Esme Smith needs a male face for her political party who can represent her views in gentlemen's clubs. Her intention is to hire a charming scoundrel who is unknown in the area and whom, on her pay, can devote himself to the cause full time. Her uncle recommends American Jed Reeves, and although he is actually an inventor and not a con man, he is intrigued by her and her ideas, and so he accepts her proposition.
This was... better than nothing? It is a novella and the beginning of a series, so perhaps I expect too much, but there's less suffrage and less steampunk than I was hoping for. The plot isn't so much about Esme's political plans as about an opponent of them attempting to court and then blackmail her into marriage as a way to get his hands on her inheritance. Setting Jed up as her spokesman/puppet was really just a method of introducing them to each other, not something that actually involved them pursuing any goals. They could have met through any method and it would have made no difference. And although Jed is an inventor and there were occasional scenes of him and others geeking out over some interesting device, only at the climax of the story did any of them have any impact on the plot.
I'm unsure about reading the slightly longer second in the series, Courting Trouble. It's possible that this was more of an introduction to the characters and both the suffrage and the steampunk will play a more prominent part in the next installment. On the other hand, I read the first page on Amazon and it has Jed acting rather offensively alph-holish, which is not what I want for an alleged hero, especially when he's supposed to be a supporter of legal rights for women.
If anybody knows of any other suffragette steampunk, please tell me about it. I mean, this can't be the only one, right?