Read Viridis by Calista Taylor Online


In steampunk Victorian London, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London’s elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings. Imagine an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the SIn steampunk Victorian London, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London’s elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings. Imagine an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city's poor, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis.Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe finds herself falling for Seth once again, only to have a powerful rival for her affections wrongly accuse Seth of attempted murder. As Phoebe struggles with a way to free her love, revolution, conspiracy and murder threaten to ruin it all.Devil on a Sparrow's Wing, book 2 in the Viridis series, is now available....

Title : Viridis
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781466112681
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 342 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Viridis Reviews

  • Adeselna
    2019-05-01 09:49

    The REAL sinopsis:Phoebe: I love you, Seth!Seth: I love you too! Let's get married!Phoebe: I cannot! I love you, but I do not trust you!Seth: Please marry me, I cannot live without you!*they drink Viridis and have sex*Seth: Marry me!Phoebe: Ok!Vitor: Phoebe marry me!Phoebe: I hate you, leave me alone.Vitor: *hits Phoebe*Seth: What happened?Phoebe: I don't want to talk about it.Seth: Tell me!Phoebe: I don't want to marry you anymore.Seth: Please, tell me who the bastard is!Phoebe: It was Vitor.Seth: I'll kill him. *exits to threaten Vitor and returns to Phoebe*Phoebe: What did you do? I told you to let it be.Seth: I must protect you!Phoebe: Fuck off, the wedding is off.Seth: Don't do this to me! I love you...aaaaand this goes on for another 100 pages!I have some mixed feelings about this one. I tried to enjoy the book, I even think the general idea was pretty amazing, IF Taylor had not ruined everything with the most horrible character ever! Phoebe is suppose to be a woman ahead of her time. The only thing she does ahead of her time is "opening her legs" for Seth! She is a fool, stupid and gets literally her ass raped to "save" the man she loves. Because a man deserves that you sacrifice yourself and be raped in order to save his neck. Erm... no!Steampunk is all about adventure, women who are powerful and fearless. Phoebe is just some stupid woman who keeps telling the love of her life that she loves him, but yet she cannot marry him, God knows why. If I was Seth, I would just leave the girl. If a girl says that she loves you and then says she cannot trust you, can you love without trust? Can you give yourself to that person for a long time and not love that person?[SPOILERS]And the villains! Good heavens! The only villain, which appears throughout the novel and is really terrible is always getting away with his crimes. He rapes, he beats Phoebe and he gets away with it, Anne who just thought homosexuality was a sin (she's not the villain, she's just someone who was trying to protect her sister) and killed two men ends up dead... Nice! The guy who rapes escapes, the girl who was trying to protect her sister ends up dead... thank you for bringing justice to fiction.[/END SPOILER]Read this if you like brainless stories. If you enjoy something a little more deep, stay away from this one.

  • AmniconStudio
    2019-05-05 10:39

    I started out really enjoying this book since it was my introduction to the genre. But I got to a point where I realized that the main character was going to do something kind of predictable and very stupid. As I read on it was confirmed. I found it to be absolutely ridiculous that the author would choose to go the route of having the main character and letting herself be brutally raped. It was a major WTF moment for me. Considering that I already felt invested in this book I felt obliged to finish it. Lame-A&* ending. I would not waste my money purchasing the next book in this series. I did not pay anything for this book on Amazon, if I did, I'd be mad at myself for wasting money.

  • Noran Miss Pumkin
    2019-05-08 12:43

    I was a good girl i was, and Saint Nicholas left me a Nook Tablet in my shoes Dec. 6th! Actually in the handmade tablet holder of felt from Wales I bought myself as ahint to my St. Nick!!!I was shocked and awed by the tablet-not fast enough to flip my free manga pages, but coolth none the less.No, I am not giving up on REAL books-just cruising for freebies, and out=of-pront classics on the web. Also a game or 12 apps is bonus too!This is my first Nook book. It has alternating chapters really=one story is a cool steampunk murder mystery, and the other is a bodice ripping romance story of Victorians times. They are all the same characters,it just the author must like writing bodice ripping off scenes-it gets weary after awhile between Seth and Phoebe doing it all the time. Less bodice and more mystery=maybe 50 less bodice ripping pages, and this story would have been 4 stars. Phoebe, for being an independent woman, weeps and faints way too much. The funny thing is that this story does feature a steampunk version of a tablet-for data storage in it.I have waited almost 3 years to pick an ereader/tablet--glad I am starting with the nook. New Ipad due next year.

