Sunday, December 2, 2018

#BookReview – “Of Silk and Steam” by Bec McMaster


Enemies. Allies. Lovers.

When her beloved father was assassinated, Lady Aramina swore revenge. The man responsible is well beyond her grasp, but his dangerously seductive heir, Leo Barrons, is fair game. When Mina obtains evidence proving that Leo is illegitimate, she has the means to destroy both the killer and his son, a man who troubles her heart and tempts her body.

A woman of mystery, Mina's long driven Leo crazy with glimpses of a fiery passion that lurks beneath her icy veneer. He knows she's hiding something, and he's determined to unravel her layer by silken layer. He just doesn't expect the beautiful liar to be the key to overthrowing the corrupt prince consort… or to saving his own carefully walled-off heart.


In the fifth book in the London Steampunk series, Lady Aramina Duvall is living a double life. As the Duchess of Casavian and the only female blue blood on the Council of Dukes (the ruling body of the Echelon, the London aristocracy), she has to watch her back at every turn and hide her emotions and feminine needs behind an icy veneer. Mina wants to destroy the House of Caine, but the Duke of Caine’s dashing son constantly throws her off balance. She doesn’t know if she can trust Leo Barrons, but both her heart and her body secretly wants him.
Leo is also a blue blood (a person infected with the craving vampire-like virus) and serves on the Council in his father’s stead. Along with several other people, he’s secretly planning to destroy the prince consort and end his reign of tyranny. Even though the Houses of Caine and Casavian hate one another, Leo is obsessed with Mina and can see beneath her cold, calculated shell. But then Leo is ousted from the Council and the prince consort demands his head. Believing Mina betrayed him, he fears everything he’s worked for is about to go up in smoke. Instead, it starts the revolution.
Leo and Mina have great chemistry, but there’s not a lot of romance in this book. The main plot focuses more on the revolt with the H/h’s love story second.
Leo is a strong, guilt-hardened man who’s lost everything and is determined to keep the one bright light in his life—Mina—even though he doesn’t really trust her. Though he lost so much, he gained more in return, and it was really nice seeing him finally be open with his sisters, brother, and their extended family. Leo was already one of my favorite characters, and now he’s tied in with Blade as my favorite hero.
Like most of the heroines in this series, Mina is very secretive and refuses to accept the help she needs for the longest time. Her inability to trust stems from countless betrayals in her past that makes her uncertainty and coldness understandable. Since she’s a blue blood, she has increased speed and strength, and I loved that she and Leo worked together as a team.
Blade, the hero from book one, and his rookery gang played a large role in this story, and it was great seeing him and Honoria again. I definitely enjoyed seeing Charlie and Lark together, and the wedge that finally drove between the young couple is quite heartbreaking. Will and Lena, Lynch and Rosalind, and Garrett and Perry (the other heroes and heroines from the series) had minor roles, but I understand that the book would’ve been way too crowded if everyone played a big on-page role in the revolution.
I was really looking forward to Leo’s story, but I’m a little disappointed. Though I loved all the revolt scenes as the humans and rogue blue bloods/the Nighthawks finally fought back and stood up for their rights, Leo and Mina’s relationship mimicked the stories that came before (the hero being willing to trust and start a relationship while the heroine refuses to give him a chance).
There are some unanswered questions/loose ends, the biggest one being how the humans, blue bloods, and verwulfen will coexist and make peace. That will probably be addressed in the spin-off series, but I really would’ve liked to have read what changes will be made in this book since it wraps up the London Steampunk series.
4 Stars

Disclaimer – I borrowed this ebook from the library. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

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