Book Reviews

The Engineer (Magic & Steam 1) by C.S. Poe - AUDIO

Genre Gay / Historical / Steampunk / 19th Century / Agents/Spies / Western / Cowboys / Law Enforcement / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Barb on 02-September-2020

Book Blurb

1881—Special Agent Gillian Hamilton is a magic caster with the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam. He’s sent to Shallow Grave, Arizona, to arrest a madman engineer known as Tinkerer, who’s responsible for blowing up half of Baltimore. Gillian has handled some of the worst criminals in the Bureau’s history, so this assignment shouldn’t be a problem. But even he’s taken aback by a run-in with the country’s most infamous outlaw, Gunner the Deadly.

Gunner is also stalking Shallow Grave in search of Tinkerer, who will stop at nothing to take control of the town’s silver mines. Neither Gillian nor Gunner are willing to let Tinkerer hurt more innocent people, so they agree to a very temporary partnership.

If facing illegal magic, Gatling gun contraptions, and a wild engineer in America’s frontier wasn’t enough trouble for a city boy, Gillian must also come to terms with the reality that he’s rather fond of his partner. But even if they live through this adventure, Gillian fears there’s no chance for love between a special agent and outlaw.


First edition published under the title Gunner the Deadly in the anthology Once Upon a Time in the Weird West published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2016. This edition is entirely revised, newly expanded, and book one in the exciting new steampunk series, Magic & Steam.

Narrated by Declan Winters

Book Review

A short but very entertaining audio, this story was my introduction to narrator Declan Winters and he was fabulous! Steampunk has never been my theme of choice and yet every steampunk story I’ve read has been highly imaginative and very intriguing. This was no exception.


Special Agent Gillian Hamilton is on the hunt for a madman engineer known as Tinkerer, but also on the hunt is the very handsome, very bad-boy outlaw Gunner the Deadly. He’s so handsome and so very bad that Gillian can’t keep his heart and his virginal libido under control. Then, he learns just how much Gunner finds him attractive and just how much Gunner’s reputation is skewed, and he’s confronted with a tough choice: join with the outlaw and bring down Tinkerer or try to arrest Gunner first and then go after the mad engineer.


Amid several action-packed shoot-‘em-up scenes, Gillian and Gunner have a few minutes of alone time and it becomes evident that Gunner is a man who likes men, just as Gillian is, and Gillian’s heart is lost. What I’m trying to say is that this is so sweet, yet so true to the time period, and with a bit of magic and steampunk added to the mix, the story was terrific. Add to that the outstanding narrative with a great mix of voices, and this is definitely an audiobook I recommend.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This audio book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format audio book
Length Listening Length: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Heat Level
Publication Date 05-August-2020
Price $6.06 audiobook
Buy Link