Book Review

THE IRON DUKE
by Meljean Brook

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
Sensuality: HOT

2010 Paranormal Romance Award Winner

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The inventive and talented Brook kicks off her Iron Seas series, based on her steampunk-inspired world first introduced in the anthology Burning Up. Set in the aftermath of Britain’s defeat of The Horde and their enslaving nanotechnology, this is a high seas/ airborne adventure that’s filled with zombies, pirates and deadly betrayal. Along with the pulse-pounding adventure, there’s plenty of seriously sensuous sizzle for readers to enjoy. Kudos to the always entertaining Brook!

After blowing up The Horde’s controlling tower in England, former pirate Rhys Trahaearn became a national hero and was subsequently made the Iron Duke. He now runs a merchant empire, and his reputation inspires fear and respect.

Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth is very good at her job, but the fact that she is half-Horde makes her a target for all kinds of abuse. When a body is dumped from an airship onto the Iron Duke’s doorstep, Mina must solve the case. The identity of the murder victim soon sets Mina and Rhys on a perilous adventure to stop a conspiracy that endangers the lives of much of England’s population. (BERKLEY SENSATION, Oct., 384 pp., $15.00)

Reviewed By: Jill M. Smith

Publisher: BERKLEY SENSATION

Published: October 2010

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Steam Punk

Submitted by francesdinagen on October 18, 2010 - 11:27am.

This is the first Steam Punk romance from one of my favorite authors. I wasn’t sure I would like Steam Punk, the Victorian era isn’t exactly my cup of tea, PRN is my thing. I have read all of Ms. Brooks books and assumed this was just as good…and it was.! I will definitely be looking into reading more Steam Punk novels, though Ms. Brooks is my benchmark. If you like Meljean Brooks you will like The Iron Duke. She is a phenomenal writer! I look forward to reading the next Iron Seas novel, Heart of Steel next year.

The Iron Duke is a keeper!!

Submitted by Scorpio M. on October 17, 2010 - 6:25pm.

I really loved this book. I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Storytelling with this much creativity and spectacular world-building is hard to find and Brook excelled. The Iron Duke is an action-adventure story written with emotional depth. It took me a longer time to finish because there was so much to take in. The Iron Seas world is so vast and new, you can never take anything for granted because this alternate world isn’t bound by the same rules. The ingenuity doesn’t venture so far out that it becomes unfamiliar, though, which I really appreciated.

Rhys & Mina are complex characters with interesting, tortured backstories but as a couple their attraction towards one another was never fully fleshed out to my full satisfaction. That being said, the story is still very romantic (especially the ending) and the lovin’ hot!

Usually, I am a very hero-centric romance reader. But in The Iron Duke, it was Mina that I connected with most (not that Rhys isn’t delicious. He is.) Mina is my kind of heroine. She’s capable, strong-minded but not afraid to show her soft spots. She is also extremely loyal, loving and willing to die for those she loves.

Finally, a romance is only as good as its hero and Rhys Trahaern is a memorable one. Rhys is 100% Alpha. He hates corrupt government and hypocritical people. He is driven and used to getting what he wants. But he never treated Mina in any didactic way; he was in fact very sensitive to her needs. He had it in his power to force Mina’s hand into several situations but he always made it so that it was her decision and that was extremely honorable and all the more lovable. I found Rhys to be a bit enigmatic, his declarations towards Mina aside, but he has sexy gold earrings and looks rogue in goggles so he’s easily forgiven :)

The Iron Duke is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I read the last chapter as least five times! I cannot wait for the next Iron Seas installment. Hope you will enjoy it just as much as I did.