  • Celine
    2019-05-13 04:35

    70 % done.. And I'm through with Viridis. This book is just not working for me.The thing is, this isn't even a bad book. I'm still giving this three stars because it shows so much promise, and it had the potential to be totally awesome. And it was. Until the romance started dominating the story.I really liked the first part. We get introduced to a steampunkish Victorian London with lots of cool machines they call "tinkerings". Phoebe is the owner of the exclusive club Viridis and the inventor of the drink Viridis that "heightens the senses" (read: make you very horny). There is an investigation, a whodunit, etc. I liked it. There's also a little background storyline of the Cause that fights for the poor, which was pretty interesting.Then, enter my big annoyance, the love interest Seth. We got of on the right foot actually, which is unusual for me. There was a history between him and Phoebe, which made it easier for me to believe their love. He seemed like a fine guy, nothing really special. I was fine with him and Phoebe hoovering a bit around each other, the little should-I-shouldn't-I game. It was quite amusing. Phoebe is the standard strong heroine. She is very stubborn and doesn't trust anyone to be there for her. She doesn't trust that Seth will stay this time. And now, my dear readers, here comes the shocking part. Mr Seth has a brilliant idea. While they are in Phoebe's bedroom, they get in a fight. Phoebe is screaming at Seth, doing the strong heroine routine. Seth takes his belt, binds her hands to the headboard, and has sex with her. Even though Phoebe is still cursing him and screaming to let her go. Afterwards, when they're cuddling, their conversation goes like this.Seth: "Can you forgive me for this?"Phoebe: "I respect you for what you did. It was necessary to make me trust you."Pardon my language. WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. THIS. SHIT.I can't even...No. Dear Ms Taylor. This is called rape. This is called sexual abuse. This is not romantic. This was not consensual. And a truly strong heroine would not "respect" this. She would kick that Seth in the balls the second he let her go. But I read on, hoping it would get better. It didn't. If the mystery had been the main focus of the book, I would have gotten through. But it wasn't. There was added a completely unexpected (and unnecessary?) love triangle, and Phoebe was abused some more. She gets locked inside a room for a day, for instance. Only thing she does is slap the guy once and have a breakdown. If she really was that strong, she would NOT have accepted this. I'm a wussy, but no one ever can lock me inside a room for a whole day against my will without me giving them hell.So I'm giving up. I would love to read a non-romance title from this author. Her world is nice, and the mystery is nice. The romance just wasn't for me.

  • Ashley Hill
    2019-04-27 12:36

    I hated what I read of this book. I made it exactly 47% in when I realized that the male lead wasn't the killer, which was pretty much the only way that I thought his character was redeemable. The writing wasn't bad; it was slightly purple in places, but it was a steampunk romance novel -- I'd be confused if it wasn't just a little purple. It had a strong opening. I looked forward to reading more about the inspector and less about the painful characters. Phoebe was supposed to be this bright, brilliant woman who runs a business and gets it done by herself -- but she's stumbling all over this ex who gave me serious creep vibes every time he was on the page. He's controlling and weird. The second he patted her knee and said, "I love that you hate giving up any control," I was out.Romance novels need more egalitarian male leads and less of whatever this was.

  • Erinn
    2019-05-09 11:36

    What a waste of time. I'm glad I didn't spend money on this. The book itself isn't that badly written, well from chapter 2 and on. The first chapter reads as if the author made a list of things that were steampunk and tried to fit as many of them as she could in. I believe she was trying to set the scene, but it just came across to me as tedious. The main character doesn't seem too bad at first, but as the story goes on she turns into the typical romance novel heroine. She might have been able to take care of herself before the book starts, but as soon as her long lost lover comes back she turns into a complete idiot. Helpless and in capable of making any decision that might keep her from getting attacked. I find it ludicrous that she would run a questionable business without bouncers, especially when that business sells drugged beverages. It's ridiculous that she only has two maids and neither one helps her get dressed or undressed. For that matter, her boyfriend/betrothed would have had staff at his house too. More things about her/this book that I find deplorable is that she would a) faint from accepting a marriage proposal (seriously??), b) after being physically assaulted by a man would then go to his house thinking she could reason with him, c) I found every man except her boyfriend more interesting then the actual boyfriend, d) on again off again relationships. Any dame that keeps breaking up with her man because things get too real or she can't handle that he might need to take a bit of time to work his brain around the fact that she, his intended bride, would voluntarily give her body to the man who had just a day or so ago beat her up, doesn't deserve the guy. He'd be better off ditching that crazy b!tch. Plus I was surprised at the number of sex scenes between her and her boyfriend, I got really bored with them and ended up skipping most of them. What surprised me the most though, is how the "rape" scene was actually more interesting then the love scenes. WTF? She agrees to have sex with him, agrees to drink her XTC rip-off herbal drink, and goes to the bed chamber of someone that has already physically assaulted her once. Yah, I don't feel sorry for her. Especially when she has an orgasm from the rough sex. I tend to have a hard time with rape scenes, but this wasn't so much of a rape scene as some very light S&M. I totally get her response both at the beginning and at the end when it really is too much for her, but I still don't feel sorry for her. Not one bit. I really feel a bit disgusted with her. Oh, and while I'm on the topic of sex scenes. Her lover got a negative mark against him for tying her up against her wishes. As soon as she started to freak out, he should have untied her. That was some bad use of bondage. It's not like they talked about it beforehand, had a safe word, or anything think like that. No he just tied her up and made her claim to trust him. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.In conclusion I wouldn't suggest this to anyone. It's not worth the time to read it.

  • Meow
    2019-05-22 11:33

    1.5 stars, mostly because managed to get through it. I don't really want to write a lengthy, snarky review, so I'll say this: unless you like alpha-bs from your heroes, and laughing at too stupid to breathe heroines, pass on this one. It's a shame too, because the Steampunk elements were actually quite nice and I thought the characters started out stronger than they ended. Note, this book contains a rough but consensual sex scene and a loving but non -consensual sex scene. Which is with whom in the story would surprise you.

  • Nicol Legakis
    2019-05-01 11:27

    If you don't have anything nice to say.....This book had much potential but strayed into graphic and misogynistic "love" scenes. The "heroine" was portrayed as feisty and brilliant but I found her annoying and stupid.The "steampunk" and mystery aspects of this book were interesting but needed to be more thoroughly developed.

