Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Noble Metals
Author: L.A. Witt
Series: Metals #1
Heroes: Robert Belton/John Fauth
Genre: M/M Historical Romance, Steampunk
Length: 52,500 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: July 14, 2014 (2nd Edition)
Available at: Riptide Publishing
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Ever since Robert Belton gambled away the money to stake his claim in the Klondike gold fields, he’s been stranded in Seattle working as a prostitute. When an attractive customer needs help hauling provisions to the frozen north, Robert eagerly volunteers.
Dr. John Fauth is only searching for one thing, and it isn’t gold. He needs platinum for the prototypes of his revolutionary inventions, and if he doesn’t find it in the Klondike, his university career—and his research—is over.
Getting to the Klondike is a grueling, dangerous journey, and just hours after leaving Seattle, John and Robert find themselves in over their heads. John is carrying an invaluable device that his competitors will do anything to get their hands on. And as the cold nights and mutual desire pull John and Robert closer together, they discover that they have much more to lose than gold or platinum.
(Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published by a different press; it has since been edited extensively and expanded by over 10,000 words.)
I admit, I may have a slight addiction to Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush and Klondike, so when I saw this book I wanted to read it immediately. But then I discovered it was to be re-released by Riptide Publishing and expanded by over 10,000 words, so I had to wait.
Noble Metals is set in the late 1890s alternate history during the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska, where men use mechs or airships to aid them in the treacherous journey to Dawson City.
After gambling all his money away, Robert Belton is stuck working in a Seattle brothel where he can’t return to his past and his only hope for a future is to join a team traveling to Dawson City and pursue his dreams of striking gold. But no one wants a weakly looking prostitute who surely could not carry is his own year’s worth of provisions required to make the trek…well not anyone that Robert would feel safe with anyway. Then one evening, the mysterious “John” walks into the brothel and agrees to pay Robert to join him. But traveling with John is more dangerous than Robert ever expected and neither of them may make it to Dawson City alive.
The Romance: I LOVED Robert and John together!! Plus, in historicals, I love the rescued rent boy trope. Surprisingly, there was plenty of sexual tension, which is usually a must for me to really get hooked in. Of course, John and Robert made plenty of their own “steam” too. I really liked the passion and the connection between them…that went much deeper than just friends or lovers.
The Journal: The story was told in first person from Robert’s POV, but I loved how I got to see in John’s head and heart with each entry into his journal. There was one entry there that had me in tears.
The Danger: There was plenty of good suspense and danger. John is carrying a device that will help him locate platinum in the soil…and where there’s platinum, there is gold. So it isn’t long before more than just the terrain and weather became a danger to Robert and John. I swear I was biting my nails through half of the book.
The Steampunk: I loved the subtle integration of the steampunk aspects into this world. It was written so believably that I sometimes wasn’t sure which pieces came from real history and which ones were entirely fiction.
The HEA: I was surprised at how perfect the HEA was…after I got over my initial sadness that they never made it to Dawson City. I honestly DID NOT want this story to end; I wanted to read more about Robert and John and the life they made together.
This was a wonderful, little steampunk romance set in an era that I love. Oh, how I wish there were more gold rush stories out there! I can’t wait until I can get Precious Metals onto my Kindle…its set in this same world and releases later this year.
Overall Impression: I Really Liked It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*