The Iron Duke – Meljean Brook
“After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.”
Wow, wow. WOW. Wait, let me compose myself a second. W O W. I was floored by this novel. Just blown away like a feather by a fire cannon. I have never read any kind of fantasy romance beyond vampires and a few shapeshifters, but when Jane Litte (@Jane_L) of Dear Author kept talking about this book I added it to my list. I figured I love the Victorian Era, and steampunk costuming is just beautiful and amazing. I would LOVE to illustrate this novel. Oh yes I would…but I digress.
I was worried about reading it. Seeing steampunk and understanding the detailed descriptions seemed worlds apart in my minds eye. Like watching sports live versus listening on the radio. It is all just a jumble of mismatched words to me with a few shouted GOOOOAAAALL!!! at the end. (Which I assumed would be the giggly-bits in the book, of course)
ANY WHOO…THIS was not THAT. I was hooked in the first 20 pages and I wasn’t lost or confused like I feared. The personalities leapt from page amidst a world so conceivable I was in it, coughing and sputtering along with the bounders. Meljean’s descriptions of the characters are so subtle, yet so very powerful and speaking, that you don’t even realize you’ve been given a description until later, when it dawns on you— oh he would never do that because when they met he…OOOOHH!! Yeah, like that. To the point where at times I would put the book down and say out loud “Damn she’s good.”
Meljean Brook didn’t tell me anything. NOTHING, Everything was shown. The tension building was so well drawn, so very well drawn, and so very within character. He is so damned cocky, and he lives up to it to the final page. He never switches tack, and neither does she. They never give an inch of who they are in their core, in order to be together. They never discuss what must be given up.
I would love to go on about this book. But there are so many more qualified people to tell you about this book in a true review sort of way. I just can’t give that to you.
Let me just tell you how hooked I am, because I am…hooked. Line and sinker. Done and undone.
I bought this book for 50% off at a closing mall Borders. I plan to also buy the eBook, as I lent my copy to a friend and I miss it already.