Author: Meljean Brook
Publication Date: 11/1/11
Blurb(GR): The Iron Duke introduced the gritty, alluring adventure of the Iron Seas, where nanotech fuses with Victorian sensibilities—and steam.
As the mercenary captain of Lady Corsair, Yasmeen has learned to keep her heart as cold as steel, her only loyalty bound to her ship and her crew. So when a man who once tried to seize her airship returns from the dead, Yasmeen will be damned if she gives him another opportunity to take control.
Treasure hunter Archimedes Fox isn't interested in Lady Corsair—he wants her coldhearted captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. To reclaim it, Archimedes is determined to seduce the stubborn woman who once tossed him to a ravenous pack of zombies, but she's no easy conquest.
When da Vinci's sketch attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco—and straight into their enemy's hands. But as they fight to save themselves and a city on the brink of rebellion, the greatest peril Yasmeen faces is from the man who seeks to melt her icy heart.
Last week, Noelle recommended three books to me based on my love of a song, my love of old-school girl hero fantasy, and lastly, based on my need for a mindless, no regrets sort of read. Naturally, I jumped all over that last one. I was promised “humor, action and adventure, some swoon for good measure and oh so much fun” with this book and I was not disappointed. Yes, this is in fact a sequel and no, I have not read the first book. I may have missed a few things here and there about the “rebellion” and Da Vinci and giant emotion-dampening towers and blah blah blah.
Listen, you can put away your lovingly decoupaged review notes journal right now, because keeping track of the details is not what this book is about. This book is about fun and romance and cheesy, CHEESY lines and happily ever after. It’s also about a nanobot-engineered badass female hero/airship Captain and her secret fictional crush who COMES TO LIFE. Yep. And not only that, but it turns out that he’s a hero in his own right, a feminist, and he wants nothing more than to fall in love with her.
This book has what I’d say roughly about 95% of romance novels out there* do not have: namely, love interests who are on equal footing. They support each other, respect each other, and don’t try to parent each other (ugh, nothing annoys me more than that in a romance novel). On the one hand, I am ecstatic to find that here, in a very traditional romance. Previously I think I’ve only come across a pairing this balanced in fantasy (in The Queen’s Thief series or The Chronicles of Lumatere for example). On the other hand, this all just reminds me of that Chris Rock bit about people** taking credit for things they’re just supposed to do anyway. Your love interest is supposed to be supportive and respectful of you! Your love interest isn’t supposed to treat you like a child and patronize you at every opportunity! I wish this type of relationship were so much the rule that I didn’t even feel compelled to discuss it here. But, here we are.
However, this IS a very traditional romance. These two don’t have too many stumbling blocks or challenges, and one gets the feeling that they will of course be riding off into the sunset (on an airship, naturally) in the end. This relationship, while remarkable in the equality of its lovers, didn’t pique my interest in any way. I guess I just like my romances to be a bit more prickly and difficult. So I can’t say that I’ll really remember this read in a year’s time, but hey – that was also advertised to me in the recommendation so I guess you can consider me one satisfied customer.
And despite the large number of cheesy lines, there were a few lovely ones:
“…I am not crew, but I would like to stand behind you. Not above, not below. To back you up, should you ever need it.”
Perfect Musical Pairing
Ed Sheeran – Kiss Me
*Believe me, I have read a TON of romances. My second pregnancy was basically like a 9 month haze of breeches, bodices, drawers, and corsets.
**And yes, I know that bit isn't really about "people" in general, but I am staying well away from that can of worms.