📚Review: There Will Be Phlogiston, by Alexis Hall (Prosperity book 5)


cover-alexishall-therewillbephlogistonAn instructive story in which vice receives its just reward.

Inspired by true and scandalous tales of the Gaslight aristocracy, we present the most moral and improving tale of Lady Rosamond Wolfram.

Weep, reader, for the plight of our heroine as she descends into piteous ruin in the clutches of the notorious Phlogiston Baron, Anstruther Jones. Witness the horrors of feminine rebellion when this headstrong young lady defies her father, breaks an advantageous engagement, and slips into depravity with a social inferior. Before the last page is turned, you will have seen our heroine molested by carnival folk, snubbed at a dance, and drawn into a sinful ménage a trois by an unrepentant sodomite, the wicked and licentious Lord Mercury.

Reader, take heed. No aspect of our unfortunate heroine’s life, adventures, or conduct is at all admirable, desirable, exciting, thrilling, glamorous, or filled with heady passion and gay romance.


Dates read:
Edition read:
December 8, 2014
Riptide Publishing
Steampunk, GLBT+, M/M/F Menage
150 e-book pages
3rd person
Series, book 5
January 12-13, 2016
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:       ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
Click for more information regarding ratings.


We’re told in the title that there would be phlogiston.

I’m here to answer your burning question: Was there phlogiston?

Before I answer, there will be a lesson.


Pay attention.

steampunk | ˈstēmˌpəNGk | noun
a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology

Victorian | vikˈtôrēən | adjective
of or relating to the attitudes and values of the Victorian period, regarded as characterized especially by prudishness and a high moral tone

ménage à trois | māˈnäZH ä ˈt(r)wä, məˈnäZH | noun
an arrangement in which three people share a sexual relationship

Phlogiston | flō-jĭs’tən | noun
a substance supposed by 18th-century chemists to exist in all combustible bodies, and to be released in combustion. ORIGIN: mid 18th cent.: modern Latin, from Greek phlogizein ‘set on fire,’ from phlox, phlog- ‘flame,’ from the base of phlegein ‘to burn’

free | frē | adjective
given or available without charge


Got all that? Sure you do. You’re smart.

Me? I didn’t know phlogiston was a real word until about an hour ago…now I can’t stop saying it. I’m not always real smart. Also, I’m still kinda new to the whole steampunk thing. Cut me some slack, will ya?

Sorry, sorry. Where were we?

Oh, yes.

Now, what do you suppose we get when we put those five things together?

I’ll tell you what: Put on a fucking helmet and strap the fuck in, is what.



I rest my case.

There was, in fact, phlogiston.


Oh, that wasn’t enough?

Alrighty then. I’ll tell you more.

This story consists of three vastly different people who have one huge commonality. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you what it is. What it is NOT is a spoiler.

Lady Rosamond Wolfram – prim, proper, aristocratic young woman caged by propriety and familial/societal expectations. She’s a bit of a snooty bitch…but funny, curious, and restless in the confines of her corset and the duty to please her family.

Lord Arkady Mercury – prim, proper, aristocratic man caged by dwindling coffers and the overwhelming shame of his perversion of being attracted to (gasp!) men.

The Phlogiston Baron, Anstruther Jones – not prim, not proper, commoner turned wealthy, yet unwelcome in high society because…common. He’s rough around the edges, laughs too loudly, and doesn’t give a shit what the society snobs think.

So, what do these three have in common?

They’re lonely.

Loneliness sucks.

The Lady wants to live a life less traveled but isn’t quite sure how to make that happen. The Lord thinks he’ll be okay if he can occasionally sneak down to the docks for a clandestine hand/blowjob or whatever to ease his perverted cravings. The Baron simply wants a loving home and a family.

What are three lonely people to do?

Oh, you know. I don’t have to tell you all that. Anyways…Alexis Hall does a MUCH better job of it that I could ever hope.

The better question is: How in the world, in the Victorian era of aristocracy, social standing, and prudishness, do these three get together?

I’m not tellin’!

I’ll share this opinion with you, though: I’m very, very picky about menage stories. I love them when they’re done right. To me, they’re done right when I’m made to believe that three is stronger than two and that the throupling isn’t all about three-way-freaky sex. Yeah, gimme the sex with those extra arms and legs and sexy bits. But I want to feel a deeper (no pun intended) connection.

Alexis Hall did this too.

Of course he did, because he can do anything.

And he does it with poetic eloquence and subtle humor—my favorite!

Now…before you go download this book (because it’s FREE, remember?), I’ll also tell you that it can be read as a stand-alone.

Sure, it’s book 5 of a series, but the people in here only have glancing roles in the previous books. Honestly, I had no idea I even needed their story. And you don’t really need to know anything that happened in those other books because it all takes place before book one. A prequel, if you will, sort of.

**Warning: The story is over at the 50% mark on your Kindle. I was aaaallll excited when I looked down and noticed I was only at 46% and then it was only a few minutes later and I was done. I don’t want anyone else to suffer the heartache of the story ending so soon.

Q: Katie, are you by chance, intoxicated?
Only on my adoration of Alexis Hall’s writing and super-amazing stories. Honest! But ask me again in an hour.

This review also posted on GoodReads and (partially) on Amazon.

Tell me what you think!