  • Aimeekay
    2019-05-13 12:40

    Ok. First let me second the author's note that is put in with the blurb. There are definitely "some scenes" that "are not suitable for those under 18." Just want to point that out before I go any further. (more on that in a sec) Second there are going to be a major spoiler in this review. That being said don't say I didn't warn you.Alright, for the most part I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the way the story was written. The author brought the combination of romance,steampunk, and mystery together wonderfully. The steampunk was fun, I liked all the gadgets that the author created. The romance was definitely swoon-worthy. Seth and Phoebe so right for each other.The mystery! Even up 'til the end I thought I knew who the guilty parties were and I was mostly right, but the twist was definitely a good one.I liked the characters. Not just the main characters, but even the supporting ones as well. They had personality and made me want to learn more about them too. I also liked how they interacted with each other and how their relationships developed.Now I did say 'for the most part' so lets get onto the part that I didn't like. Lets start with the minor frivolous parts. There were some editing issues. For example one minute it says that Phoebe has turned away from Seth. Then a few lines later it says she turns away from him. It didn't really ruin my enjoyment of the book, but it agitated me that things like this happened more than once in the book. Considering how well the book was written otherwise this is something that I feel should have been caught at some point before the book went to the public. Again a frivolous complaint in the fact that it is my personal pet peeve, and the overall awesomeness of the book makes me want to overlook it.Now for the main part of my issue with the book and the spoiler. (again you've been warned.) Also here is a prime example of the 18+ warning (told you we'd get back to that).Ok. There is one scene in the book that REALLY tainted the book for me. Fortunately it came at the end of the book so it wasn't like it ate at me for the whole thing, but it just really turned my stomach.It was the scene were Phoebe goes to Victor in an attempt to talk him out of pressing charges against Seth. At first I kept thinking that at some point someone was going to come to Phoebe's rescue. Even after Victor gave Phoebe a huge dose of Viridis so that she would be forced to enjoy him whether she wanted to or not. Even after she was naked in his room. I kept thinking "ok someone is going to break down the door". Didn't happen. I understand why she did what she did. I get it. Seth's understanding of her actions later in the book marks how much they love each other. Fine. That part made me sad for Phoebe, that she wasn't rescued and had to basically allow someone to rape her to save her love. And don't make the mistake of saying it wasn't rape because she went into it willingly. She was coerced into such a position that if she didn't let Victor do what he wanted that her fiance would die. That's not giving consent, because consent implies that there is a choice. In Phoebe's mind and her world she really didn't have one. Again it made me said for Phoebe but it wasn't the actual part that turned my stomach.The part that did was the scenes that followed describing the sexual acts that Victor committed on Phoebe. How he whipped her, sodomized her, and while mentally she wasn't into it the Viridis made her body enjoy and get off on it. In a way it felt that those short sex scenes between Victor and Phoebe were more descriptive than the multiple love scenes between Phoebe and Seth that are scattered throughout the book. I understand that maybe the author was trying to make sure how Phoebe felt. But I think this is one of those cases were less would have been more. The fact that I really wasn't expecting it to happen combined with the graphicness of it really I think is what made that scene that much more disturbing to me. Did I enjoy the book? In general yes. Would I read more of Taylor's work? Yes. But it would be with the knowledge that there is the potential for above scenes in future work. It wouldn't stop me from reading more books in this series or by this author, but it would still be in the back of my mind that none of his characters are above any horror, even if they are the main character. Also that even though the main characters romance might achieve a happily ever after, the rest of their lives might not be so happy.There I said what really bothered me about the book. Overall I loved it except for those two issues. I hope I didn't ruin the book for anyone, and I said ahead of time that there was a major spoiler in the review. I would still read more by the author. I would still recommend this book, but I had to be honest and say how I felt.

