Heart of Iron ~ Bec McMaster

  • Title: Heart of Iron
  • Author: Bec McMaster
  • Series: London Steampunk #2
  • Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Format: Audiobook and eBook
  • Source: Own copy
  • Reviewed by: DarthVal
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Description:  In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…

Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…

Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.

With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…

Review:  This was a fun paranormal steampunk adventure. While not overly deep it had a really solid plot and interesting characters.

ReviesHeart of Iron is the second book in the London Steampunk series. This book features an all-new tale of intrigue in the paranormal steampunk world created by Bec McMaster. While this book had enough adventure to satisfy me, I would say it leans heavily toward the paranormal romance category.

This book revolves around Lena, sister to Honoria the primary character from the first book, and Will, right hand man to Blade, the Devil of Whitehall and Honoria’s husband. Lena finds herself involved in a dangerous plot and Will is determined to keep her safe, even from himself. Suspense and romantic tension ensue. Lena is a bit of a prissy character, but with a core of strength within her, making her a good match for Will’s tortured and savage verwulfen soul.

On the romance side, McMaster does a great job of creating that heart-wrenching passion between her romantic leads. The intense chemistry between Lena and Will was smoking hot. This is not what usually draws me into a book, but I don’t romance when it is well-written, as it was in this case.

The adventure, on the other hand, IS what draws me into a story. I won’t lie, I wish there had been more action in this book, but that is because the author does a fantastic job with it. For a book that is mostly focused on romance, I was delighted with the tangled web of subplots created by McMaster, building the intrigue throughout the story. The action scenes enhance the pace of the book. It is THIS aspect of the series that has drawn me in, and will likely keep me reading.

I also enjoyed McMaster’s nod to Jane Austen, highlighting the limited options for women in society, albeit, ever so slightly different than those posed by Ms. Austen. This goes along with the setting of the time period, and yet the author plays it out in a way suited for a steampunk world.

I consumed this book as a combination of audio book and ebook, using Whispersync for Kindle/Audible for the first time. I had originally purchased the book for my Kindle, but thought that the audio book would make the accents come alive. The narrator did a great job of capturing the prissy tone of Lena, but alas, she fell short when it came to Will and Blade. This was disappointing for me.

As for the cover, I found it to be less striking than the other covers in the series. Maybe there is just too much going on and the characters don’t pop out. Also, the female character on the cover looks so aloof, like she is bored by the situation and the man holding her. It is not an awful cover, but certainly not one that draws my eye. I also don’t understand why the audio book has a different cover which looks like it is trying to capture the same feel as the book cover.

Regardless of the covers and audio book productions, I am really enjoying this series by Bec McMaster. I look forward to the next book of this series and future works from her.