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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Kiss of Steel is a Paranormal Romance/Steampunk mash up which is set in London in 1876 and tells the story of Honoria a young woman who is down on her luck when her father dies. Honoria has to take care of her younger sister Lena and younger brother Charlie. She has been living in the rookeries for 6 months before she is summoned to meet Blade the master of the...
Published on 22 Mar. 2013 by Claire's Book Corner

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 50 shades of steel?
Kiss of Steel. From the cover I assumed this was steampunk fiction My first taste of this author and the story was good and characters interesting. The sex scenes a bit overblown and I did wonder several times; "have I stumbled into a BDSM novel here?" I mean, slaves? manacles? leashes? branding? All the submission and domination and control issues! This is set in...
Published on 4 Feb. 2013 by reddivine


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 22 Mar. 2013
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Kiss of Steel is a Paranormal Romance/Steampunk mash up which is set in London in 1876 and tells the story of Honoria a young woman who is down on her luck when her father dies. Honoria has to take care of her younger sister Lena and younger brother Charlie. She has been living in the rookeries for 6 months before she is summoned to meet Blade the master of the rookeries. Honoria soon finds herself in debt to Blade for his protection and as payment Honoria is to teach Blade how to speak the Queens English rather than his cockney slang. But Honoria's luck falls even further she loses her job and she once again finds herself at Blade's door where she offers him more than an elocution lessons for money.

I'm not a great fan of Steampunk, I can take it or leave it and I don't normally get on with PNR but I did like how Ms McMaster put the two together in Kiss of Steel. The Steampunk isn't heavy but it does have good inventive world building and the PNR isn't too mushy. I liked the main characters and the secondary ones seem interesting enough that I want to read their stories in the books that follow. I normally find the female lead turns into a whimpering silly mess in PNR books once she meets her beau however I was pleased to learn that isn't the case in Kiss of Steel so Honoria kept my interest throughout.

I do have a bit of a gripe and that is I found the beginning of the book confusing. Ms McMaster's world building isn't easy to follow with regards to what the blood craving disease is and how it manifests. I could have done with glossary for the terms she used such as Blue Blood, Fade, Echelon etc. You do find out what these are but it left me frustrated whilst I did.

I found Kiss of Steel to be a really enjoyable book and I will definitely carry on with this series. I am going to give it 4 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I've found myself a new favourite series, 9 Oct. 2014
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As a newbie to the world of steampunk I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book and was more than anything drawn in by the amazing cover. After the first chapter I was totally hooked and engrossed in the world of the blue bloods and the love story between blade and honoria. The story revolves around a young girl called honoria who is on the run whilst desperately trying to find a cure for her younger brother. Blade is a blue blood and looking for vengeance against the same man who honoria is on the run from and initially intends to use her as bait to get to Vickers. However as the story progresses they slowly begin to fall in love and instead fight against the many obstacles in their path before facing the villain at the end. What I loved about this love story was that it didn't happen overnight it's more believable as both blade and honoria slowly warm up to each other. I loved the background that the story is set in and the characters within the world that mcmaster has created. Honoria is very protective of her younger brother and sister and doesn't instantly fall head over heels for blade which for the lead female character is really refreshing. Blade doesn't initially want honoria instead he wants to use her for his own personal gain and protect his adoptive family. Again as the lead male character it was just really good to have that gradual build up of the love between these two characters. My only negative with kiss of steel is that some of the main parts weren't clearly explained such as the echelon and the queen and Prince who didn't really tie in with the story, which is a shame because it was just because of the lack of backstory with those two major parts of the plot. That being said this is a brilliant story with brave characters all doing whatever they have to for love........and so without further ado it's onto the next book in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 5 May 2013
This review is from: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) (Mass Market Paperback)
5 STARS *****

This story is set in London late ninetieth century where the people in power, the Echelon are blue bloods (humans infected with a virus who need to drink blood. The setting is the dark and fog filled London you associate with the era. Crime is rife and the streets are unsafe.

Honoria is struggling to make ends meet. She has a younger brother and sister relying on her for everything and is barely surviving month by month. That is when Blade, the kingpin of the rookeries request a meeting with her to seek payment in return for protection against the many dangers of the slums.

Honoria is stubborn, augmentative and proud, before coming to the rookery she moved in the high class society of the blue bloods however after her father's death she had to flee, changing her identity. Not only is she suffering financially, but she has a high born blue blood determined to have her and her brother is suffering from an illness which will eventually kill him.