  • Meg
    2019-05-08 06:37

    In its fundamentals, VIRIDIS was a good book. It was well-written with relatively few typos or formatting errors, the plot was decent, and the characters were more or less likable. The problem, I think for me, was one of taste.VIRIDIS is dark, and I don’t mean that in a blood and guts kind of way, but in a psychological, I-think-the-author-might-have-gone-slightly-off-the-deep-end kind of way. I’ve read a lot of dark books in the past - with S&M, blood, violence, psychopathic killers, and everything - but something about VIRIDIS really bothered me. It took me a long time to put my finger on what that thing was, and eventually I realized it was a lack of positive outcome. I guess I’m a happy-ending kind of gal, and although the book does end on an upswing for the protagonist and her lover, the pain and suffering throughout the story far outweighs the hope and joy. In fact, the very last chapter is the scene of a murder.This is not a book for the faint of heart. There is rape, some sexual bondage, multiple murders, conspiracy, and a monster in human skin. However, for those that find the dark side of human nature fascinating, and enjoy steampunk London, this still might be a good book for you.Characters: *** 3 StarsPheobe is likable and semi-realistic for an independent steampunk Victorian lady and brilliant herbal “tinkerer”, though a bit delusional about her own safety. She travels about London on her own, even to the poorest parts, without an escort or bodyguard or any kind of security. She even refuses to carry a weapon. However, she’s feisty and stubborn, and a bit of a revolutionary, willing to fight for who and what she believes in. Her ex-boyfriend, Seth, is also a brilliant mechanical “tinkerer”. He returns from a special mission for the Cause and pursues Pheobe with determination, trying to win back her heart and ultimately her hand in marriage. I liked that both Phoebe and Seth were ambitious and motivated individuals, but never really connected with either of them. Secondary characters include Pheobe’s brother Gabriel, who I wish played a larger part in the story (his character is integral, but we don’t learn much about him until the story is almost over), and Gavin, Seth’s best friend and an airship captain from Scotland that always wears a kilt. The villain is Lord Victor Fenwick, a self-righteous cold-hearted man, who demonstrates an absolute lack of compassion as well as an impressive network of allies. I actually wanted to know more about Victor - why he was so interested in Phoebe, and how he came to be the bastard that he is. Unfortunately, his motives were never fully revealed.Plot: *** 3 StarsWhile the story was well-built with few plot holes, I had a hard time enjoying the novel. One bad thing leads to another, leads to another, and the few glimpses we have of potential happiness for the characters are quickly crushed under the weight of another lie or catastrophe. The final resolution to the murder case was also a bit disappointing, as I think the author could have done a better job of providing subtle clues throughout the novel.Setting: ***** 5 StarsThe setting was perfect for a steampunk romance. The club, Viridis, was really well described, and the author brought Victorian London to life throughout the novel.Romance: *** 3 StarsI was not a fan of Seth and Phoebe’s relationship. Seth was overbearing and nearly abusive in one instance, and Phoebe keeps secrets from Seth, never really trusting him completely. While this makes sense given their background (Seth left Phoebe after her sister died, when she needed him the most), I never felt like they were a good match, despite their passionate physical relationship.Genre - Steampunk: **** 4 StarsVIRIDIS was a solid steampunk romance novel, but didn’t excite me as much as some of the others I’ve read. Phoebe’s lab (really more of a distillery) had some interesting security measures, and some of the devices sounded cool (if a bit too futuristic for Victorian London, even steampunk Victorian London), but I wanted more ingenuity from the author. Given Phoebe’s herbal elixirs, I had hoped for a bit of a twist on the regular steampunk themes, but VIRIDIS failed to deliver on that.

  • Whitney
    2019-04-30 12:24

    Viridis is a steampunk romance/mystery centered around Phoebe, a woman who owns a nightclub that features her herbal creations- including a concoction that stimulates your senses. A young nobleman is found dead and being a regular at Viridis, everything seems to indicate that somehow the motive for his death involves Phoebe...I really wanted to like this. Honestly. I'm a fan of steampunk, and while Taylor's story itself is excellent- I had an extremely hard time connecting with the two main characters. (view spoiler)[Phoebe is supposed to be extremely independent and savvy- she did open a business, and has managed to start a charity for the less privileged, on top of the herbal creations she's made. But she spends a lot of the book letting herself be pushed around by others, fainting, and making some really bad decisions. All while everyone reminds us that she's independent and intelligent.Seth is a skilled tinkerer (inventor) and just returned from a long trip to the Outlands. He and Phoebe had been involved, but when she said she had no plans to ever get married- he left her, even though her sister had just died. But, the second he's back, he's trying to act as though he wasn't ever gone and yes... he gets her to agree to marry him lickity split. Then, the second anything seems to go wrong, he calls off the engagement without bothering to talk to anyone.The rest of the cast is interesting. Phoebe's brother Gabriel, is a fairly nuanced character, but very interesting. The villain Victor, is cruel and calculating- though we never quite find out why he's so interested in Phoebe or Viridis. He just is, which is probably the most disappointing aspect of his character. Gavin is Seth's dear friend (and Phoebe's as well). Frankly, I found myself wishing that Phoebe was involved with Gavin because he was a lot like Seth, except not a jerk. The detective investigating the case is a pretty interesting character, with a nice little arc (even if that seems to be setting up later books in the series).But most of the story is spent on Phoebe & Seth.The story is told from multiple points of view, and honestly- that was handled beautifully. Everyone had their own voice, and it was always clear who was the narrator.There are a few love scenes, which are fairly standard romance love scenes- one has a bit of S&M. But there is a moment in the book where Phoebe goes to Victor- and is brutally violated by him. It's extremely graphic, and the decision completely undermines any credibility Phoebe had as an intelligent woman (she does it out of love, yes, but I had hoped she would have used her brain- a nice counterpoint to Seth's fists being what got them into the mess in the first place). Forget warning signs- there are practically neon lights saying that she's about to make the worst decision of her life, but she makes it anyways. And tone-wise, that scene is completely unlike anything else in the book. The book itself is sort of dark, but this is a black hole of darkness, and the book struggles to recover from it. (hide spoiler)]I find Taylor's world building well done, and her secondary characters great- I just don't care for Phoebe or Seth.

