Title: Kiss of Steel
Author: Bec McMaster
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Summary: 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.
Review: This was such as awesome book, I started it the other day and could not put it down! The two leads were both headstrong and didn't trust each other but they were irrevocably drawn to each other, like two magnets who keep flipping so they alternately draw and then repel each other. My favorite type of relationship to read about! Delicious.
Honoria Todd has been scraping by these last 6 months keeping her sister and brother alive and safe since her father was killed. He was working on a cure for the blue blood virus, which eventually turns society's leaders into mindless, rotten vampire killers. Only the elite are allowed the blue blood virus which offers near immortality, super strength and hightened scenses. She has hidden them in the Whitechapel district, but has just come to the attention of the thief lord overseeing that area, Blade. He is a blue blood but a rogue and Honoria can't trust anyone, for her previous Lord protector, Vickers used to basically torture her and has since has put a huge bounty on their heads.
The worldbuilding is great. Only the elite get the virus, and if you let your craving get away from you, they put you down before you become a mindless killing machine. There are steampunk robots that help police the masses and help keep the elite in power. The robots can shoot fire and yet men still duel with swords. There are werewolves and who knows what other creatures will be crawling out of the woodwork in the next novel, called Heart of Iron by the way. Honoria has a pistol with exploding bullets. The stuff is way cool.
Honoria has a problem though, her brother has the virus and there is something on the loose that can tear men apart. She also has her father's diary, was he close to finding a cure? Can she replicate his work in time to help her brother? It's all very exciting and the fighting between her and Blade is lovely.
So as I said, the romance is that delicious push/pull with lots of fighting. I liked both characters and it was fun to watch them fight a losing battle of attraction. They are both bright, a little pig-headed and lots of fun. Once they fall into bed, there are a few steamy scenes and Honoria becomes a wanton hussy in no time (see the cover). :) Be careful reading those scenes while at work, on the train, or in public.
I tore through this book, greatly enjoyed it and will be pushing it on my family members to read. If you like steampunk romance, this is super fun. 4.5 clockwork rotating stars!
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