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Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

>>Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: Iron Seas #1
Format: Paperback
Pages: 378
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
Publication Date: October 5th, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Rating: A

Summary

From Goodreads: First in an all-new series where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas.

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.


My Review

Why did I read this book? I never read this author before and didn't have much interest in paranormal romance but I just saw great reviews for this novel everywhere and I caved in and bought it.

What I liked: I loved this book! I don't think I burned through a book this fast in a long, long time! I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed with Brook's ability to create romantic suspense between her characters. Yes, the book is mostly romance but there is so much more to enjoy as well. The world is some kind of steampunk world where Europe was devastated by the Horde not long before. There's everything you could want in this steampunk novel: zombies, goggles, crazy mechanical items, and airships. And boy, do I mean airships. I think if there was an add at the back of this book to purchase your very own airship, I would have called it in right then.

Another great part of this book is the characters. The protagonist, Mina, is a inspector who solves crimes by her own insight and wit. I just loved her. She's a flawed character dealing with her own experience with the Horde occupation of England but still manages to be awesome at her job and her relationships with her family. Another character I enjoyed was Yasmeen, the caption of the airship Lady Corsair. We never got enough of her, I think, but I heard she's in the second book and I'm looking forward to that.

What I didn't like: There's very little I didn't like. The only thing that really bothered me was Rhys' (Mina's love interest) preoccupation with possessing things (including Mina). He just seemed to think in that zone so much when he thought about her, that I questioned really want he wanted (did he love her?). Things are resolved by the end, but throughout the story this sometimes jarred my enjoyment of the budding romance.

Thoughts on the cover: I love the colors and layout but can't get past that chest smack-dab in the middle of it. Oh well!

Overall Thoughts

I would definitely recommend The Iron Duke to anyone interested in paranormal romance or steampunk. It's really a great book even if you're just into the steampunk. The romance itself is very, very steamy. Even if you're not hugely into romance I'd say try this one out, because that's how I was before I picked this up and now I'm hooked. I'll definitely be reading more of Brook soon.

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