Her association with Blade is unavoidable he has a ruthless reputation and demands payment from everyone who lives in his territory after negotiating she strikes a bargain with him, she will teach him how to speak correctly in return for his protection.

"And what would I do with fancy talk?" He deliberately placed harsh accent on the words. A sneer curled his lip. "Join the Ech'lon?"
"Whatever you wished to do with it. It's the only thing I have that I can give you."
His gaze made a slow perusal of her figure.
"Will give you," she corrected, a flare of heat burning in her cheeks.

Their relationship is slow burning, there is attraction on both sides however Honoria fights it. There is passion as Blade struggles to maintain his control around Honoria, however once she accepts him she doesn't shy away from this side of him instead she embraces it, helping him to accept himself. Blade also knocks down Honoria carefully built walls by making her feel safe and wanted.

Another kiss. Against his throat. Her tongue sliding over the hollow of his collarbone. "I've been so tired and scared for so long. It's nice to feel safe." Her hands slid down his body. "To laugh. To tease you. When I'm with you, I don't think of anything else. I don't think I've felt this happy since before my father died."

Blade is a great hero, he is sweet, caring and fiercely protective of those he calls his family. He is also tortured by his very being, he is infected by the same virus as the blue bloods and must drink blood to survive, an incident in his past leads itself to a deep self hatred. He initially wants Honoria for a blood thrall but he soon begins imagining things he never thought possible for a man like himself such as love and marriage.

"It's one of the things I love about you," he said, burrowing his face in her hair. "You're proud and stubborn, but you're so fierce when it comes to your family." Looking up, he met her startled gaze. "Let down your guard, Honor. Let me in. Let me love you." He kissed her lips, tasted the sweetness of her breath. "Trust me. I won't ever 'urt you."

I loved this book for many reasons, the writing was great with even my poor imagination able to create the scenes in my mind as they are described. I loved the language "You're 'bout three seconds away from bein' bent over that vanity and pumped."

The romance between Honoria and Blade was truly believable and had me routing for a HEA against the odds. There are great secondary characters whose stories will be told in later editions of the series. I am particularly looking forward to Will and Lena's book which is released in a few days.
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4.0 out of 5 stars London Steampunk book 1, 7 Mar. 2013
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) (Mass Market Paperback)
Since the death of her father Honoria has had to work hard to provide for her siblings and keep her family together. Desperation has brought them to the seedy Whitechapel district where she hopes they can remain hidden from the prying eyes of the Echelon but instead they catch the attention of Blade, the undisputed master of the rookeries. Blade knows everything that happens in Whitechapel and he knows exactly who Honoria is and why she is hiding. He offers her his protection but it could come at a price she isn't willing to pay. How much is Honoria really prepared to sacrifice for her freedom and the safety of her siblings?

Kiss of Steel is a fabulous historical paranormal romance with a side order of steampunk and it makes for a great start to the London Steampunk series. It has a dark and gritty feel to it that reminded me of Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series (another series I'd highly recommend although that one doesn't include the steampunk elements). The story is heavily focused on the romance which meant the world building wasn't quite as strong as it could have been but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. There were times when I found myself a little confused about the difference between blue bloods, the Echelon and actual vampires but I think I got it all straight in my head by the end of the book. I've come to expect a little confusion at the start of a new series when I'm getting to grips with a new world so that didn't bother me too much and now that the rules have been established I think the series will just continue to get stronger with each instalment. Even though the romance plays a heavy role in the story there were still plenty of other things going on and I found it very difficult to put the book down because I just had to know how everything was going to play out.

One of the main strengths of this book was the characters, I was able to respect Honoria for the way she is so fiercely protective of Lena and Charlie (her sister & brother). She will do whatever it takes to make sure they are safe from the reaches of the Echelon who would just take them as blood slaves. Honoria is smart, strong and unwilling to back down without a fight. She may be down on her luck but she isn't broken and she has too much pride to go begging. Blade is the kind of alpha we've come across many times before in paranormal romance but that didn't stop me falling for his charms. He has a bad reputation but underneath it he is a decent guy who just wants to be left alone to live his life as he sees fit. He has a small group of friends who are incredibly loyal but he has earned their trust and he would give his life to keep them safe. I enjoyed the flirty banter between Blade and Honoria and loved the way their relationship develops throughout the story as she slowly learns that she can trust Blade to help her and her siblings.

