Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #1
The Verdict: 4.5 stars
For: Lovers of steam punk romance, vampire me with a cockney accent, proper ladies
Genres: Steam punk romance, Urban fantasy
Publication details: September 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: Kindle, 448 pages
Book Synopsis: When Nowhere is Safe
Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?
Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.
When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.
My review: I’m new to the steampunk romance genre but I liked this story.
Six months ago Honoria Todd, her sister Lena and brother Charlie moved into Whitechapel after the death of her father and resulting bounty on her head. Honoria Todd has been scraping by to support herself and her remaining family when her presence is requested by ‘imself, the master of the rookeries. She has managed to avoid him for six months but the time has come for her to pay her debts.
Blade is the master of the rookeries – a blue blood and rogue of the Echelon. Blue bloods are humans infected by the blood-craving which effectively makes them vampires but not quite; there’s an interesting twist on the vampires in McMaster’s London – they are not vampires as we know them, they are infected by the blood of another blue blood and develop the blood-craving. Their CV (craving virus) levels are monitored to ensure they do not pass into the Fade – the Fade is the stage where the craving takes over and turns them into rampaging, bloodthirsty monsters who are known as vampires.
Honoria agrees to tutor Blade in his speech (and take away his lovely cockney accent) in exchange for protection for her sister and brother (there’s a twist here too) and here begins their relationship and the development of the story. In the rookery a rogue vampire kills two humans and pushes Honoria and Blade together quicker than they would have got on their own; there’s also a twist on the identity of this vampire.
I won’t give too much away but know that there are twists, turns and intrigue all over this book.
Although I enjoyed this book very much, I did find that there was a few instances of sore subject matter for some people. In these instances, Honoria says no but Blade continues to push and ends up getting his way; I have read other reviews that have likened this to rape and described it as the author making a point to say how aroused Honoria is and how much she wanted it etc. Yes to both of those statements. I felt on occasion that maybe Blade should have kept his control better and took Honoria at her no but then I also felt that Honoria didn’t quite know what she wanted.
It isn’t the first paranormal book that I’ve read that involves woo woo gone bad and paranormal men who don’t take no for an answer but convince the heroine to do what he wants; it also isn’t the first paranormal book I’ve read that has the heroine try and calm down an alpha beast that has lost control. I don’t know about any of you but I’d try and keep an angry and ravenous beast – be it vampire or shapeshifter – calm no matter what it takes, I wouldn’t risk having my throat ripped out if my being calm and meek keeps them calm and prevents them ripping my throat out.
The writing itself made me see my hometown in a new light – drawing on the steam side of steampunk more on just the punk side – Kiss of Steel had plenty of clockwork contraptions to keep the steampunk going and plenty of plot to keep me interested.
I felt that Bec McMaster captured the cockney accent of the time period – as we are led to believe it to be and how it is now in some parts of London – very well although it could, on occasion, sound a little formal with the words. The characters were enjoyable and the combination of vampires, werewolves and mechanised men was interesting to say the least. I’m looking forward to seeing how the other characters are developed further in the other books.