Tag Archives: Steampunk romance

Tarnished Knight by Bec McMaster

Overview
Image result for book cover tarnished knight bec mcmaster

Title: Tarnished Knight
Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #1.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Steampunk romanceVampires
Dates read: 1st – 8th January 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novella
Publisher: Smashwords
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Honoria laughed as Blade slung his arm around her.

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Synopsis

In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

After a vicious vampire attack left him struggling to leash the dark urges of the craving virus, John “Rip” Doolan thinks he’s finally starting to master the darkness within. The only thing that threatens to shatter his hard-won control is Esme, his closest friend and the only woman he’s ever wanted. If the stubborn beauty ever realized precisely what was going through his mind, their friendship would be ruined.

For six months, Esme has waited for Rip to recover and take her as his thrall, not daring to hope for more. Too afraid to put her heart on the line, she is devastated when Rip reveals that he never had any intentions of making her his.

But when a savage gang of Slashers start causing havoc in Whitechapel, Rip and Esme have no choice. They must face up to the depth of the passion that burns between them and forge a new relationship…or risk losing each other forever.

Thoughts

Wow was this novella intense and awesome. And amazing. And fun. There is just something about the world of London Steampunk that draws me in completely. Is kind of unforgettable. And makes me travel to my happy, literary nerd place. It’s just impossible to put down.

I’m really glad that Esme and Rip got their own story in this series. Their relationship and journey was left a little too open-ended at the conclusion of Kiss of Steel. So finding their happily ever after? That was just gorgeous. And, of course, since it’s a thrilling little novella, it couldn’t be easy and simple. Couldn’t just go with what you wanted to happen… I feel like I should be more annoyed by that. But I just absolutely loved the journey.

I love that although this is a steampunk romance and about Esme and Rip, the main storyline was actually a battle against another evil character. Or at least, that’s how it felt to me. I loved trying to find out how and when the bad guy was going to get his comeuppance. And the fact that it coincided with Esme and Rip trying to figure out how to coexist with Rip’s new abilities… well, it was just thrilling.

 <- Lena’s Decision ReviewHeart of Iron Review ->

Image source: Bec McMaster

Lena’s Decision by Bec McMaster

Overview

Title: Lena’s Decision
Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #1.1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Steampunk romance, Vampires
Dates read: 30th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Bec McMaster
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Lena’s lips stiffened.

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Synopsis

Lena’s discovered a family secret. But now she has a huge decision to make. How will it affect her future?

Thoughts

This is a great short story filler between the activities of Kiss of Steel and Heart of Iron. Or at least, that’s what it feels like to me. A sort of prologue before you get into the next novel. Which I plan on doing soon… very, very excited. I just need to actually get Heart of Iron to put on my shelves. Luckily I have Tarnished Knight in the meantime.

This short story provides some great foreshadowing to the greater series. It hints at the problems to come. Although, there’s not a great storyline throughout. Lena finally discovers the family secret, finally makes a move on Will and then has to actually deal with the consequences of her actions.

Will is also kind of stupid. Which seems to be the trend with men in many of the romances that I read. He’s a moron who is trying to protect a wilting flower. And I’m looking forward to him discovering the fact that Lena isn’t some precious gem, and getting a well deserved kick up the butt.

 <- Kiss of Steel ReviewTarnished Knight Review ->

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Overview
Image result for book cover kiss of steel

Title: Kiss of Steel
Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Steampunk romanceVampires
Dates read: 22nd – 26th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Honoria stared at him through passion-glazed eyes.

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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, 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.

Thoughts

I got about halfway through this book over a year ago. But it was in eBook format, which I always struggle with, so I decided to buy the physical copy and enjoy it that way. Then it sat on my shelf for an untold length of time (actually, it was about a year, but I digress). And after just ripping through this, I’m wondering why I left it just sitting there for so damn long! This is a great steampunk romance that draws you straight in and is a really easy read. The thing that I got most excited about with this though… the author is an Aussie. So now I know that I have to buy the entire series. Because Aussie.

I have a lot of vampire books. And I have a lot of steampunk books. I have never read a story which combines the two. And then adds in romance. Which was really amazing. I loved the idea of both steampunk and vampires. Romance and a little bit of clockwork. Alright, this isn’t as intensely steampunk as some of the other books on that shelf. But it still has that fantastic flavour. And although this is a romance, it’s not as intensely romantic and lustful as many of the other books in that section of my shelves. A great balance all round.