  • CaedyEries
    2019-05-10 11:34

    Title: ViridisAuthor: Calista TaylorRating: 5/5Summary: Lady Phoebe Hughes, developer of the herbal Viridis and owner of a club becomes the center of attention when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her establishment. Her beloved, Mr. Seth Elliott – a brilliant tinkerer, returns from his post in the Outlands, and that causes a stir. Beneath a back drop of revolution, conspiracy and murder Phoebe must struggle to free her love and find her happiness again.Review: Lady Phoebe Hughes has created an herbal elixir that is all the rage amongst London’s elite. Viridis brings an experience of euphoria, heightened senses and holds the potential to bring the consumer to orgasm with a singular kiss. However, not all is euphoric for Lady Phoebe. A lord is murdered after leaving her club, and as it turns out the lord had been working for the Special Services to infiltrate a movement known as the Cause. This however, was not the most shocking detail revealed upon Lord Hawthorne’s death, it was the fact that he was in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis. The tinkerer that stole her heart, Mister Seth Elliot, also returns and adds to the issues she is already facing. Phoebe loses herself once more to Seth’s affections, which adds another layer of drama and intensity to Phoebe’s already hectic and chaotic life when a powerful rival for her affections accuse Seth of attempted murder. The one thing that irked me about this particular novel, was that Phoebe had a martyr complex, always having to be the one to make things right, and even willing to suffer atrocities to ensure that things came out alright and in her favor. I do not condone the behaviors that she did, and personally I would have let the hunky Gavin MacKay handle it than submit myself to the hands of Lord Victor – and I like a little spice in my sex scenes. However, I understand that it aided in solidifying the character’s development throughout the book and further solidified her relationship with Seth (especially after it brought Gavin and Seth to a sexy Scotsman fist fight).I look forward to reading the sequel to this book, as soon as I have the money to spare for it.Recommendations: Steampunk, Victorian Era, Romance/Erotica readers.Purchase information: Amazon:

  • Anne
    2019-05-22 09:29

    For a free book, it was good enough. You can tell the author has talent, and I think she may come up with something pretty cool in the future. The plot was good, but there were just too many things going on at one time. The romance between Phoebe and Seth, the side tension because of Gavin, the creepy stalker Victor, the theft of the formula, a revolution in the planning (which kinda seemed to be a dropped story line toward the middle of the book?), the SS and it's possible involvement in a murder, Seth being accused of attempted murder, Phoebe's brother and his secrets, the list goes on and on. Another thing that bothered me was (view spoiler)[Phoebe's rape and the way it was depicted. It seemed like the author was trying to make it slightly erotic. He made her drink her concoction (which she sells in her club Viridis), because the stuff heightens your senses. In other words it makes you horny. So while Mr. Creepy was repeatedly raping her...Her body betrayed her! Ewww. The whole thing was only made worse because she agreed to it in order to save her beloved Seth. Really? A woman savvy enough to run her own business (and buck society) just agrees to that? It didn't ring true. If she was that smart, she could have found another way. It felt like a cheap ploy in order to throw some fairly icky BDSM into the story. (hide spoiler)]I had some other problems with the way the characters acted/reacted to things, but *shrugs* it was free. How much can you complain?Again, I think the author has some talent, so I'm not going to cross her off my list just yet.

  • Robin Shreeves
    2019-05-18 09:36

    In an attempt to broaden the genres that I read, I downloaded this to my Kindle because it was free. I wasn't familiar with Steampunk before this, but after reading Viridis, I really like the idea of the genre. (Can't say I actually like the genre yet as Taylor's books are the only that I've read in it). I don't read a lot of romance so this was very different for me.The writing is decent, but not excellent. The main characters, however, are very likable. The protagonist Phoebe is strong and independent (but makes some poor choices - who doesn't). The two men in her life are flawed but honorable. The unexpected twist at the end of the book is one you won't see coming, but it's not too far fetched.I surprised myself by looking for time to continue reading Viridis every chance I could, something I've found difficult with "better" literature lately. I liked it enough to download the second book in the series, "Devil on a Sparrow's Wing" and enjoyed that even more. The second book ends leaving the reader wanting to read the third, which hasn't been released yet!This is an enjoyable, fun read - especially if you're looking for poolside or beach reading for the summer. And for a free Kindle download, it can't be beat.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-06 12:36

    I had to rate the book 1 star because of an unnecessary rape scene. I think any author, should have a warning for triggers like that... just in case. Even if a rape scene does not get graphic and is used for a good purpose, there should be a warning.But it also got a poor rating for it's ending. I loved the first 2/3 of the book, but something changes... the characters do things they wouldn't have done (agreed to rape, etc.) and the "twist" ending is not a twist and is stupid. The end just starts to unravel. If the last 1/3 of the book was as good as the first 2/3, I'd be reading the whole series... but now I'm stopping here.Add a warning and I'll increase my review. So much potential in this book... but wasted by that surprise and unnecessary scene. Without the scene, I may have kept going just to see if the writing got better. I mean I finished Twilight even though the first book was horribly written.

  • V
    2019-05-22 06:32

    Gross! I have broken off reading this book and will not finish it. As a steampunk and mystery reader who also likes some light romance novels, I thought this would be a fun read. I was absolutely wrong. While it starts out just fine, the storyline and characters offer little to interest the reader. This is not the reason why I label the book gross and give it one star (indicating that it is one of the worst I've read), however. (view spoiler)[When the main character agrees to sex with a man she abhors, their interactions are vividly described in explicit detail. For this, I broke off reading mid-chapter. It disgusts me that such a violation would be written in a glamorized manner. I cannot emphasize enough how this ruined the entire story for me. I only wish I had read completely through other reviews on GoodReads before starting the book. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  • Mena Grazie
    2019-05-22 05:49

    A fun and fast-paced read that is definitely for adult readers. To call this a romance is a tad misleading. Certainly there is a strong romantic component that is central to the story...and very steamy! It is not the entire story, however. The are also wonderful elements of mystery and political intrigue waiting between these covers. It is these darker elements that make this book worth reading and thrust it out of the romance aisle into the hands of anyone who favors steampunk. This is also a unique steampunk story in that it revolves more around chemistry than engineering. Like the genre itself, Viridis is a thoroughly modern story only loosely corseted by the Victorian garb of steampunk. Definitely, worth the read!Now, can anyone tell me where to find some Sanctis?

