Reviewed by Ami
Title: Of Silk and Steam
Author: Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #5
Hero/Heroine: Leo Barrons/Lady Aramina
Genre: MF Historical Romance
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review: Of Silk and Steam is the final book of Bec McMaster’s London Steampunk series, and it brings all parties to one thrilling action – Viva Revolution! From rogue blue bloods, the humanist supporters, the Nighthawks, as well as rebels inside the council, they all work side by side to overthrow the Prince Consort. In amidst of this, we have the captivating enemies-to-lovers romance between Lady Mina Duvall and Leo Barrons.
One thing I admire from Bec McMaster is her ability to develop different couples with their own unique characteristics. We have five different couples and none of them are similar or carbon-copy from the other. In Of Silk and Steam, Mina and Leo are both blue bloods who hold a position inside The Council of Dukes. Leo serves as the Duke of Caine’s proxy, whose health has been declining over the years. While Mina, the only Duchess in the council represents The House of Casavian after her father died.
I have been wanting to read Leo Barrons’ story from the very beginning – ever since I knew that he was actually the half-brother of the Todds (Honoria, Lena, Charlie) by blood. With each book, Leo proves to be a worthy ally towards the rebels. I really loved him and I was getting more curious to read about his love interest… and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting Mina at all!
Mina Duvall, to me, came as a mysterious heroine. Mina has an icy calculating façade, which makes her a tough character to crack. I remembered when she made a decision in book #1, which swayed the vote to save Blade’s life. I kept wondering what would be the significance of her as a character in this book. Will she become a heroine or is she a villain that everyone must be careful of?
I must say that I’m very happy to get this book because I finally got to understand Mina. I could understand why she put those layers to protect herself. Being the only female in the Council makes the others look down on her, especially since Council of Dukes would never allow a female to be considered as blue blood. Mina has a lot against her and her position as Duchess of Casavian, thus she needs to be strong and smart.
Honestly, with each and every revelation about Mina, my admiration to her grows threefold. I mean, for the past ten years, ever since she ascended to the duchy, Mina has been slowly planning to overthrow the Prince Consort: building a network of humanist, playing the court to her advantage. And she does this basically by herself!! In order to help her best friend, the queen. I personally thought Mina triumphs over all male characters in this series; she doesn’t gain her victory by brute physical strength (though she can win a physical fight too) but she also uses her intellectuality – basically, a woman after my own heart.
The romance between Leo and Mina is slow-burn … because Mina doesn’t easily trust Leo after years thinking of him as the son of the Duke who killed her father. While this makes the ‘forbidden’ love affair engaging to read, I admit that sometimes Mina’s tendency to retreat back to her shell frustrated me. Leo definitely is the one who falls for the relationship early on, as he already thinks of Mina as someone worth to pursue as well as losing his heart for. Mina needs more time catch up. Having said that, their courtship from enemies to lovers is filled with great banter, cat-and-mouse games, and some sexy times.
Bec McMaster ends this thrilling series with a blast, and the climax is worth my losing few hours of sleep … I am happy that she has a spin-off in the making, because I’m not exactly ready to say goodbye to this world. Oh, and if she ever decides to make a stand-alone story about Charlie and Lark, well, I’m not going to say “no” to that as well *wink-wink nudge-nudge*
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*