Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
If we were to merge the alpha overtones of Gone With the Wind, the swagger of Sherlock Holmes, the post-catastrophic world of Downside and a bunch of microscopic machines, we would get The Iron Duke. (And, yes, it really is that awesome.)
Rhys, known to all those other than Mina as The Iron Duke, is a very stubborn, strong alpha male. He wants to fix things and protect Mina, despite the fact it’s quite clear that Detective Inspector Willamina Wentworth can handle things herself and rather likes it that way. He pursues her in the only way he knows how — forcefully. Don’t let the title fool you, he hasn’t given up being a pirate just because England gave him a title.
Mina has to learn to let go. She’s put in a difficult position of looking like the people who had terrorized England for nearly 200 years. She does everything she can to be the polar opposite and fly under the radar. Shacking up with the savior of the country, who is in the tabloids daily, would ruin her hard work. She plans to avoid the Duke, but when her his former ship is stolen with her brother aboard, the two must take the air and the ocean to rescue him, the ship and England.
Meljean Brook builds a stunning world without using a heavy hand or front-loading the novel setting the scene. We can picture the crumbled Horde tower, the machinations of The Blacksmith, what it is like aboard the Lady Corsair airship, the political climate and most of all Rhys and Mina.
It was easy to connect with Mina and to want to be with Rhys. At the same time, one continually wants to smack some sense into both of them. Between the flutter-worthy love story, high seas adventure and murder mystery, The Iron Duke will have you consistently rushing to the next chapter for answers.
I’m eager to see where Brook takes her new steampunk series, because I loved the world created in The Iron Duke.
A note to the Terrible Fever group: If you were wishing for a more prominent love story in Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series, you must read this book. Rhys isn’t Terrible, but he’s damn swoon-worthy. Promise.