Tag: Steampunk Romance

Throwback Thursday Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

Posted January 25, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2) by Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #2
Also in this series: The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1), Fire and Frost, Tethered (Novella), The Kraken King Part I, Here There Be Monsters (Iron Seas, #0.5), The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: July 3rd 2012
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

 New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook combines Victorian sensibilities with steam, steel, and adventure on the Iron Seas. 

As the mercenary captain of the Lady Corsair, Yasmeen is only loyal to her ship and her crew. So when a man who once tried to seize her airship returns from the dead, Yasmeen will be damned if she gives him another opportunity to take control. But treasure-hunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair—he wants her coldhearted captain and the invaluable da Vinci sketch she stole from him.

To reclaim the painting, Archimedes must seduce the woman who once tossed him to a ravenous pack of zombies…and she’s no easy conquest.

When da Vinci’s sketch attracts a dangerous amount of attention, they journey to Horde-occupied Morocco—and straight into their enemy’s hands. But as they fight to save themselves in a city on the brink of rebellion, the greatest peril Yasmeen faces is from the man who seeks to melt her icy heart…

***Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 28, 2011.

Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook is book 2 of steampunk The Iron Seas series.

When adventurer Archimedes Fox tried to take her airship by force, Lady Corsair’s captain, Yasmeen, had no choice but to throw him overboard into zombie infested territory. She did him a kindness, however, and threw him into a canal knowing zombies don’t go near water. She figures there’s a 50/50 chance he’s alive. Two months later when she goes to notify his sister, she finds out the truth.

His sister agrees to allow Yasmeen to sell the da Vinci sketch Archimedes found. She makes some inquiries and word gets out that she has it. Before she has a chance to deal with the one who spoke out of turn, she’s nabbed by none other than Archimedes himself.

Archimedes needs to sell the sketch in order to pay off a very large debt he owes. The sketch is important, but that’s not all he wants. He also wants Yasmeen herself. The kickass captain has intrigued him from the first. He’s determined to have both. When the sketch is stolen, Yasmeen and Archimedes team up to find it. What ensues is a spine-tingling adventure.

Brook is of a rare breed of authors. Each book is better than the last. Her novels are filled with intrigue, adventure and steamy romance. Heart of Steel is the perfect blend of all three. I love the world she’s created with her steampunk series. I have two complaints about this book. 1) it ended. 2) it ended and there aren’t any other books in the series that I haven’t read.

5 out of 5

Iron Seas Series

five-stars


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Review: The Kraken King Part VIII: The Kraken King and The Greatest Adventure by Meljean Brook (+a Giveaway!)

Posted June 3, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Kraken King Part VIII: The Kraken King and The Greatest Adventure by Meljean Brook (+a Giveaway!)Reviewer: Tracy
The Kraken King Part VIII by Meljean Brook
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
Pages: 82
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Arriving in Krakentown with their enemies in hot pursuit, Zenobia doesn’t know how they can even hope to win. Being terrified brings forth an undeniable truth: she loves Ariq and will do whatever it takes to stand by him.

But as their adversaries appear on the horizon, they realize that not all is lost. Drawing on the power of the terrible war machine, Ariq, Zenobia, and the entire town must put their lives on the line to protect what they love…

Includes a bonus excerpt of Meljean Brook’s “Here There Be Monsters.”
Praise for the novels of the Iron Seas:
“A stunning blend of steampunk setting and poignant romance.”—Ilona Andrews, New York Times bestselling author
“Every glimpse of this alternate history leaves me fascinated and hungry for more.”—All Things Urban Fantasy
“Meljean Brook has brilliantly defined the new genre of steampunk romance.”—Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author
Meljean Brook lives in Oregon with her family. She is the author of the Guardian paranormal romance and Iron Seas steampunk series.

