Gillian has been granted full status as a toymaker, which means she creates machines and various toys to satisfy the desires of their exclusive clientele. But she's presented by the Master of the Guild with a unique request--a man wants them to create a life-sized mannequin that will resemble his deceased paramour in every detail--so he gives them a picture of her. And he wants it to be fully sexually functional, as well as able to speak. Even in this steampunk setting, with brilliant engineers, this is a daunting assignment. But the Master has complete faith that Gillian can produce what their client desires, so she's put in charge of the project.
Gillian is very happy with Rafe, a fellow engineer, who shares a special connection with her, despite their both having sexual escapades with other members of their Guild. But on a trip to Paris, she meets an engineer who is in charge of the large machinery that runs the ship. His name is Jeremiah, and she feels an instant connection to him also. They have a steamy encounter in the bowels of the ship, when he volunteers to show her how the engines work. She risks bringing him back to Manderlay, to introduce him to the Master, because she suspects his engineering skills might be helpful in the Guild's work. But Rafe, who doesn't mind sharing her with others, is not happy that she has such an obviously strong connection with another man--and the fact that Jeremiah is Black causes him to use bigoted language when hurling insults at his rival.
Will Gillian be able to navigate her relationship issues, as well as produce the miracle that their client wants from them? And will this be the end of the story, or merely another fine addition to an already exciting series? I dare you to put the book down, because it's that good!