Reviewed by: Chelsea
Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
The latest installment of Meljean Brook’s steampunk romance Iron Seas series is heavier on the cultural elements and airship travel than the romance.
The first book The Iron Duke was dark, aggressive and sexy. In the second book Heart of Steel, Brook built on the world and gave us more adventure with lots of bedroom action. This third foray into the world of airships, steel body parts and nanoagents has a much slower build on the romance side. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but previous novels would likely give the expectation of kissing before one reaches the halfway point of the novel.
David and Annika are both held back from making advances in their relationship by emotional pasts and wariness of the other gender. David has mechanical body parts—a lens over one eye, an iron hand and metal legs and feet—and scars. His previous attempts with women have resulted in disgust over his body. So, he’s decided no one would really want to see him or kiss him or touch him.
Annika has a whole other problem. She’s not sure if she’ll ever be attracted to anyone. She thought she might like women (and, in fact, feels like she should due to plot points) but that hasn’t really panned out. David stirs her blood, but she’s not sure what to make of it. Any hint he gives her at being attracted she shuts down. Then communication complications ensue making for a long wait before romantic action really kicks in.
That said, when it does kick in, it’s wonderful. These two explore what it means to be in love. Once they’re honest with one another, a flame is lit and Riveted takes off in both romantic plot and super-charged action.
Riveted was a good read, but much more of an adventure novel with a strong romantic subplot than a straight-up romance. Like Brook’s other books, it brings robust characters and detailed world building. While not my favorite of the series, but still a thumbs-up read.
Sexual content: Sex