Everything that Ariq and Zenobia have been crazy.  They are now back in Krakentown and they have 3 different enemies to work through – the Empress being the one that could really make or break the town.  Ariq didn’t want to actually use the Skybreaker but he soon realizes that he has no choice and must do what he can to save his town. He uses all of his resources as well as the assistance of friends old and new and sets out to show that him and his town aren’t threats.
The final installment in the Kraken King was so very good.  Yes, it’s the conclusion to the story but it was almost non stop action and I loved it.
At the heart of Brooks’s stories we have romance.  This was shown so clearly and so wonderfully in Part VIII.  Zenobia and Ariq are so awesome together.  They are intellectually perfect for each other and I adore how much they love each other.  They finally have the faith in the other that their love is true and lasting.  It made my heart happy to read such a touching story.
Rating: 5 out of 5


Meljean Brook
The series:
I highly recommend this serial novel.  It’s much larger than a regular novel and is worth every penny imho. From word one I couldn’t get enough of The Kraken King and that excitement stayed with me throughout the series.
If you haven’t started it then you should. Now.  Go on, I’ll wait.  *twiddles thumbs* Okay you’re taking way too long.  Why don’t I help you along?  I’ll give away the first two parts to one lucky winner.  Believe me, you won’t want to stop reading.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars


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The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster by Meljean Brook

Posted May 20, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
The Kraken King Part I by Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #4, The Kraken King Serial #1
Also in this series: The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1), Fire and Frost, Tethered (Novella), The Kraken King Part I, The Kraken King Part II, The Kraken King Part III, The Kraken King Part IV, The Kraken King Part V, The Kraken King Part VI, The Kraken King Part VII, The Kraken King Part VIII, Here There Be Monsters (Iron Seas, #0.5), The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4), Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 102
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Experience the incredible adventure and heart-stopping romance of the Iron Seas in this thrilling steampunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook.
The Kraken King, Part IThe Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster
A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…
After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.
But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…
Includes a bonus excerpt of Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke.
More to come…Don’t miss The Kraken King, Part II

Praise for the novels of the Iron Seas:
“A stunning blend of steampunk setting and poignant romance.”—Ilona Andrews, New York Times bestselling author
“Every glimpse of this alternate history leaves me fascinated and hungry for more.”—All Things Urban Fantasy
“Meljean Brook has brilliantly defined the new genre of steampunk romance.”—Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author
Meljean Brook lives in Oregon with her family. She is the author of the Guardian paranormal romance and Iron Seas steampunk series.

I loved Zenobia in Brooks’ previous books and I’m glad to see her featured here. Her wit and humor come through so well. The Kraken King is an 8 part serial. This review is for part 1.

Zenobia Fox is the sister of popular adventurist Archimedes Fox, who is married to the ruthless mercenary, Captain Corsair. She is also the author of the popular Archimedes Fox serial adventures, as well as the new Lady Lynx adventures – something she wishes to keep quiet. Unfortunately, due to circumstances outside her control, it’s become well-known not only that she’s the author and that her brother is willing to pay a fortune in ransom for her.  As a result, Zenobia’s been kidnapped four times. When her childhood friend, Helene, asks her to travel to the Red City with her, she seizes the chance to get away from her home and – hopefully – out of danger.  It’s a good thing Zenobia wanted adventure, because their airship is taken over she ends up in Krakentown, under the watchful eye of The Kraken King.

Ariq has never met anyone like Zenobia. She’s plain featured, but her personality shines from her like a beacon. She’s witty, intelligent and has secrets. Secrets Ariq wants to uncover…slowly, if possible. She’s determined to reach the Red City as quickly as possible. Ariq is convinced she’s ferreting information to someone, though he isn’t sure quite why.

Zenobia is such a likable character. She’s quick of wit, sharp of tongue and has a surprisingly bawdy sense of humor. She’s also practical and shrewd. She understands her circumstances and takes steps to protect herself, but she also refuses to sit on the sidelines and let life pass her by.

Ariq is a man who takes his responsibilities serious. He’s the governor of Krakentown and has vowed to keep his citizens safe. Though he spent years fighting for the resistance, he chose to walk away and provide a safe place for any person who needs it. His feelings for Zenobia come through quite well. He isn’t just attracted to her physically. He also wants to uncover her secrets and secure her heart.

Brook always writes and engaging tale, and this first part of her new serial is no exception. There’s drama, adventure and a large amount of action. I can’t wait for the story to continue.

