Friday 27 December 2013

Heart of Iron (London Steampunk Book 2) by Bec McMaster - Book Review

From the Blurb:

In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…

Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…

Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.

With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…

The Review:

Heart of Iron is the second book in the London Steampunk series by Bec McMaster and, it's official, she's done it again. I absolutely adored the first in this series, Kiss of Steel, which follows Honoria and Blade as they contend with the dangers on the streets of Whitechapel, as well as their increasingly steamy attraction to each other. You can find my review of Kiss of Steel here.

Each of these books can be read as standalone novels, but I strongly recommend reading them in order, as once you get a taste of Bec McMaster's incredible steampunk romance you will want to devour it all, and the development of the world is most satisfying in order.

Heart of Iron follows Lena, Honoria's sister, who is not quite the quiet wallflower she appeared to be for much of Kiss of Steel. Now she lives with her brother Leo and attends elite social events amongst the Echelon, but she is also an agent for the underground humanist movement.

While Lena is a very different character to her sister, she is just as kick ass, possibly even a little more! Lena is used to looking pretty and having people expect little else from her, but few realize that she has another secret side which is driven and self empowered. She is one of my favorite heroines... ever. Even with her steampunk surroundings and werewolf romance, there is something very real about her character.

I don't even know how to begin to talk about Will. He is that perfect combination of vulnerable, damaged, protective and utterly gorgeous. He has a very troubled past, having been locked up and forced to fight as a werewolf, but since being saved by Blade (the hero of the first book), he has developed a protective and passionate personality.

Lena and Will's relationship is intoxicating. Driven by an intense mix of forbidden desire, unspoken need and, later, pure sexual ferocity, this is a romance that is the absolute definition of HOT.

Just. So. Sexy.

On top of that, this is a novel of thrilling steampunk action. Bec McMaster's world building is faultless and addictive. It is easily accessible for those unused to steampunk tales, but it is also filled with beautiful detail (while not being so full on that it detracts from the story) that lovers of this sort of fantasy will adore.

I didn't believe it was possible, but I actually think I enjoyed this sequel better than the first. I am so excited to read the rest of this series!

With only a couple of days left in the year, I think it is safe to say that Heart of Iron is my favorite romance novel of 2013. Hands down.

If you like kick ass heroines, down right gorgeous heroes and seriously sexy steampunk, Bec McMaster's London Steampunk series is for you.

Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster was published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on May 7, 2013, and is available from Amazon, Book Depository (paperback and audiobook), and Audible.