There is a lot of backstory and tragedy to the characters in this. Even, the secondaries have a heap of backstory. Whilst the secondaries don’t really have theirs shared, the slow unravelling of Blade and Honoria’s secrets and hurts was enthralling. There was just enough of a hint that something else was going on that I found it impossible to put down. Plus, their constant dance of almost getting together made me want to know WHEN.

The leads in this story aren’t perfect, they’re wonderfully flawed. And I always love a great, flawed hero. Honoria, although tough needs to get out of her own headspace and realise that while she’s smart, she’s also kind of blinded and dumb about things. Something that I have in common with her… and Blade, he’s kind of beautiful, but also unwilling to bend and change to suit another person’s needs. Which kind of makes them a perfect couple – both irritatingly stubborn, but intrinsically caring.

 <- Blade’s Escape ReviewLena’s Decision Review ->

Image source: Goodreads

Salvage by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for enthralled lora leigh book cover

Title: Salvage
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #3.5
In: Enthralled (Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook & Lucy Monroe)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 21st September 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Suddenly her throat felt the same.

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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers a new story in her steampunk world of the Iron Seas…as a man who’s lost everything returns home to find that not only is his marriage in jeopardy, but he must now fight pirates who intend to steal his one remaining treasure – his wife.

Thoughts

Men are stupid. To be fair, so are women. But in this story… men are stupid. And seriously dude, stop being so damn ignorant and love thy wife. We do not want money, we want our man. That’s it, rant over. This was actually an amazing novella. But I still left it thinking that men are kind of stupid. And need a bit of a kick up the butt to restore their brain cells.

I really enjoyed the slight revisitation to Ivy and Mad Machen in this story. They don’t actually make an appearance, but they are mentioned and their lives after the events of their story are happily alluded to a number of times. Enough to let you know that they’re enjoying their happily ever after, away from prying eyes and comfortable in their reputations.

I can’t imagine ever marrying a man that I wasn’t 100% sure of, that I knew inside and out. But there seems to be a slight theme in some of Meljean Brook’s stories about this happening. Two people who are 100% in love, but really not aware of each others’ personalities and needs. A bit of a case of jumping into the deep end, and then forgetting why you’re swimming. It’s a slightly painful trope. But also an incredibly fun one. One that I really enjoyed. And it almost worked better in this novella as their issues predominately come from misunderstandings and a desire to make each other happy. Whilst not actually understanding what their counterpart needs.

Add all of the relationship complications to the idea of pirates stealing a chest of gold; a diver trying to retrieve the treasure; and a murder or two of some rather unmoralistic mercenaries… well, it was a really good, enjoyable and fun ride. Just enough lust to make me miss my partner, but more about piracy and brigands on the seven seas… mixed in with a fantastic steampunk world.

 <- The Curse of the Black Swan ReviewEcstasy Under the Moon Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Wrecked by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Wrecked
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #3.4
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 20th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: “Of course,” she said, as if she would have made exactly the same decision.

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Synopsis

Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear – and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go.

Thoughts

I really loved the moral questions that this novella posed. What do you do when you have the power of cloning? And, to begin with that question is just asked in a purely conservational role. And then it takes a darker, twistier turn that was distinctly uncomfortable. But it also worked into a really sweet romance (in the end, when all the twisty bits were sorted).

Wrecked bought an entirely different part of the Iron Seas world to life for me. I loved the mentions of Australia, the whirlwind flight across the skies and the discussion about just how important it was to conserve the remaining animals. Actually, it highlighted a end-of-the-world scenario that I really hadn’t imagined before. What happens to all of the animals when a plague of zombies is unleashed on the world?

My biggest complaint about this novella is that although they ride off into the sunset together, I want to know more about the happy little family that they create. Or at least the one that I’m imagining and picturing in my mind’s eye as I turn the final page.

 <- Conjuring Max ReviewNovellas and Stories Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for mina wentworth and the invisible city meljean brook book cover

Title: Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 30th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: When he left, Geordie asked me to ‘Take Billy.’

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Synopsis

Eight months after The Iron Duke, can their marriage survive a new danger?

After Mina is called in to investigate the murder of an aristocratic bounder, her husband Rhys—known to the world as the Iron Duke—must overcome his fear for his new bride before his need to protect her tears them apart. But when she invites him to join her at the murder scene, a search for a mysterious killing machine puts her in more danger than ever before…a danger that leads straight back to Rhys.