4 out of 5

This installment is available from InterMix. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Guest Review: His Clockwork Canary by Beth Ciotta

Posted September 19, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

15812190Erica’s review of His Clockwork Canary  (The Glorious Victorious Darcys #2) by Beth Ciotta.

Amazon synopsis: “For ambitious engineer Simon Darcy, winning Queen Victoria’s competition to recover lost inventions of historical significance is a matter of pride—and redemption. After all, it was Simon’s failed monorail project that left his family destitute, and winning the tournament would surely restore the Darcys’ reputation.

Simon sets his sights high, targeting no less than the infamous time-travel device that forever changed the world by transporting scientists, engineers, and artists from the twentieth century. The Mod technology was banned and supposedly destroyed, but Simon is sure he can re-create it.

His daring plan draws the attention of Willie G., the Clockwork Canary, London’s sensationalist reporter. Simon soon discovers that Willie is a male guise for Wilhemina Goodenough, the love of his youth, who left him jilted and bitter. He questions her motives even as he falls prey to her unique charm. As the attraction between the two reignites, Simon realizes that this vixen from his past has secrets that could be the key to his future…as long as he can put their history behind him.”

My review:

I will make no attempt to sum this book up, because there is SO MUCH going on, I would probably confuse the hell out of everyone. Suffice it to say, there are time traveling hippies from the ’60s now in the Victorian period, everything is massively screwed up, and Willie is supernatural and she and Simon were madly in love several years ago, and families are crazy. Okay, you good? Good.

This book SHOULD have rocked my damn world. Anything steampunk, even if it’s not that good, makes me riotously happy. Hippies? Love. Lovers reunited trope? Love. On paper, this was the perfect damn book for me.

So why the hell was reading this book like pulling teeth?

Well, for one thing, it’s the second in a series, and while I didn’t feel totally lost, there is A LOT to sort out and deal with. The glossary of all the different terms/factions in the front got quite a workout.

Secondly, holy cow, this book is slooooooooow. So damn slow. Halfway through the book, I was starting to freak out because they hadn’t really done a damn thing yet. And it didn’t really pick up and get interesting until the last few chapters, when the characters from the first book make an appearance. Our heroine, Willie, thinks: “Bad enough his little sister had married a notorious rake and purported outlaw, but they’d embarked on a spectacular adventure that dazzled and shocked far more than anything Simon and Willie had experienced in their venture this far.” Dude, I freakin’ HOPE SO! (So, I’m hoping this is true. And considering the energy the characters brought to the second book, I imagine the first book will be much better.)

A lot supposedly was going on, and there is a lot going on in the world, but I felt like the book was a lot of going through the motions and then waiting for stuff. For a book so damn concerned about time, the actual story didn’t give a damn about when it got around to actually having something happen.

I kind of really hated the couple. Simon could have been cool, but he felt very whiny, and he annoyed me. Willie could have been totally badass, and she was sometimes, but she irritated the hell out of me. They talked about their history, which was good. But after that, they didn’t talk about crap. Well, no, that’s a lie. They talk A LOT. But they don’t talk about their relationship; they don’t talk about the really important things. I was so frustrated. When Simon says that he loves Willie, I am completely shocked, because other than the sexytimes, there hasn’t been a whole lot of evidence to prove it.

Sigh. I am so disappointed. So disappointed because the world is so amazing. It’s complicated, but it’s seriously awesome. I’m going to try the first book and see how it goes, and hope that this book is just one of those flukes that happen in a series, where you have to get to one point, and you have filler to set that up. That’s my hope, because for so much promise, this book failed to deliver much at all for me.

My rating: 2.0. Sigh.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover

This title is available from Signet.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Enthralled by Meljean Brook, Alyssa Day, Lora Leigh and Lucy Monroe

Posted August 7, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

15808710Erica’s review of Enthralled by Meljean Brook, Alyssa Day, Lora Leigh and Lucy Monroe

Enthralled is an anthology of four new novellas that focus on paranormal storylines.

