ENEMIES. ALLIES. LOVERS.
When her beloved father was assassinated, Lady Aramina swore revenge. The man responsible is well beyond her grasp, but his dangerously seductive heir, Leo Barrons, is fair game. When Mina obtains evidence proving that Leo is illegitimate, she has the means to destroy both the killer and his son, a man who troubles her heart and tempts her body.
A woman of mystery, Mina's long driven Leo crazy with glimpses of a fiery passion that lurks beneath her icy veneer. He knows she's hiding something, and he's determined to unravel her layer by silken layer. He just doesn't expect the beautiful liar to be the key to overthrowing the corrupt prince consort...or to saving his own carefully walled-off heart.
Both Leo and Mina are Bluebloods of the Echelon, the ruling class of not-quite-vampires who control London. Yet both of them want nothing more than to destroy the current political structure and bring about a fairer power system. Neither, however, have any idea that the other is planning such a scheme, or just how far they are willing to go. They both have their own motivations and means, just as they both have a desire for each other that is sexy, delicious, and more than a little inconvenient when planning a coup.
This is the fifth and final novel in the London Steampunk series, which is one of my favorite fantasy-romance series... ever. If you like vampires and werewolves, steampunk weaponry and automatons, alpha heroes and heroines who kick ass, you will love this series. It has action, romance, politics, and some of the steamiest sex scenes to which I ever did swoon. If you haven't read the series before, though, you should start from the beginning with, Kiss of Steel, since the series contains an overarching plot which concludes in Of Silk and Steam.
The pulling together of this plot, the final revolt against the tyranny of the Prince Consort, has been building over 4 novels and 2 novellas, so by novel 5 there is a lot to get done. I was curious/excited/nervous about how this was going to be achieved. For the most part I think it's handled well in Of Silk and Steam, but it's worth noting that the politics do really come to a head in this story and take more of a focus than in the other novels. I think this is necessary for concluding the series, but I did struggle a little with the way characters from earlier novels, characters other than our hero and heroine, also occasionally seem to take over the story just a bit. While I think it's fun to have cameos from our favorite previous characters, there are a couple of times when the perspective shifts from our h/h and I was thrown a little from their story. That said, I think the actual storyline of the rebellion is fabulous and there's just no getting past Bec McMaster's sexy romances, no matter what rebellions and other characters might try to get in the way.
So what about the romance? Throughout the London Steampunk series, we've had tantalizing glimpses of Mina, and have already gotten to know and fall in love with Leo.
Mina is the ice princess, the Blueblood who was never meant to be, and certainly more powerful than a woman is meant to be in this world. But in Of Silk and Steam, we finally get to understand her motivations. She's protecting her closest friend, the queen, who is used and beaten daily by the prince consort. She will do anything to save her friend, even if it means pretending to be someone she isn't - cruel and without feeling, certainly without feelings for Leo Barrons.
Oh, Leo. I've loved him for books and books now. We've known for a long time now that, despite being a Blueblood, he is sympathetic to (and later works towards) rebellious causes, but he's always seemed together and in control. In Of Silk and Steam we get to experience his more vulnerable side, and it's so delicious. Ah, I do love a well-dressed bad boy who's just a little bit broken... Convincing Mina that she should be with him proves somewhat difficult, however, as she refuses (...mostly) to be distracted from her cause. Of course, some distractions are inevitable, and together these two have plenty of fiery, swoon-worthy sexy times, in between bringing down the government. It's all in a day's work, really.
Of Silk and Steam is an action-packed and delicious (if not quite perfect) conclusion to the London Steampunk series. I can't wait to read more... yes, yes, HURRAY - Bec McMaster is writing a spin-off!
Of Silk and Steam by Bec McMaster is a steampunk romance, released by Sourcebooks Casablanca on March 3, 2015.
Find this book at: Amazon | Amazon AUS | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Publisher's Website | Goodreads
You can find the rest of my London Steampunk reviews here:
Book 1: Kiss of Steel
Book 2: Heart of Iron
Book 3: My Lady Quicksilver
Book 3.5: The Curious Case Of The Clockwork Menace
Book 4: Forged by Desire