I stumbled upon Kiss of Steel a few weeks ago on a random romp through Amazon and its stellar reviews caught my eye, especially this one by the romance review site Dear Author:
“Kiss of Steel is the first historical steampunk since the start of the Iron Seas series that balances both in depth world building, romance conflict, and social conflicts. Lovers of that historical fantasy fiction would be remiss to not pick this book up.” – Dear Author
That accolade compelled me because it captures everything I desire in a book—especially a historical paranormal. So, in a rare fit of book-buying spontaneity, I bought the it and moved it to the top of my TBR.
In a funny coincidence that proves just how small the romance writing world is, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Para-Unbounder Erica Hayes at RWA and I happened to mention the book. I learned she was sharing a room with Bec McMaster at the conference, her friend, and fellow Aussie.
I agree with Dear Author. McMaster’s world building is indeed fantastic. She sets up a complicated class structure around the existence of blue bloods who are infected with a vampire virus, but have not yet become full-blown vampires. The hero, Blade, is a rebel blue blood who has helped to empower the poorest classes. The heroine, Honoria, is a teacher and amateur scientist, who has fallen into danger and must care for her brother and sister.
Halfway through the book, I am fond of the sci-fi aspects and the alternate historical setting is beautifully drawn. The “clockworky elements” feel a bit like an add-on, but that suits me find and it’s good news for all of you who don’t like gadgets (cough, cough—Suzanne!). I’m an enthusiastic vampire fan, and I’m enjoying reading about the blue bloods, who have all the sex appeal of vampires, but are also totally new.
The romance plot is very sexy and on several occasions, I haven’t wanted to put it down. I expect it won’t be long before I pick up the next two books in this series!
Do you have any great summer reads to recommend?