The first in the book, “The Devil’s Due,” by Lora Leigh is part of her Breeds series. I’ve never read any if the books in the series, and I felt like that lack of knowledge about the world was a serious detriment to my enjoying and understanding much of the story. The idea was cool: that there are these people who have been genetically enhanced with the abilities of different animals. But the novella as a whole work felt very… Well, it was kind of all over the place. A novella has a limited amount of space to convince me of a HEA and this one spent a lot of time focused on other characters. It actually felt like a side story plucked from a larger book. I liked a couple of the other characters much better than the couple I was supposed to be reading about, and I’m curious about their stories, so I may look into this series. However, a lot of this story actively annoyed me, for reasons I’ll get into later.

The second story, “The Curse of the Black Swan,” by Alyssa Day, was just a freaking delight all the way around. I loved how the characters talked to each other and interacted and connected, and it was all just so, so lovely and cute and weirdly very real for a story about a chick who turns into a swan and an undercover half fire demon firefighter. I totally bought this world, and I adore it, and I want lots lots more. The ending was rushed, the Bad Guy reveal annoyed me a bit, but I so didn’t even care. I totally bought into the whole thing and adored it.

The third story, “Salvage“, by Meljean Brook, is part of her Iron Seas series, which I will admit, I am unabashedly, madly in love with. Oh my god, I love these books. Anyway, this story focuses on a minor character from Heart of Steel, Big Thom, who’s a salvager and diver, and his estranged wife Georgiana, and holy crap. It was fantastic. They talked, they worked out their issues in a realistic way, they had crazy adventures, and there was a scene that I will not share that had me rolling around howling with laughter. It may very well be the perfect novella. AND it was full of steampunk awesomeness. So much joy. I would have liked to have seen more, just because I love this world and these characters so darn much, but I still think it worked astonishingly well as a novella.

The fourth story, “Ecstasy Under the Moon“, by Lucy Monroe, part of her Children Under the Moon series. Again, cool concept: shapeshifters were the ancient Picts, that split up into different clans, and are now (but this is still in the medieval period) trying to mend fences and join forces and all of that. Very cool. Occasionally the language felt forced and Una had something terrible happen to her, but we don’t really get the details. We get one detail, and it’s terrible, but, as bad as it was, feels anticlimactic to what I expected the story to be. I basically didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters, though. And…

Okay, quick little rant here. I hate the idea of two people being “destined” or “chosen” for each other, and then that’s it. That’s the whole reason why they’re together and they’re in love. It happened in “The Devil’s Due” and in “Ecstasy Under the Moon”, and it made me freaking insane. I mean it’s cool that they have some chemical or spiritual connection that draws them to each other. BUT you gotta show me that even without that predestined factor, these people would still choose each other. In “Ecstasy Under the Moon,” they had all these meetings where they talked and apparently bonded, and I didn’t get to see any of it. I was told that they bonded, that they shared stories, etc., but I didn’t see it. So then they get together and it’s all good because they’re soulmates or something and I’m like, ugh. I get it. It’s a novella, there’s not a lot of room. But, in my mind, watching the couple that I’m supposed to be connecting with and rooting for a HEA for come together in a real and meaningful way should be the main freaking reason why I’m reading the book. In “The Devil’s Due,” I missed out on two weeks of their relationship and then they were HEA because of all this stuff that had happened off the page and I’m FURIOUS, because right now I don’t believe that they love each other. I believe they’ve got some crazy chemical reaction thing going on, they’re hot, and they’re both good in the sack. And that’s it. That’s annoying as hell. One of the reasons why I adored the other two novellas so much was that I actually saw these two people talking and interacting and laughing and being vulnerable and falling in love. I am totally convinced of their HEAs because of that.

Okay. Rant over.

It’s tough grading this book as a whole, because of my wildly different reactions to the stories contained. Since one I’d grade a 5.0 (“Salvage”), one a 4.5 (“The Curse of the Black Swan”), and two I’d give 2.0 (“Ecstasy Under the Moon” and”The Devil’s Due”), I’m going to average it all out and say a 3.0 for the book. This is with the caveat that everyone needs to read Salvage immediately, or I’ll beat you up. Not really. 🙂

 

This title is available from Berkley Trade.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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