by Bec McMaster
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
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…
I think I liked this installment even more than the first book in the series, "Kiss of Steel". Maybe that's because the leads were a little more vulnerable than the two alphas (both hero and heroine) in the first book. In fact, it was a little sad seeing Blade from the first book growing weaker, because I never could have pictured him as weakened! And Honoria played the role of mother hen here, but at least we got a chance to revisit both characters.
Lena is so feisty and she's been trying to flirt with Will since the first book. He doesn't flirt back, but he has a very good reason! Sure, he seems grouchy to Lena, but the reader is in on his secret. Will is the (very) strong and silent hero, he's a bit tortured but he doesn't let that turn him into a jerk.
I definitely think you could read this book without having read the first book in the series, the author does a great job of keeping the reader up to speed on what happened previously. However, I think Will and Lena's relationship really started throughout the first book, so you would really be missing out if you skipped the first book. Plus it's a great book, so read both!
I love steampunk, and this author does such a great job of writing a steampunk flavored romance. The romance and the relationships between the characters is the focus of the book, but the steampunk elements are very well done and create a fun and different background for the characters. The paranormal element doesn't overshadow the characters either.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Bottom Line: Did I mention that I loved this book? I can't wait for the next installment to see what happens next in this exciting world.
If you think this book sounds good, you may want to read my review of the first book in the series:
My Review: "Kiss of Steel" by Bec McMaster
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.