Steampunk Romance (adult)
Available now (Nov. 2011)
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Review copy purchased
Growing up in the dangerous world of the Iron Seas, the mercenary captain of the airship Lady Corsair, Yasmeen, has learned to keep her heart hard as steel. Ruthless and cunning, her only loyalty is to her ship and her crew-until one man comes along and changes everything…Treasure hunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair–just the captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. When it attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco–and straight into enemy hands.
Holy cow, this woman can certainly create an amazing world. Whenever I read one of Meljean Brook’s novels, I’m immersed in whatever world she’s created. And this one? Utterly fantastical. A blend of paranormal (zombies–woot!) and steampunk, filled with floating airships, dangerous seas, pirates, and assassins, this world fully satisfies.
Yasmeen is a hard woman to like. For those of us who met her in THE IRON DUKE, she came across as a heartless air pirate and, for about the first third of this book, I felt the same way about her. I couldn’t quite understand why Archimedes sees in her or why he decides from the get-go that he’s going to capture her heart. But slowly, Yasmeen reveals parts of herself that endeared her to me. I grew to really like and understand her and to root for Archimedes in his quest to win her love.
I did get a bit turned around with the motivation behind the whole quest and Archimedes’s problem (he’s “lost” something important to someone important and now there are assassins after him). There’s a lot of history and interconnectedness and politics described within these pages…much of which I skimmed (Bad reader! No cookie! And probably the reason for confusion.)
The chemistry between Yasmeen and Archimedes is fabulous — she hates him and he’ll do anything to get her into his bed and into his heart. She does everything she can to maintain distance with the annoying man but he just won’t take no for an answer, though he never moves too fast or forces himself on her in any way. In fact, many times, he seems to go out of his way to allow her to be the boss.
The secondary characters are equally intriguing. I loved Archimedes sister, Zenobia, the one who pens his amazing tales. She’s a firecracker and I hope that her story is one Ms. Brook will share with us soon. Then there are the characters I loved from THE IRON DUKE (*swoon* so fabulous), who add their own spice to the story.
Favorite quote: “Archimedes Fox,” she mused. The corners of her tilted gently. “With balls of iron and a silver tongue. I admire both in a man.”
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