Sunday, October 2, 2022

Review: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk, Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Steampunk Romance 
Kiss of Steel cover
ISBN: 9781402270277
Source: Publisher
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Honoria Todd has more secrets than most people and she's hiding them in Whitechapel. Blade is the master of the rookeries and agrees to protect her, but at what price?

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven as she hides from the Blue Blood aristocracy that rules London through power and fear.

Blade rules 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.

Kiss of Steel is a luscious, dark, evocative romance. Bec McMaster’s alternate universe steampunk London is fascinating and the characters are unique and well-drawn. I was sucked into Honoria and Blade’s story from the first page and by the time I was done I was craving more of this world.

Honoria Todd was raised on the edge of Echelon society, where blue bloods rule. Six months after the murder of her father, Honoria is barely scraping by trying to keep herself and her siblings alive. Their home now is in the dangerous rookeries of Whitechapel, where rogue blue blood Blade is king. Dark and dangerous, Blade is no fool and he knows Honoria is hiding something from him. No one lives in the rookeries without his protection, and she has it – but the cost may be more than either are willing to pay.

Honoria is stubborn, smart, and willing to do almost anything to save her brother and sister. She doesn’t want to accept Blade’s help, but she has no choice. Blade was born in the gutter and infected with the craving against his will. He’s a rogue blue blood the Echelon would love to see stamped out. The two of them should have nothing in common, but they click from the start. There’s serious chemistry between Blade and Honoria that heated up the page and I loved the tension between them. All Blade wants to do is protect his people and live his life with the family he’s made, but there is no peace in this version of London. Blade is dangerous, near the edge of a violence he can’t control, but he’s got a good heart and cares deeply for people. I loved peeling back the layers of his character. Honoria has secrets of her own that have put a target on her back and I liked seeing her learn that she could count on Blade. She learns to accept help but that doesn’t mean she isn’t ready to stand and fight. They have powerful enemies hunting them and I liked that McMaster kept me guessing as to how things would work out.

Kiss of Steel is the first book in McMaster’s London Steampunk series and it definitely made me eager to read the rest of the series. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because part of the joy for me in reading was in the discovery. The world Honoria and Blade live in is dark, bloody, and they have to fight to survive. It’s also a world of tight bonds that melted my heart. Interwoven through it all is the world McMaster created which was interesting and unique. I loved learning about the craving, blue bloods, thralls, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed Honoria and Blade’s book; the romance was steamy and satisfying, the action intense, and the world engaging.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.