The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

A quick caveat before the gushing – I tend to get really excited when I find a new author or new genre that I love. Both Ms Brook and steampunk romance are new to me. I was told (repeatedly!) that if I was going to try steampunk Ms Brook was the only way to go. While much of my love is directed at the book and the author it is also a reflection of finding something NEW and DIFFERENT. I like variety (come on – have you seen my Read pile?) so I get super squeaky over something outside my booky wheelhouse.

All of that said – this is…wait for it… a steampunk pirate romance set in a war-ravaged, machine-infested pseudo-england. Y’all – this book was a freaking BLAST. Mina is this bad-ass lady cop with so much going against her. But ole girl has pluck and sass and super-human strength. And Rhys…okay, bear with me…Rhys is sort of a dickhead. Bossy and simple. He is not the most shaded of characters. But it was totally okay. I loathe a one-dimensional caveman, but I have a soft-spot for a dude who is honestly a little out of his element in love. Rhys is not complex, but I adored his bad-assery and social malfunctions.

There was tons of action. Adventure. Zombies. This book had a lot of story to it (at several points it is overwhelming), but I’m going to give points for effort. There was steam, but it wasn’t the focus of the book, and it was never so repetitive as to be boring. The first 40-ish pages of the story was mostly world-building. And I had to go back a couple of times to reference something or get an explanation.

Overall I loved this. I’ve been reading some serious stuff lately. And it felt so good to read a romance that was (to me) everything a romance should be. Fun and silly and big and simple and likable. The perfect way to relax and let the day roll off my shoulders. I will be starting the next book in this series ASAP – fingers crossed it’s every bit as much fun!

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