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What did you love best about Kiss of Steel?
I purchased this audiobook as part of a 3 for 2 paranormal sale and needed a third title. I didn't know what to expect and I wasn't familiar with the author, Bec McMaster, or this series, but I am glad I picked it! Part historical romance, part paranormal romance, with the tiniest splash of steam punk thrown in, Kiss of Steel had me hooked within the first fifteen minutes. The narration was great, the sex scenes were erotic without being cheesy, and the author's take on vampires was interesting.
What did you like best about this story?
I think Alison Larkin's narration made this book for me. She sounds like she could have been reading Jane Austen, but instead she was narrating explicit paranormal sex scenes set in Victorian London.
What does Alison Larkin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I don't know if I would have been able to get into reading the book like I got into listening to it. The author jumped right into her "London Steampunk" world with very little explanation. It was a bit difficult to figure out the mythology and terminology at first, but the narration kept the story interesting enough to stick with it.
Any additional comments?
First, the steampunk elements are more of an afterthought, so if that's what you're looking for, then this isn't your book. Second, the romance is apparent from the beginning, but there is a long build-up to first sex scene so, again, if that's what you're looking for... (having said that, the sex is fairly steady for the last half of the book). Last, while I loved Alison Larkin's narration in general, there were times that her voice for Blade bordered on cartoonish and that was a little bit distracting. Luckily, the author relies on descriptive narration more than dialogue, so this was only rarely an issue for me.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This story is a romance but most certainly not highly sexual., at least not highly in the sense of how much sex occurs in the story. There is kissing, a small amount, but the first sex act doesn’t' occur until about halfway through the 11+ hour story. And that first act was just "stimulation" of Honoria. Then the second sex act doesn't occur until there's about 2.5 hours left in the story. It was the first act of intercourse. After that one, intercourse occurred again. But the story was nearing the end. Admittedly, there is a bit of sensual detail during these 3 sex acts; they weren't brief but also not drawn out. But there's also no explicit sexual language beyond "cock" and "wetness," if you want to call that explicit, which I don't, not hardly.
The delay in Honoria and Blade getting together made the story super yummy b/c I got a chance to see the relationship develop, which was not easy. Honoria and Blade are different in significant ways, which made them unlikely friends, much less lovers. But the attraction was always simmering, and trust was desired by both.
So there was no focus on sex, though there was a focus on the romance. But it was balanced with a bit of a mystery. And the mystery's outcome was not completely obvious, which was great. That, along with the good narration and good, basic writing, is what made this purchase a good one. It was my first steampunk tale, but it won't be my last. I enjoyed this one. Since I buy historical romances, this tale fit well alongside that genre for me. I also buy paranormal romances, and this tale had an aspect of that too. The vampiric and werewolf aspects were novel, however. Since this was my first steampunk tale, the take on those paranormal beings was, indeed, novel to me. Another plus in this story was that Honoria's being a virgin was not the focus in the story nor of her lover's. Additionally, I loved that Honoria was smart and strong, and the author focused on that and not her physical beauty. It was a wonderful change.
It wasn't an easy story, a light and fluffy story. But there was also no unnecessary angst or manufactured conflict. It all flowed naturally from the telling and the development of the tale.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Blade and Honor make a hell of a couple, the barbed
banter at the beginning was especially entertaining, a real enjoyable romantic read, with a solid storyline, memorable characters with a sprinkling of steam punk. It was very easy to imagine the world and find yourself part of the unfolding drama. I don't want to give the impression that it is all flowers and roses. it's not, there's a dark undercurrent throughout, which just made it all the more thrilling.
Will definitely be looking for more from BM...
Let me just add it was narrated superbly...
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I really enjoyed this book and have already preordered the sequel! A big thankyou to Lee from She Wolf Reads for recommending this book to me. I've not really read the Steampunk genre but if this book is any judge then I've been seriously missing out!
I loved Blade, he was rough around the edges but a really good guy who really cared for his make shift family and for the heroine of the story Honoria. He had some self-loathing issues because of a past tradegy that really wasn't his fault but overall he pretty much accepts his place in life and is happy with what he has, though given the choice he'd have a wife and would never have been infected with the virus.
Honoria was such a strong character, putting her siblings first over her own health and happiness, but she was also stubborn and prideful. She and Blade were a great match and had amazing chemistry. Most of his people (bar one) were happy to see him happy with her and the one that wasn't happy, well that's explained two ways in the book, both of which are valid reasons for why the individual would dislike Honoria.
When Honoria gave into her feelings and desire for Blade their chemistry exploded they were just so good together.
There were a couple of good plot twists in the story as well that I wouldn't have seen coming. I just didn't want to put the book down and was routing for Blade and Honoria throughout. The next book is Will's book and I look forward to getting into his head cause he was one of the charcters around Blade and Honoria that interested me more then most, Tin man and Lark were another two, as was Barrons and Aramina, I don't think we'd get a book with Tin man as he doesn't speak but it's a shame cause I'd love to get inside his head as well, to see the back story of how he ended up with Blade and carrying a very young Lark with him. I also got a hint of something between Barrons and Aramina but again, I don't think we'd get a book with them.
If you haven't read this book yet, I'd recommend it.