Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron (London Steampunk #2)
Bec McMaster

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Book Description:
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…

Last year I picked up Kiss of Steel, a debut novel by an Australian writer – Bec McMaster. Needless to say that I’ve devoured the novel and the follow up novella – Tarnished Knight, and was eagerly awaiting release of the second book in the series – Heart of Iron. With its dark and seductive, gas-lit world, set in alternate Victorian England, filled with ruthless blue bloods, swoon-worthy heroes, and feisty heroines – London Steampunk novels are an exciting mixture of romance and adventure.

“You’re mine,” he murmured. “Foolish plots and all.” (Kindle Location 4473).

Excited as I was, I found myself just a tiny bit disappointed. No, don’t get me wrong! I loved the story and Bec McMaster certainly knows how to deliver: there is plenty of action, secrets, passion, and lots of scheming that lends our heroes in more mess than they wish to be in. Add a dangerously protective verwulfen, with brooding looks and an attitude. A heroine, who is smart, quick-witted, cunning, and is a major flirt to boot. Place them in the middle of an underground movement that threatens to turn their world upside down and watch the sparks fly. And in that sense, this novel certainly packs on the heat. Sexy, yet hidden behind the many rules of propriety, where Victorian setting only aids in delivering a stronger punch, it is an intricate game that our main couple employs as their foreplay. And when they get to the deed… well, you get the idea.

So, all is fun and games, except where the former couple, from Kiss of Steel, is concerned. I felt that both Blade and Honoria were painted in a slightly negative light; albeit that we see them from Will and Lena’s points of view this time around. But, irrational as it might be, I took this as a personal offense. How could Bec do this to Blade and Honoria? They were such a great couple and they deserved better!  But, nonetheless, I got over the fact and the read was enjoyable as always, fast-paced, dark and sexy, with plenty of sassy remarks – right up my alley.

Overall, it was another satisfying experience. Even though this is the second book in the series, you can probably still read it independently; but I would strongly encourage familiarizing yourself with book one prior. And, if you stick around this long, you will find a nice tie-in with book three here as well. I, personally, am looking forward to new adventures in My Lady Quicksilver...

Happy reading!


  1. I agree. I was taken aback by such portrayal of Blade and Honoria as well, but this is author's prerogative. If you remember, in Wicked as She Wants previous couple is painted in very jaded colours as well :) I don't like it much, but I accept that it's probably much more realistic especially if described by someone who previously had them as a love interest.

    1. You are right! It is totally an author's prerogative. And also true, it was sort of similar in Wicked as She Wants. I think I am playing favorites here, so it's just my personal reflection. I loved Blade and Honoria in book 1, and was not so much a fan of Lena then - she gotten better in book 2.
      Criminy and Letitia, on the other hand, were not a favorite couple for me... :)


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