Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for Kiss of Steel (from Goodreads):
When Nowhere Is Safe
Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?
Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.
When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Steampunk Series
Series: London Steampunk
There is a spinoff series: London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy Series.
Author: Bec McMaster
# of Books: 5 (Full Reading Order Here)
There are many novellas. See the series full reading order here.
Book Order: Connected by Chronological
Genre: Adult, Steampunk, Action, Romance, Suspense, Paranormal
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: September 2012 – March 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook (#1-4); Audiobook (#5)
**This post was originally published as a Series Review of the first few of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I’m a sucker for a good Steampunk novel. I adore this genre thanks to its mashup of science fiction, action and swoon-worthy romance.
The Concept / The World:
What sets this series apart from it other books in this genre is the paranormal aspect of it–vampires. Twilight aside, I do like vampire novels (Vampire Academy anyone?) and this series is not Twilight by any means!
What I love about this series is that it isn’t overly complicated despite the many layers. I know it must sound daunting that there is steampunk elements AND vampire elements but Ms. McMaster does a great job in each book with refreshing you on what the Blue Blood world is so you always know what is going on. I found in Kiss of Steel (#1)that I quickly got used to the new terms regarding vampires and how their “vampirism” worked (let’s get real, every vampire novel has its own twist on the vampire and this is no exception).
I won’t lie–I admit that I read this book because I was hoping for a steamier steampunk read (no pun is intended). When I picked up Kiss of Steel (#1), I had been reading more young adult steampunk novels and while I absolutely loved them, I wanted a dash more of the maturity and romance that comes with an “adult” steampunk/romance novel.
However, if you are expecting a book where the characters get it on within the first 50 pages, you will be severely disappointed! These books are BRIMING with sexual tension–great sexual tension that makes the wait worth it!
Which brings me to the characters–there wasn’t a single lead that I didn’t like (ok, perhaps Lena for a bit at the start of Heart of Iron(#2) but she really grew on me by the halfway point). All the female leads are strong, independent woman who don’t suffer from clinginess or lose themselves to their male counterpart. They kick some serious ass–especially Rosalind in My Lady Quicksilver (#3). The males are definitely alpha but not in an overly unhealthy way that would turn you off (unless you like that–I don’t so this series gets bonus marks from me).
The Plot/Reading Order:
Each book changes who the two lead characters are; however, they all follow a series of chronological events. I just loved how this series built everything thing up from one book to the next. The story and characters are constantly evolving which keeps you hooked to the story. And the great thing is that you never really say goodbye to the leads from the previous books. With the evolving plot, we still get the occasional visit from past characters which is always awesome. I am so upset that I have to wait for Forged by Desire (#4) because the little slice we get in My Lady Quicksilver (#3) has me dying to read it!
As I said above, the sexual tension it brimming in these books and because the future book leads have been introduced in other books, the romantic pairs have been introduced to each other prior to their novels. It just adds to the slow burn even more because you can’t wait to see if they will give in to those lingering feelings.
–November 25, 2014– Book #4: Forged by Desire
I finally got my hands on Forged by Desire (#4) and it was worth the wait! I absolutely loved it but I think the only reason why I liked it so much was because I read the novella that is listed between My Lady Quicksilver (#3) and Forged by Desire. Technically, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace (#3.5) takes place 3 years before Forged by Desire and the other novels so it is a prequel of sorts; however, you should read it after My Lady Quicksilver but before Forged by Desire. Because the romantic leads in Forged by Desire are two people who have known each other for years and not leads that meet within their starring novel, there is a lot of assumed knowledge about their relationship. By reading the novella first, I felt like I better understood the sexual tension in the novel and enjoyed it all that more. Otherwise, I think I would have been frustrated with how their relationship progresses in the novel and felt like I was missing something.
As for the actual plot of Forged by Desire (#4), I loved the detective fiction spin to it. It made it a lot of fun to read and gave the book a different vibe than the other three novels. While not my favourite of the series, I still think it is a solid novel and fans shouldn’t be disappointed in it.
Of Silk and Steam (#5) is probably the novel I have been anticipating the most. Not only will the overarching plot line reach its own crazy climax, but I’ve been dying to see more of the male lead since his introduction in the first novel. March can’t get here quick enough!
–March 18, 2022– Book #5: Of Silk and Steam
For a book I couldn’t wait to read, I sure did wait a long time! I honestly think I held off for so long because I really didn’t want this series to end.
I actually read this as an audiobook and loved that I did. This story was action-packed and brimming with sexual tension. And while it was easy enough to dive back into this world, I honestly think if I had read this back when it was released and I could remember more of the finer details, it would have been a 5-star read.
Series Rating: 4/5
[Blade’s Escape N/A] | Kiss of Steel 4/5 | [Tarnished Knight N/A] | [Lena’s Decision N/A] | Heart of Iron | My Lady Quicksilver 4/5 | [The Clockwork Menace 4/5] | Forged by Desire 4/5 | Of Silk and Steam 3.5/5
If you asked me to pick a favourite from the series, I would be hard pressed! I’ve enjoyed all the books so far in the series and they always meet my expectations. If you love romance, action, strong characters, steampunk and don’t mind a dash of the paranormal, GRAB THESE BOOKS! You will not be disappointed!
Read if You Like: steampunk, historical romance
Avoid if You: want full blown erotica, dislike paranormal
- Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas Series #1)
- The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles #1)
- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices Trilogy #1)