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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

I really enjoyed this fast paced steampunk version of a not quite Vampire tale.

Kiss of Steel
by Bec McMaster
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402270275
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402270277
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Release Date: September 1, 2012
"Action, adventure, steampunk, and blazing hot seduction...Bec McMaster offers it all."—Eve Silver, author of Sins of the Flesh
A brilliantly creative debut where vampires, werewolves, and clockwork creatures roam the mist–shrouded streets of London...
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.

This 'vampire' story has a different bite. It is set in a wonderfully steampunk Victorian England with strong characters and a good action plot.

In Honoria's world the upperclass are the infected Blue Bloods, the ruling houses of the Echelon who are allied with the Queen. They have their armies of metaljackets and the specially trained Nighthawk warriors. Honoria was once a 'lady' with expectations of becoming a respected "thrall" to one of the Blue Blood families. Her father was a brilliant scientist who was experimenting to develop a cure or at least a vaccine against the blood craving virus that will first give a man strength and heightened abilities but eventually degenerates into the bestial vampires that are executed at first signs of deterioration. Honoria was her father's research assistant and kept a diary almost as good as his.

When her father is murdered by his cruel and vicious patron, Lord Vickers, Honoria flees with the diaries and her younger sister and brother. They are in hiding in Whitechapel which is full of dangers and under the control of the infamous Blade. Honor has caught the eye of Blade and although she resists his interest she is soon desperate with nowhere else and no one else to turn to for help.

Blade is the most famous infected being who escaped the clutches and experiments of the Echelon. He now rules in Whitechapel with the aid of a mixed group of henchmen including a 'verwulfen' and some mechanically strengthened humans.  In addition to her beauty, Blade is interested in Honoria because he knows that Vickers has a price on her head. Blade has a personal score to repay for his own tragic loss brought about by Vickers.

Blade bargains with Honoria and her reluctance falls under his odd form of courtship. She discovers she can trust his gentleness as she has a way of bringing out his more honorable traits and even calming the beast within.

Blade has to cooperate with one of the Blue Blood lords, Barrons, who has some connection to Honoria. He doesn't want to be jealous but he doesn't like the secrets that keep Honor at arms length. As Blade and Barrons battle a rogue vampire a trap is set to capture Honor. Will Blade be able to save Honor from Vickers before he does harm? Will Honor be able to find a cure before Blade's disease progresses out of control?

I really loved Honor and Blade and their cautious courtship that finally blossoms with their passion. Their romance is sensual and steamy without ever seeming vulgar. Ms. McMasters does a grand job with world building a setting that is different and fascinating, especially since I enjoy steampunk features. The plot is believable and provided fast paced action and suspense. The secondary characters are drawn with appropriate depth to make them likeable or horribly villainous. I recommend this to readers who enjoy strong, romantic characters who face dangerous odds. Even if you aren't a big fan of vampire stories you might enjoy this steampunk version with its twisted bite.
Blade's sad thoughts:
A blue blood had no personal scent. No warmth. Sometimes he felt as tough he were slowly turning to marble, devoid of any of the touches of humanity that surrounded him. Until nothing but the hunger remained. Page 51.
What Honoria wants:
Someone to love her. Someone to hold her in his arms, to tell her that she was the center of his world. That he would look after her. Someone to trust. Someone to love back. Page 223

Thank you to Sourcebooks and Ms. McMaster for providing the book to review, sharing in Interview and providing Giveaway copy! See the Giveaway and Interview post next.
I will add this title to my New Author and ARC Challenges as well as Steampunk list.


  1. I loved this book, but I wish it had more steampunk in it.

  2. I'm glad to hear you liked it and "sensual and steamy" romance has me very interested. Looks like a great book. I'll be adding it to my to-read list.

  3. I love how you describe it as a ”not quite vampire tale.” That is so true, and one of the things I enjoyed about it. The vampire factor sometimes slipped into the back of my mind because I got so engrossed by everything else going on. If that makes any sense... :)

  4. Yet another good review about this book. I do like vampires and strong romantic characters.

  5. Sounds really good. Thanks for sharing what you thought. Im looking forward to reading it.

  6. I enjoyed your review and it has made me even more eager to read Kiss of Steel.

  7. I normally read Historical Romance. However, during the past few months, "Steampunk romance" has really got curious. I've read a couple of these so far, and thoroughly enjoyed them.

    I loved this review of Bec's book, "Kiss of Steal", and would love to read this for myself.

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  8. I haven't read a steampunk book yet. This sounds like just the one to start off with!

    Thanks so much!

  9. Nice review. Sounds like a good Steampunk book.


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