  • Jean Oram
    2019-05-13 12:26

    Phoebe rocks. She's a feisty little Victorian who loves science and tinkering with steam powered contraptions. In an era of keeping women in their place and following the social norms of the time, she flaunts conventions with a style, flair, and energy that will have you rooting for her.Phoebe creates an elixir that puts her and her tinkerer lover in the sights of the other side of London's steampunk world's revolution. Will she and her man survive or will they have to give up the one thing they've finally realized is the only thing they want?...And I'm not telling because that would be a spoiler. Read it yourself! (It's on Smashwords for free! Wahoo!)

  • ReadingDiva Book Reviews
    2019-04-28 04:47

    Viridis is my first steampunk read, and I couldn’t have chosen a better book. Viridis is a great introduction to this amazing genre. Viridis is well written, fast pace and entertaining. I enjoyed how inventive, smart and witty the characters were. The author creates a fantastic combination between the old era and modern technology. The characters were emotional, smart and strong. The main character, Lady Phoebe isn’t your typical frail and weak woman of the old era. She is strong, smart, and has a great sense of individuality. This was a very emotional and heartfelt love story filled with action, technology, and adventure. I can’t wait to read the next book.

  • Rae
    2019-04-24 06:26

    This book is quite possibly the best fiction novel I've ever read. It's a simmering brew of steam-punk, chick lit, mystery, sex and conspiracy. The title is after a drink created by the main character and served to the high-end clients in her social parlor, and the plotline follows a series of vaguely Sherlock Holmesey murders throughout the streets of London while incorporating a rather mature romantic relationship between the main character and her intrigue.A hundred million stars. Note: Very much an adult novel and there is a bit of disturbing violence.

  • Mia Darien
    2019-05-10 06:28

    It was hard to choose an accurate rating for this book, because I enjoyed a lot about it but it's Main Character (Phoebe) was a struggle for me. What bothered me may not bother others, however, so I had to rate it midline for how crazy Phoebe drove me but I really enjoyed the author's writing, the world she created and the secondary sympathetic characters. So for someone looking for steampunk, I would recommend they give this a try.

  • Maylin
    2019-05-19 06:43

    I really wanted to like this. The plot sounds very interesting and original, great ideas abound. However although the writing is ok the writing style is amateurish. Too much is explained too soon. It reads more like a first draft lacking finesse and sophistication.A shame this would be brilliant written well.

  • Sabrina
    2019-05-12 07:40

    I found this book to be so captivating and interesting. It kept me hooked to the very end. There were so many twists in it that kept one on their toes. I loved it so much that I am now reading the sequel! Calista Taylor is a great writer.

  • Carrie
    2019-05-15 06:41

    Phoebe and Seth! Quote :)"'I knew from the moment I set eyes on you. There could never be another. You, a ghaoil, are the air I breathe, the blood in my veins, my heart and my very soul. And soon, you will be my wife.'"

  • Brandy
    2019-05-22 12:27

    I couldn't even finish this book.

  • Beth
    2019-05-01 04:51

    Classic steampunk, hot and steamy with a herbal twist.

