Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook
Book purchased from Book Depository
Treasurehunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair-just the captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. When it attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco- and straight into enemy hands.
5 Stars – A
As I picked up this book, I was giddy with anticipation. Would it be as good as The Iron Duke? Would it be better? And my answer is…I loved this book more than The Iron Duke.
Reading this book made me happy. I had a goofy grin on my face. I didn’t really think much of Archimedes Fox in the last book. Didn’t think he would survive being tossed out to the zombies. Archimedes Fox is full of surprises. He is an adventurer, wily, a scoundrel, and get this – a romantic.
Yes, a romantic. Archimedes Fox is a man who wants to fall head over heels in love. He is a male lead character that defers to his woman. Almost unheard of in these types of books, but it works.
The object of his affections is the illustrious Yasmeen, who is truly in a class of her own. She is strong, kickass, and practical. Yasmeen shoots first and asks questions later.
The dialogue is cleverly written. The adversarial relationship is fun; Archimedes and Yasmeen try to outwit each other at first. This is quite a different kind of romance. Yasmeen is tough and ruthless. Archimedes is soft and completely in her thrall. As opportunities present themselves, Archimedes continues to hold out waiting for Yasmeen to fall for him. The sexual tension builds so slowly, and deliciously…
The world building is breathtaking. This is a complex, layered world complete with an alternate history, zombies, nanobots, and the like. The steampunk elements form parts of the story. They are masterfully detailed and do not overpower the reader, enhancing the reading experience. I was reminded of those old Saturday morning matinee swashbuckling movies.
The secondary characters are colorful. I’d love to learn more about their backgrounds.
This is a book that I could read again and again. Well done, Ms. Brook! More please!
Note: This is the second book in The Iron Seas series. If you’d like more information on the world building, check out Meljean Brook’s blog for a basic guide to the world of The Iron Seas. Here’s the link: http://meljeanbrook.com/books/the-iron-seas/the-iron-seas-guide
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