By: Meljean Brook
First and foremost the world building here is absolutely brilliant. I highly recommend popping over to Meljean's site and read the FAQ on The Iron Seas' history. http://meljeanbrook.com/faq#10
There isn't a single solitary flaw in the world that she built for this story. Meljean also took the time to look at the larger philosophical issues that are created by the tech in her Steampunk world, not what you'd expect from a "romance". Make no mistake this story is a romance, but by paying attention to the issues and the conflicts that are part of this world she raises the bar.
The supporting cast of characters are amazing. Every word made me want to know about them; I'm officially beginning my campaign for Yasmeen, Lady Corsair's book now. The people and world they inhabit are rich with detail and believability.
The Iron Duke himself, Rhys Trahaearn was not my favorite person. He's honorable, but very selfish. All that he's ever done has been for himself and him empire. Yes, he has helped others and done good works - but never for their own sake. It has always been because of his wants. Rhys is very much the king of all he surveys and that includes people. Not exactly a warm and fuzzy guy.
This brings me to Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth. Mina makes Rhys see something beyond himself and how he can manipulate others to his benefit. She makes him see how he is part of the larger world, and how he can effect positive change, and not just change in his favor. By making him look outside Rhys Trahaearn she makes him capable of loving someone besides himself. Mina has spent her life in service to others, she has dedicated her life to making the world a better place and through her eyes Rhys sees that he can be more than he is - that simply it's not all about him.
When you come down to it, Meljean is doing one of the oldest romance story lines - the love of a good woman makes him a better man. And she does it very well.
The romance was good, the sex was hot, and the connection between the characters very believable. What pushes this book into the must read category is Meljean's world building. Fantastically done, you will finish this book hungry for more stories from The Iron Seas.
I received this book via a giveaway by Dear Author. Thank you Jane!