Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #2
Hero & Heroine: Will Carver & Lena Todd
Genre: MF Steampunk
Length: 437 Pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Available at: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…
Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…
Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.
With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…
I read the first few books in this series not long ago and LOVED THEM! I kind of put off reading this one because I wasn’t sure if I would like Lena as a mate for Will. Honestly, I did not like her AT ALL in the first book Kiss of Steel.
Heart of Iron picks up three years after Kiss of Steel, Will has moved out of the warren and into his own shabby flat, and Lena has moved into the city to pursue her dreams of living amongst the upper class. Secretly, Lena has been working as a spy for the humanists in their mission against the blue bloods of the Echelon. When Will starts to suspect that Lena knows some information he is seeking and that she’s probably involved herself with some dangerous people, Will is determined to protect her and find out whats really going on. But this will be difficult for Will, he’s lived his life in a cage and knows that he could never be with Lena and risk the chance of losing control and harming her. As a verwulfen, Will is treated as an animal with a bounty on his head, an outcast in society…expected to be chained in a cage. To associate herself with Will, Lena will be risking her chances of ever getting back the lifestyle she once had.
So I said earlier, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Lena and Will together. Lena is still spoiled and a bit bratty and a horrible flirt; she hasn’t grown up much more in the last three years. It did take me some time to warm up to her and I wasn’t sure I could trust her with Will’s heart, but she did what was right when it mattered. I have a huge soft spot for damaged characters and Will just made my heart break inside. He really deserved his own HEA, and I just had to accept that he was destined to be with Lena.
It turns out that Will and Lena had awesome chemistry together and Lena knew just how to tease and flirt with Will to bring him to that perfect edge. There was sooooo much sexual tension going on!!! And when they final gave in…it was HOT!! Without even realizing it, Will spent the entire book courting Lena, while she is dying for him to lose control and touch her body.
Will kissed her lips lightly, chasing away the questioning tone. “You know I love you,” he said. Her body quivered against his, but he pressed a finger to her lips, stalling her. “I would die for you,” he told her. “I’d kill for you. I faced down mechanical squid, rampagin’ humanists, and lessons in etiquette for you. I danced at a ball for you.”
I think Heart of Iron had just as much danger and action as the first book. Since it had been a few months between reading the two, I was a little confused in the beginning and it took me a bit to remember all the specifics of the world and the different “races” in it. But once I started reading, I DID NOT want to put it down. I would have read it all in one sitting, unfortunately I’m just not that fast of a reader…it is NOT a short book.
The mystery was pretty complex, there were a lot of details and characters involved to keep track of and just a lot going on in general. I didn’t really have it all figured out, but there was some good foreshadowing in the set up and so much of this plot ties into the plot from the previous book. In no way can this be read as a standalone.
Blade! There were some good scenes with Blade, and while I adore Will, I think Blade is still my favorite character in the series so far. He’s so dramatic and snarky and passionate… Will is more on the serious and possessive side.
If you are interested in reading more about when Blade rescued Will from the cage at the Penny Gaff theatre, be sure to follow the author’s newsletter for the serial story The Boy in the Cage.
I can’t wait to get to Lynch and Rosalind’s story next in My Lady Quicksilver. I don’t expect Lynch will have an easy time of capturing Rosalind.
Overall Impression: It Was Amazing!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*