  • Morv
    2019-05-09 06:25

    Viridis isn't exactly the average steampunk book, in fact I would say the steampunk is more in the background and just adds a bit of interest to the story, this could easily just be a Victorian drama if you take a few things out. It's a good book to read though if you have never read a steampunk book, it's probably one of the more decent one's I have read so far as well.The story circles around Phoebe Hughes and her creation Viridis, which is a special kind of drink which makes the consumer of it become more hightend, their skin becomes sensitive and they pretty much desire sex. There is also an ex called Seth, his good pal Gavin, her brother Gabriel, a Lord who is trying very hard to court her called Victor and finally a police investigator William.There is a lot going on in this book, it's not just about Phoebe and her brother running a very successful club, nor is it about her ex coming back and swaying her back into his arms, or a fight between Seth and Victor for the right to court her. It encompasses all these things, with a dash of murder mystery and the theft of the secret formula Viridis.There is also a nice twist at the end of the book, although I did wonder about the two servant girls, Lily (who worked in the bar) and her younger sister Anne, although they did add something to the book, it felt like they were tossed in at the end to give the ending a bit more drama than was really needed.Now for the characters:Phoebe - the main character, I suppose we should call her the heroine, but that wouldn't sit right, because she does need to be saved. She's not a stereotypical Victorian lady (although is there ever a stereotypical Victorian lady in books though?) since she has managed to have her own business with her brother working with her as well, she also invented and distills the Viridis drink on her own. So clearly she is indeed a smart lady. However you find that although she is a smart lady in matters about buisness, there are moments when you just think... What? She starts to irritate me halfway through the book when she is given advice to just stay where she is and to keep away from Victor. She keeps trying to get to Victor though even though they have to stop her and tell her why she should stay away from him, even after she was hit by him she still thinks she can talk to him!Seth - He's a pretty dull character, for someone who is a tinkerer there wasn't really much to highlight it much, again this shows how little steampunk there is in the book, we see him using his skills once to help the Inspector William but that was pretty much it. He just didn't seem to have too much oomph to him aside from being a foil of sorts to Phoebe.Gavin - Seth's best friend from Scotland - I like that the author made it obvious that Gavin is indeed Scottish and he doesn't (like Seth does) tweak his voice to sound more English. Gavin is just a rather interesting character, he doesn't mind using violence when it's need, yet he's not that much of an idiot that he won't think of a situation without violence. There is a moment in the book when he and Seth physically fight each other to get the tension out and clear the air. The down point was that he kissed Phoebe when Seth was away in the Outlands and the author decided to put it out in the open, when really it wasn't needed aside to stir more tension and drama that wasn't needed. Aside from that Gavin does appear to be a loyal friend and will do as much as he can to help Seth and Phoebe.Victor - this guy is just irritating, he's every inch a stereotypical Victorian villian, he wants Phoebe - although she is thinking he is after her money and the formula to her Viridis drink - but he is a powerful man with powerful friends with plenty of money of his own, having Phoebe's money would just be a bonus. We don't learn anything about him really, aside from the fact that he is a very evil man who blackmails people into doing the dirty deeds for him. He's just too flat a character to really give too much attention to. William - This is a stereotypical Victorian man, he is very much believes the law will have it's way and he treats woman as ladies, over all he's polite and well mannered, he's not the most interesting character in the book, but he's not bad and he's not dull either.Gabriel - Phoebe's brother, who is always just pushed on the side, even though he does have an important part about the story. He just wasn't there, you never really got to know him, the twist at the end of the story about him just left you feeling a bit like 'oh really?', it was very meh like for him, when we never really got to know him aside from being Phoebe's brother, there was no real personality about him at all.Over all, it's a good book, but the characters aren't really well thought out, Gabriel should have had more personality in the book to make him pop next to his sister, Seth was just rather dull and boring in comparison to Gavin. Victor was a plan villain.There is also the SS and the Cause, neither of which are explained, although you are given a clue that The Cause is for people to gather together and prepare to fight in a revolution that is soon to come about.

  • Laura Greenwood
    2019-05-06 07:34

    Review forthcoming on http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-live... Book 1 of the Viridis series. Late one night a body is found, and discovered to be that of a young Lord. Recently made an inspector, William sets out to solve the crime, introducing him to the club Viridis and its owner, Lady Phoebe Hughes. Phoebe and her only remaining family member, her brother Gabriel, run the club together, selling a herbal concoction of Phoebe's design which makes the sense more acute and increases desire, a potent combination when Phoebe's lover, Seth, returns from a year long absence, and though she tries not to fall for his charms, some things are just doomed to fail. With a rejected suitor on the path for revenge, a revolution brewing and the Secret Service sticking their noses in, can the entourage prove their innocence and solve the crime, and remain unharmed, or is that as doomed to fail as Seth and Phoebe staying away from each other?Link to GoodreadsLink to amazonHaving written the above synopsis, I don't even feel like I have scratched the surface of what Viridis has to offer as a book. I loved reading every minute of it, the story captivated me, the relationships and characters all had their faults, or in the case of the 'bad' characters, their redemptions, and ultimately they were all 'real' (something you will realise I love if you just read a couple of my reviews!).Take your warning now though: Viridis contains regular scenes of a sexual nature, including one that could almost be defined as rape (I say almost as the flow of the story makes it so that, technically, the character involved agreed to be placed in that situation). Personally I didn't have a problem with the sex scenes (well other than the rape obviously), though it had a steampunk setting and contained elements of crime, Viridis was primarily a romance story, and a romance without sex is just a bit flat in my opinion, it just doesn't seem to be realistic. Additionally one of the properties of Phoebe's herbal drink, also called viridis, is that it enhances desire, and again, not showing the potential results of this would have been a little odd.I saw a couple of reviews of Viridis from people saying that they didn't like it and that the characters were self-absorbed. Now even allowing for differences in personal taste, I have no idea what they were reading, but I am shocked that it is the same as what I read! Yes, on occasion the characters could be a little selfish, but then I would like you to show me someone who isn't, in my mind it is highly unrealistic to have a completely selfless character. In actual fact, I thought that a lot of what the characters did was for other people, just look at what Phoebe did to save Seth, to my mind that took a lot of love and a lot of courage to do, even for a fictional character!Overall I thought that the characters were well written and well-rounded, which really helped the story to flow. Even when one of the characters did something bad, you could see how they felt they were justified doing it, and you can even feel that they were justified. Really this all comes back to having real characters who act like real people!Intertwined with the love story is the mystery of the murder. And I must say, hats off to Taylor, I had no idea who the murderer was until it was revealed, of course none of the characters really had a clue either! One thing I can say was that I at least worked out the motive, well sort of. I worked out a fact that wasn't reveled til much later and that turned out to be the motive, but I still feel that that deserves a pat on the back!I really enjoyed all the aspects, characters and themes in Viridis and I would most definitely recommend it!