Thoughts

One of the most frustrating things that I tend to find about paranormal romance stories are that you don’t really find out how they live their lives after they ride off into the sunset, happily ever after. It’s all well and good to have that amazing story about passion and fire and those first, loving moments together when everything finally fits. But that isn’t entirely realistic… there is another kind of love, when the fiery passions become a slow burn that continues over the years. So the fact that there is a novella about Mina and Rhys 8 months after they get married… I was much happier and more settled in their happiness.

Although this story is very much about settling into a new way of life, and understanding what it means to love another, there is also a great secondary story. Like The Iron Duke there is a bit of a mystery as to who the villain truly is. And a bit of a risk lingering for both of the primary characters. One that you know is going to come to head fairly quickly. It gave the story a little more pressure and spice than just an insight into the daily lives of this unique couple. And one that made it impossible to put down this novella… even though I really, really needed to sleep.

 <- The Iron Duke ReviewHeart of Steel Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for the iron duke meljean brook book cover

Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 26th – 29th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: And he wished to hell that he’d realized earlier why the red giant always followed her.

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Synopsis

After freeing England from Horde control, Rhys Trahaearn, the Iron Duke, has built a merchant empire on the power – and fear – of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

With Horde blood running through Mina’s veins, becoming Rhys’s lvoer would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents Mina from avoiding him… and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

When Mina discovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. Now, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans – as Mina is tempted to give up everything for the Iron Duke.

Thoughts

To start with I was a bit maybe not about this story. the lead male was just so damn possessive… and well, quite frankly irritating. He couldn’t even begin to imagine being told no. By anyone. Let alone the woman he’s fixated on. I love a lover who is a little possessive and protective… but not one that is so possessive that his partner is a possession rather than, well, a partner. In the first few chapters, Rhys actually made me want to put this book down. But, as the story developed, I steadily fell more and more in lust with him. Found him more and more enthralling and wanted to read the story far more keenly than I had anticipated.

Although Rhys bothered me from the very beginning, Mina made me fall completely in love. She was a strong, independent woman. With a lot of vulnerability. Especially when her history is bought up. It made the tough, cop exterior far more gooey and sweet on the inside. Actually, it was Mina’s plight and willingness to walk away from true love to save others that made me unwilling to put this book down. Incredibly unwilling, I wanted to know who the villain behind the murder was, but mostly I wanted Mina to have her happily-ever-after. Especially after she takes on a kraken…

Other than the great love story in this novel, I absolutely adore the genre. I already have a rapidly growing steampunk collection. Adding in romance just makes me want to read it even more passionately. And making the characters into steampunk pirates… well, that is a series absolutely made in heaven. Actually, I’m really disappointed that there aren’t many more novels in this series… I want a whole heap more steampunk pirates running riot through my bookshelves.

 <- Here There Be Monsters ReviewMina Wentworth and the Invisible City Review ->
Image source: Meljean Brook

Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for here there be monsters meljean brook book cover

Title: Here There Be Monsters
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #0.5
In: Burning Up (Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 31st March – 4th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Her laugh left him as full and light as an airship.

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Synopsis

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series with BB Here There Be Monsters BB, as a desperate woman strikes a provocative – and terrifying – bargain to gain overseas passage.

Thoughts

I can’t stop thinking about this novella! It combines steampunk, pirates and romance. There is so much passion, humour and grit to the tale. Not only is it impossible to put down, it is also impossible to forget. I might have ordered most of the books in the series when I was only halfway through, but I still have to wait for the dang things…

I have a slight fascination with pirates, have since I was a kid – it always seemed so free. But, as I grew up, I realised that they weren’t that romantic, and women had pretty much no rights. So I kind of love the fact that I get to read a series about pirates that is based in a steampunk world. A world where women have their own places and the ability to work. It’s not to say that there isn’t a fight to gain respect, but at least there’s more of a chance to be something beyond a mistress in the steampunk world.

Ivy and Mad Machen are a fun mix. But, what I love the most about this storyline is that Ivy is able to grow. She starts off timid and unsure, unable to truly understand her worth and value. It isn’t until the end that she is fully grown into herself, but this all happens around Machen. Alright, a little bit because of him, but mostly Ivy’s growth is Ivy’s journey, he just gets to go along for the ride…

 <- The Blushing Bounder ReviewThe Iron Duke Review ->
Image source: Amazon