Try our Advanced Book SearchHelp
Advanced Book Search
Search books by title, genre, publication month, publication year, and rating or search by any combination of these options (i.e. all Mysteries published in January 2001 with 4.5 rating).
If you want to search for a name or phase, include quotation marks around your search term (example: "Deborah Smith")
The process of writing The Iron Duke was a bit like the book itself: there was an enormous risk that was taken out of love, followed by an exciting adventure. Luckily for me, however, I didn’t have to write it while aboard an airship or fighting off a giant kraken.
But there were definitely doubts and hurdles to overcome. When I first pitched this series to my editor, “steampunk” as a genre hadn’t yet made it to the mainstream ... and I still receive many questions asking me what steampunk is. But it’s quite simple, really: imagine a movie like Sherlock Holmes combined with steamy romance, or Pirates of the Caribbean with airships, clockwork gadgets, and bizarre monsters. It’s a historical romance...with a steampunk twist.
And it’s an enormous amount of fun. Because the history of my Iron Seas world is different from our own history, I was able to create an England that looked very much like the Victorian England that we know and love in our romances, but with some significant cultural and physical changes. In this alternate history, the Mongol Horde didn’t stop their military advance into Europe in 1241 A.D. (as they did in our history), but came later with war machines and powerful technology. Most of Europe and Africa fled to the New World. At the opening of The Iron Duke, England has just come out from under the Horde’s two-hundred year occupation ... and the man who freed them all – pirate captain Rhys Trahaearn – is the hero of my story.
I suppose it is also a little unusual to set The Iron Duke nine years after the ultimate victory – he freed all of England, after all, and became a national hero! – but even though Rhys’s actions had an amazing impact upon the lives of everyone who had been oppressed by the Horde (including our heroine, Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth), he wasn’t exactly a hero. No, he was a pirate captain through and through, a man who was in the right place at the right time. Certainly not worthy of romance hero status!
But I wanted to give him a chance to be worthy of that status – and to be worthy of love. And even though the Horde has been defeated, England isn’t safe from threat ... no, there are far worse dangers than the Horde for Rhys to face – dangers which might destroy the woman he’s come to love.
It’s never enough for a hero to be big and sexy and to defeat the bad guys – a romance hero needs to have his heart in the right place as he does it. And it doesn’t matter whether he’s a historical romance hero, a vampire or a demon, a contemporary hero, or a captain in a science fiction romance – a hero is a hero, and steampunk romance isn’t any different. And so even though I’m writing in a new, unfamiliar genre, I have no doubt that readers will recognize the element that is common to every romance: A strong hero.
In my story, the Iron Duke will do anything to have Mina, even if that means changing the world to be with her. That, to me, is pure romance ... and I hope that everyone enjoys the adventure with me.
- Meljean Brook
More than 250 new books reviewed in every issue!
Subscribe: Print and Digital
Get RT’s latest news and book picks, plus information on contests, videos and convention updates delivered to your inbox every month!
Garwood shares some Sweet Talk.
Read the Interview >>
Learn all about thnew author's paranormal trilogy.
Read the Interview >>
Go inside this author's paranormal tale, Once Burned.
Read the Interview >>
Deveraux shares the details about her latest romance.
Learn all about the new series Brennan is kicking off with her returning characters, FBI agent in training Lucy Kincaid and security expert Sean Rogan!
This author wraps up her Angels of Mercy series.
Meljean Brook on her award-winning book, Riveted.
Colasanti discusses soulmates and summer love.
Delphine Dryden talks kink and geekiness.
Download the ratings for all the new books reviewed in the July issue, conveniently formatted on easily printable pages.