. The steamy scenes were very good and like with Gill McKnight's books, Duffy isn't afraid to show a wider spectrum of ways lesbians can have sex then just what Hollywood allows. Very hot in my opinion, but if (fairly mild) dominant/submissive sex isn't your thing, you may not like it. So I recommend this and I'm looking forward to more in this series as well as just more books from Duffy in general.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Weatherspoon

    I'll give this 3.75. Duffy is a very clever writer. This book is busting with surprises and witty dialogue. The characters were distinct and came right off the page, but a few parts did drag. I'm interested to see what else Duffy has to offer. Also there actually isn't that much sex as other reviews will have you believe, but that did not affect my feelings about the story. Just a heads up. I'll give this 3.75. Duffy is a very clever writer. This book is busting with surprises and witty dialogue. The characters were distinct and came right off the page, but a few parts did drag. I'm interested to see what else Duffy has to offer. Also there actually isn't that much sex as other reviews will have you believe, but that did not affect my feelings about the story. Just a heads up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Good post apocalyptic adventure tale with aliens and steam punk. Also a nice lesbian romance with a small touch of kink. My only complaint is that I prefer to buy ebooks through independent publishers. I got this one through Smashwords but the sequel to this story only seems available through the large houses of kindle or barnes n noble...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Fun concept, mediocre writing and far, far too much BDSM-style sex for the story to carry pulls the rating down. The characters pull it up, but a two is as much as I can give. Sex, in a story, is neither wrong nor out of place -- IF it fits in the tale. Here it does not.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ulli

    A weird story with weird charakters and lots of laughter, murder, aliens. I loved it, this book is just like a song you hear and love but anyone else will think it is awfull.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    quick read....perfect kind of book for a weekend or vacation

  25. 4 out of 5

    J. David Clarke

    This bizarre hybrid of steampunk, post apocalyptic science fiction western lesbian romance is packed with so much fun, adventure, sex appeal, and humor that I enjoyed it start to finish. Has really fun characters, an utterly insane setting, and lots of heart. Couldn't put it down. This bizarre hybrid of steampunk, post apocalyptic science fiction western lesbian romance is packed with so much fun, adventure, sex appeal, and humor that I enjoyed it start to finish. Has really fun characters, an utterly insane setting, and lots of heart. Couldn't put it down.

  26. 4 out of 5

    T.S.

    Lesbian Steampunk. Good read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jill Sorenson

    Heard great things about this, but I couldn't understand what was going on in the sample. There was some funny dialog, and vibrant character descriptions. Maybe I'll buy one of her short stories. Heard great things about this, but I couldn't understand what was going on in the sample. There was some funny dialog, and vibrant character descriptions. Maybe I'll buy one of her short stories.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beth Bowden

    Fun read. Lesbian steam punk.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yasmary

    This book was hilarious, violent, and full with lots of awesome sex. I'd even call this a beach read. haha. This book was hilarious, violent, and full with lots of awesome sex. I'd even call this a beach read. haha.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This wasn't my jam. I had purchased it years ago, thinking this would be a fun steampunkish read, with the added bonus of a lesbian relationship to change it up from typical "heteronormative" romance tropes. Instead, it's been a slog and really not worth spending more time on. I would have loved more plot and character development, and cool steampunk fiction stuff. Instead, the characters are superficial, the plot is superficial, and I really have other books that I probably will find more worth This wasn't my jam. I had purchased it years ago, thinking this would be a fun steampunkish read, with the added bonus of a lesbian relationship to change it up from typical "heteronormative" romance tropes. Instead, it's been a slog and really not worth spending more time on. I would have loved more plot and character development, and cool steampunk fiction stuff. Instead, the characters are superficial, the plot is superficial, and I really have other books that I probably will find more worthwhile spending time on.

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