  • Mariachiara
    2019-05-08 08:46

    Titolo: VIRIDISAutore: Calista TaylorInedito in italianoTrama: Londra. Una città governata dalla monarchia, ma in cui sta bruciando la voglia di rivoluzione. I poveri sono troppo poveri e nemmeno le invenzioni che pochi uomini geniali creano, bastano per mettere fine all’enorme divario tra ricchi e poveri, e alle enormi ingiustizie perpetrate ai loro danni.Siamo sull’orlo di una sommossa di proporzioni importanti e i nostri protagonisti ne sono coinvolti, anche se, per ora, marginalmente.La protagonista femminile è nobile, ma impoverita, dopo essere rimasta orfana, si guadagna da vivere grazie al suo talento per creare pozioni. Col fratello minore ha aperto un club esclusivo dove si può sorbire il viridis, un elisir che lei aveva creato per curare la melanconia, ma che in realtà ha proprietà euforiche e sensuali poiché si dice accresca il piacere di molto. Inutile dire che il locale va alla grande.Poi un giorno ecco che si rifà vivo il suo unico e vero amore, un famoso inventore, fedele alla causa rivoluzionaria, che l’aveva lasciata per andare a fare un lavoro per la causa in Antartide. I due si amano ancora entrambi, ma lei è arrabbiata con lui per l’abbandono, anche se lui non aveva tutti tori poiché prima della sua partenza voleva sposarla ma lei lo aveva rifiutato perché troppo triste per la morte della sorella…..comunque i due dopo alcuni incontri fanno pace , ma i loro problemi non finiscono certo lì.Infatti un omicidio di un nobile che forse era una spia che si era infiltrata tra i rivoltosi per poi denunciarli alla polizia segreta di stato fa iniziare alcune indagini intorno al club di lei. Indagini che rivelano che qualcuno ha avuto accesso alle formule segrete dei suoi elisir, ma non è chiaro che le abbia se i rivoltosi o i servizi segreti…..inoltre uno spasimante ingelosito e manesco di lei denuncia il protagonista per aggressione e poiché è nobile le sue accuse hanno peso.La mia opinione: il libro è scritto bene e nonostante la trama sia spiccatamente tipica del romance, lui che torna dopo anni, la riconquista, ma deve superare pure altri problemi…..ciò non toglie che il libro sia una piacevole lettura. L’ambientazione è tipica steam, non mancano le aereonavi o le armi strane, ma il libro di steampunk in fondo ha abbastanza poco, più nuova è la presenza dell’alchimia legata al genere, le opzioni della protagonista sono diverse e tutte hanno possibili usi militari volendo. Certo più che Londra sembra di stare a Parigi prima della Rivoluzione francese, senza però molti ideali, infatti la causa rivoluzionaria, pare essere poco meglio del governo visto i mezzi violenti che vuole usare.I protagonisti sono simpatici, più lui di lei a dire il vero, lei a volte è un tantino melodrammatica, poi scusa sai già che il cattivo della situazione è violento, ti ha già picchiato e non sente ragioni, e tu lo incontri ancora una volta, da sola, per farlo ragionare? Cosa sei scema?Lui invece è più logico, più passionale, un gran bel personaggio intelligente e coraggioso e la sua riconquista di lei è molto romantica e molto sensuale.Tirando le somme un bel libro direi, un romance ma diverso da solito, e visto che è già disponibile il seguito che stavolta è ambientato durante la rivoluzione già iniziata

  • Tom Russell
    2019-05-05 09:28

    Viridis is actually two tales woven together. In the first, Inspector William Thomas, a hard-bitten yet soft-hearted Scotland Yard Inspector, works to solve a high profile murder case. In the second, Lady Phoebe Hughes, the industrious and independent inventor of the titular elixir must decide how much of that hard won independence she is willing to give up to be with the man she loves. These two stories come become entwined with one another in a logical and satisfying manner. Unfortunately, for this reviewer, neither story seemed to reach their full potential. The mystery surrounding the murder unwound at a leisurely pace without any real sense of urgency. The romance between Lady Hughes and Mr. Seth Elliot, while certainly punctuated with fluttering hearts and passionate embraces, lacked a certain tension.Ms. Taylor deserves due praise for the vividness of her writing and the natural feel of her dialog. The scenery was crisp and engaging. The intimate scenes between Phoebe and Seth were explicit and erotic without being excessively prurient. The scene wherein Phoebe (view spoiler)[ submits herself to the sadistic lusts of Lord Victor Fenwick (hide spoiler)] was powerful and disturbing. She bills Viridis as a steampunk romance and has certainly laced her world with the requisite trappings. There are airships and improbable contraptions, Victorian-esque sensibilities and attitudes, and a certain glossing over of some of the harsh realities of the era. The tale is peppered with a sense of impending revolution in the name of an ill defined underground movement known as The Cause (with which all the major characters are sympathetic, of course). It all makes for a setting that definitely feels steampunk. The "punk" half of the equation, however, seems a bit subdued. Most importantly in the person of Lady Phoebe. She starts out the book as a seemingly strong, independent, intelligent and enterprising woman. However, all the men in her life treat her as a frail flower and go to great lengths to shelter and protect her. They were forever telling her to stay at home and let the men take care of things. Their efforts to do so wind up putting her in an even more desperate situation. When she did finally attempt to take matters into her own hands the only method she can come up with entirely ignored all her supposed enlightened qualities and relied solely upon her femininity. There was no finesse, no clever ploy, simply "I have no other choice." In the end she becomes the fainting woman in distress that everyone else insisted she was all along.