Expected Release Date: October 1, 2013
Author’s Website: http://www.becmcmaster.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, London Steampunk Series
Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but would stand well on its own.
Steam Level: Hot
Pet Peeves: Adultery/Infidelity (Sort Of, Minor)
Favorite Tropes: Enemies To Lovers, Secret Identity
Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother’s disappearance. And get out.
In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn’t count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.
He could be her most dangerous nemesis—or the ally she never dreamed existed.
What Worked For Me:
- This never counts for or against a book’s rating, but really, look at that gorgeous cover! That is art I wouldn’t mind having as a print in my office.
- I would be remiss not to mention my deep and abiding love for the world that Ms. McMaster has created. With “blue bloods” — nobles that are infected with a craving virus that makes stronger and more powerful but having the tiny downfall of needing to drink human blood — replacing the titled gentlemen of the ton in a traditional Victorian romance, and debutantes who vie for the right to be taken into a “thrall contract” in place of a titled marriage, this new twist on vampires captured my interest from the very first book. I love also that those who were “accidentally” infected with the craving virus are considered rogues, skirting the fringes of high society so like those born on the wrong side of the blanket in books that we are used to. Throw in the growing rebellion of the lower classes and this becomes one of the most intriguing series I’ve read in a long time.
- Though the love scenes in no way overwhelmed the story, they were hot. Mmmmph. The chemistry between Rosalind and Lynch has always been present, but it grows exponentially throughout the story, and I love the whole possessive/animalistic hero. Guh.
- Lynch was everything I’d hoped for and more. The entire concept of the Nighthawks has fascinated me from the beginning, and seeing him in his element was lovely. More than that, though, was his tight control over his impulses, which of course somewhat lead to his delightful downfall.
- I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Rosalind’s character, especially when she was posing as Rosa, Lynch’s new secretary. Seeing her grow as a character from a hardened woman full of anger and hatred, into a woman who began to see that not everything was black and white was a joy.
- I also really liked the mystery behind the attacks in the blue blood families. It wasn’t just the mystery, though, but the actual investigation that really drew me in and refused to let go. I loved watching Rosalind (masquerading as Rosa, Lynch’s new secretary) assist in the investigation, and I of course am deeply in love with the scene that involved an up-close-and-personal discovery of the source of the madness (as well as the scrumptious scenes that followed).
- Oh the ending was fantastic. Just when you honestly think there can be no happy ending, Ms. McMaster throws in the perfect little twist to make things work out exactly as they should.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Cheating is a big no-no for me, even when the person you’re cheating with is actually the secret alter-ego of the person you’re cheating on. The key factor being that the person doing the cheating didn’t realize that these two people were actually one and the same, so while it may not be “technically” cheating, it was still cheating in spirit and it didn’t sit well with me, no matter how incredibly hot the scene was.
- There is a certain scene towards the end that was glossed over completely as though it were of no importance, much to my disappointment. No spoilers — I am fairly certain that when you read it, you will know which scene I speak of.
I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book ever since the final pages of the previous book, Heart of Iron. I love the Enemies To Lovers trope in romance, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. With Lynch on the hunt for the elusive rebel leader, Mercury, and Mercury herself hiding right under his nose, there was plenty of excitement and subterfuge, and I loved getting an inside look into the Nighthawks.
The world-building is fantastic, as it has been throughout the series, and I simply cannot get enough of this world where the glittering sphere of the Echelon clashes so perfectly with the dark, gritty world of the mechs and the working class.
The battle between the blue bloods and the humanists really heats up in this story, and the hunt for Mercury as well as the humanists’ plans for war really come to life.
Getting inside of Rosalind’s head was wonderful, and I loved the insight into not only her past but also her heart. I’ve known ever since he first graced the pages that Lynch was a man of great depth, and seeing him, especially at his most vulnerable, made me all for him even harder.
Bottom line — I adored this book. Had it not been for the kind-of-sort-of-but-maybe-not-really cheating, it very likely would have been a full five stars for me. As it is, though, it was still a wonderful, exciting, sexy read, and it is firmly on my keeper shelf.