MandyM's review said it all.
The universe is a blend of 19th thru 21st century, with added common use of magic. That, and the fact that homosexuality isn't an issue, reminded me a lot of Megan Derr's fantasy universe (which I adore).
This story is full of descriptions. But most elaborate are descriptions of food, clothing, jewelry, and magic. I enjoyed the ones of magic, and had
drooling trouble with the ones of food, and it was charming all around, but after a while it became a bit tiring. Though the action/mystery bits in between teas and breakfasts, and the glimpses of Alex's world and magic were enough to keep me reading on and having fun!