Kiss of Steel
(London Steampunk #1)
Release: September 4, 2012
A brilliantly creative debut where vampires, werewolves, and clockwork creatures roam the mist-shrouded streets of London...Review:
When Nowhere is Safe
Most people avoid the dreaded Whitecapel 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.
Blade's hand tightened on her shoulder, reluctant to let her go. But then he felt her body tense and forced himself to release her. No point scaring her off. He'd have to move slowly, let her get used to him. For he intended to have her. It was just a matter of when.
Kiss of Steel was an unexpected gem of a book with fantastic characters, good action, and hotness hotness hotness! This books gets an easy five stars from me and leaves me waiting on the edge of my seat for book two!
McMaster created a world where the aristocracy has vampire blood flowing through their veins and the cruel reign supreme. The rich and powerful willingly take on vampire blood to become 'blue bloods', meaning that they are stronger, faster, and live longer but one day they will begin turning into full fledged vampires and will have to be killed. They must drink human blood to survive, but have to watch for signs that the vampirism is taking over. This spilt into two different kinds of vampires was intriguing and I really loved it.
This paranormal steampunk romance (light on the steampunk, heavy on the romance) is told from the alternating points of view of Honoria and Blade. Honoria is the daughter of a scientist who was experimenting with blue bloods and vampirism to find a cure when he was unexpectedly murdered. Honoria, who was always interested in her father's work and even worked alongside him for a bit, is a knowledgeable and likable heroine. She is smart and witty, but also very loyal to her family. She is the sole caregiver for her younger sister, Lena, and her brother, Charlie, who has a dangerous illness.
He smiled and her breath caught. Such a wicked, devilish smile. If she had been a normal young woman, without the heavy burden she carried, she might have let her gaze linger. Or if he had been a man instead of a monster.
Blade is the rough and tumble ruler of Whitechapel, the poor district where the destitute and dangerous live. Honria finds herself living in Whitechapel after her father's death and eventually her path crosses with Blade's. They strike a deal that benefits them both, but Blade secretly just wants to keep Honoria close. Honoria is afraid of Blade because he is a blue blood and she knows he must drink blood to survive. She also knows that she has responsibilities at home and a secret to keep about her brother and she can't just give in to Blade.
Her gaze flickered his way. "You're staring."Blade is that sexy Alpha male we all dream about and McMaster didn't hold back when creating him. His immediate attraction to Honoria and determination to have her no matter what coupled with his kindness and generosity toward her make him completely impossible to resist.
"Can't 'elp meself," he replied. "You were made to be stared at."
He'd be in Undertown now, hunting a vampire among the Slasher gangs and the humans who lived down there. Determined to do his duty to the people who relied on him, and to the little adopted family he'd gathered around himself. He was illegitimate, illiterate, and a self-professed scoundrel. And he had more honor in his little finger that half the so-called lords of the Echelon.
Honoria and Blade are amazingly well written. They both have so many sides and secrets. Their building relationship was a wild ride to read, from distrust to faith to attraction to love. There was a great balance between seduction and sweetness between these two that I really appreciated. And then there was the hotness. Goodness, McMaster threw in all the stops with these two and I was practically drooling during some of the scenes. This one will keep you up late reading, that's for sure!
"Honoria. Look at me."
To look at him would undo her. She slipped her shoes off and crossed toward him, her stockinged feet sinking into the thick carpets. To have his mouth on her skin.....She shook the thought off with a shiver. Such an intimacy had never occurred to her. A hot little flush swept through her lower belly.
There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, some you might see coming and some that will certainly surprise you. The action scenes mostly center on the hunt for a rogue vampire that is on the loose in the city and McMaster proved that she can handle the action as well as the bedroom. One of the only complaints is that I wanted to see more of our main 'bad guy', Vickers. Both Honoria and Blade each have their own fights to pick with Vickers and when we finally meet him he is all the evil that was promised. He is that slimy and power hungry bad guy on a constant ego trip and I found myself waiting for a big showdown where he'd finally be put in his place.
I don't know what I can say to make you read this book, but whatever it is let's just pretend I said it! This will be in my top ten favorite reads this year for sure. It really had everything I usually look for: action, strong heroines, sexy Alpha, mysteries to solve, creepy bad guy, and hot sex! Can you really go wrong here? Look for book two in the spring, which will focus on Honoria's sister and Blade's second in command (a werewolf!) as well as continue Honoria and Blade's story.
Honoria watched with lazy abandon, seemingly content to lie in his arms.
"You want to do it again, don't you?" she whispered.
He almost dropped the soap. "Not tonight."
"Liar." Christ, when had her voice turned to smoke?
Recommended for fans of: well-written paranormal romance, vampires, plots with mysteries and twists, sexy sexy sexy men, Firelight and Moonglow by Kristen Callihan, and everyone who wanted more sexy times in God Save the Queen by Kate Locke.
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