Heart of Iron- Bec McMaster

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Heart of Iron is the second book in Bec Mc Master’s London Steampunk series.  I’ll admit: I had to actively hold off on reading this book after finishing the first one in the series in order to read other books for review.  But after a couple of weeks, I had to give in, and I am glad I did.  The focus in this book has switched from vampires/blue bloods to werewolves/verwulfen, and while it wasn’t what I expected, I enjoyed it immensely.

The Story

Will has always been a bit of a lone wolf.  Despite his loyalty to Blade, he has never had strong connections to anyone else.  New threats in London cause unlikely alliances to forge, and Will is called upon to help.  Lena is doing her best to fit into the world of the blue bloods, but something keeps holding her back.  When she is called upon to prepare Will for his new role, old feelings resurface and both face danger.

My Thoughts

McMaster did such a thorough job of creating her world in the first book, that I really thought the second book would be a continuation of that story.  Little did I know, Ms. McMaster had way more in store for this world than I expected.  The romance is a very hot slow burn that pays off in very satisfying ways, but every little step along the way is smoldering.  There was one scene in particular where I could actually feel myself blushing and started looking around to see if anyone noticed, and it wasn’t because it was explicit, it was just pure heat.  The conflict(s) involve so many players and facets that I am even more eager to complete the series.  The steampunk is expanded in this book with more fun creations and details. I loved the addition of the new characters, and even though there were quite a few, I felt like they were fully developed.

The Good

The hero is very appealing in a simmering-below-the-surface kind of way: the kind that you can’t wait to see what happens when he finally lets go.  He’s also a virgin which adds to the intrigue.  The verwulfen backstory and lore are wonderful.  This is honestly one of my favorite kinds of love stories where it is pretty much impossible for the hero and heroine to be together, and I loved the unexpected surprises of the plot.

The Bottom Line

If you enjoyed the first book, this is a no-brainer.  This is one of those series where you really should read the preceding books to understand all the wonderful plot developments and characters.  And you should read the preceding book, as well as this one, if you like paranormal or steampunk or historical or if you are just willing to take a chance on a great series and author.  Maybe it is my catnip: both paranormal and historical at the same time, but I also recognize great writing when I see it, and this is great writing. 5 stars

Kiss of Steel- Bec McMaster

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“Kiss of Steel” is the first book in Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk Series, which she has recently expanded to a spin-off series with “Mission: Improper”.  This was my first steampunk read, and while some “true steampunk” readers have critiqued this for not being representative of the genre, it was an excellent introduction to steampunk for me since I already love romance and paranormal. Oh yeah, did I mention that this book has a great paranormal storyline? Let’s dig in!
The Story- Honoria is struggling to keep her family fed after the death of her father and their escape from the cultured world of the Echelon.  When she is summoned to the rogue who dared to rebel against high society, she fears that her safe seclusion is at an end.  Oh, and there are vampires, robot arms, werewolves, and mechanical soldiers.

My Thoughts- I always have trouble writing a story synopsis for books I really enjoy because I hate giving anything away that the reader would have a much better time reading in the book itself.  I had no idea what to expect coming into this book, and I liked it that way.  I had trouble putting this book down.  It was one of those captivating books where you want to read really fast to find out what happens next, but you know that if you read too fast, you’ll miss some great writing and details.  Like a plate of cheese fries you want to devour, but you have to remind yourself to breathe. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I loved this world, I really enjoyed the characters, and the story clicked along just right.

The Good- World-building: each layer is revealed like an onion, and the reader is like “oh! That’s what’s happening.”  The author also has an amazing vocabulary, which is often lacking in these books, and her attention to detail and description is masterful.

The Bottom Line- I had so much fun reading this book.  The author swept me up in her world, and I felt like I was along for the ride.  If you are open to steampunk and paranormal, I highly recommend this book, and I intend to finish the series. (So many books; so little time!) For me, this is 5 stars for pure enjoyment.