What We're Reading

Kiss of Steel

BM_KissofSteel_400x600-200x300I 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?

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9 thoughts on “Kiss of Steel

  1. This is a wonderful series. I also recommend Katie Locke’s The Queen is Dead and The Janus Affair by Phillipa Ballentine if you enjoy steam punk stories. I just finished reading Magic Rises, the new Kate Daniels book, which was totally awesome! If you enjoy paranormal mystery, then Annette Blair’s Vintage clothing series is also fun. Shelly Laurenston, who also writes as G.A. Aiken, writes hilarious shifter and dragon stories if you enjoy snark and laughing out loud while reading. Sleeping with the Entity by Cat Devon is also great. Too many terrific books to choose from!

  2. I’m a recent convert to steampunk (brought to the dark side by Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series). I’ll definitely check this one out. I picked up one of Delilah S. Dawson’s Wicked as She Wants at RWA, and I’m looking forward to that one, too. Thanks for the rec!

  3. Ooh, thanks for those rec, Liz! Angela, can’t wait to hear what you think! And A.J., I moderated a panel with DSD and three other steampunk authors. I liked hearing her talk about her books! They sound quirky. I think she was the one that said steampunk is SciFi set in history, so I guess it makes sense it would be quirky!

  4. Amber, you had me with this book the second you said “vampires”, LOL. Adding it to my TBR list. I have summer reading rec’s though they’re not steampunk: I recently finished Laura Kaye’s paranormal romance South of Surrender (will post my review in What We’re Reading next week) and J. A. Garland’s urban fantasy Dysus Dreamer.

  5. I have these books on my wishlist. Glad you enjoyed it as well. I just finished Hellfire by Jean Johnson, the third book in her series: Theirs not to reason why. Sci-fi/militairy/paranormal. Absolutely awesome series. I usually grade 1 to 10 stars, but these books are 11 stars.

  6. Pingback: Genre Talk: Is there room anymore for steampunk minus the magic? | Paranormal Unbound

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