Alongside the main characters we have been introduced to an interesting group who will each get to take their turn centre stage in future stories and I'm looking forward to getting to know them all better in as the series continues. If you enjoyed Kiss of Steel then make sure you read the follow up novella Tarnished Knight which is currently available to read for free on Bec McMaster's website and fits into the time line between this book and Heart of Iron (due to be published in May). I'd recommend Kiss of Steel to fans of historical and / or paranormal romance, you don't have to be familiar with steampunk to enjoy the story and this could be a good gateway book for people who enjoy PNR and have yet to test the steampunk waters. This is a series I definitely plan to continue reading and I can't wait to see where the journey takes us next.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sizzling Steampunk debut., 17 Sept. 2012
Oh, I really enjoyed this. It's definitely Steampunk with its steam cabs, bio-mechanic limbs, clockwork toys and Metaljacket soldiers. But it's also a Paranormal-Historical Romance filled with blood-drinkers, vampires and werewolves. In fact, the paranormal aspect I felt was actually stronger than the Steampunk stuff for the most part, which was mostly just used for world-building and padding in the background.

It's also set in a kind of alternate history dystopian society. Oh heck, I don't know what genre it is, but it's a delicious mix of sexy Steampunk and Paranormal awesomeness. And I think I'd quite like to marry that cover too. Although, having read the book, I have to tell you that Honoria would never flash her garters in public like that. In private, well, that's another matter, and it all depends who's asking....

Honoria, of course, is our leading lady. She has an interesting tale to tell regarding how she's ended up the soul provider for her two younger siblings, the youngest of whom, Charlie, is very ill. She's having to live on the outskirts of The Rookery, which is the worst and most dangerous part of London, because it's all she can afford. A strategic position that she hopes will keep her well under the radar of the man who owns everything and everyone in The Rookery; the Devil of Whitechapel himself, Blade.

Why on earth would anyone want to avoid Blade? He's so yummy! He absolutely stole the show for me. Honoria was great as heroines go, but Blade. Ah, Blade. He was simply delicious; just the right amount of arrogance and vulnerability. Not impossibly beautiful, definitely a bit rough around the edges, but he won my heart with his willingness to give his to Honoria, whether she wanted it or not.

I thought McMaster got the balance just right in all areas of the book. Blade was aggressively male but not a dominant a-hole. Honoria was feisty but not bitchy. (She makes up for any excessive snappiness through her sacrifices for her brother and sister. And hey, if I was starving myself to leave more food for my family, I'd be in a bad mood too, let me tell you). The action scenes were bloody but not overly gruesome. And the inevitable Happily Ever After was sweet but not too saccharine.

Oh, and the sex scenes were extremely well done as well I thought! Sexy, but with an emotional connection to go with them.

My only complaint (because there has to be one, right?) was the way Blade's Cockney dialogue was written. Writing someone's accent can be a tricky venture and I felt like some of the dropped letters were incorrectly placed, forcing me to stumble through his dialogue sections, which just bugged me. But I have say this, and it's only a teeny tiny peeve really, was the only reason it didn't get 5 stars.

I'm very interested in several of the secondary characters that were introduced, including Honoria's sister Lena, and Blade's second in command Will the Verwulfen, as well as several others. I hope to see them starring in their own books very soon. I'll definitely be checking out the next instalment which is called Heart of Iron, when it hits the shelves in May 2013.

Recommended to fans of Meljean Brook's Iron Seas series, and Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series.

41/2 Stars ★★★★1/2
ARC provided for an honest review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had to write a review even though I have finished it yet!, 5 April 2013
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This review is from: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) (Mass Market Paperback)
WOW what a book!
I stumbled upon this book while browsing through Kindle recommends... the price was good so I gave it a try, I love it. Steam punk is something I am familiar with as a concept and as a fashion. However, in literature I hadn't considered it as a genre I wished to read. Please do not be put off if it the one thing you use to dismiss this book. It is there in description and as a mythos which Bec has used to build her world around, but the book is quite breath taking. The book is brilliantly structured and the narrative follows and you can't help but follow with it. I haven't it finished yet, I am savouring it because her next isn't here for another month (it will be finished tonight!). An excellent story written well, I highly recommended it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk does Sexy!, 10 Jan. 2013
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J. Wren (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) (Mass Market Paperback)
I loved this book! It's steampunk but without going overly heavy on technology (which is where a lot of books get a little dull for me). Instead, it focuses on people and their relationships, with some swordplay and fighting thrown in for good measure - accompanied by glistening torsos, of course ;)

Honoria is a great female lead - constrained by society and money problems, she nonetheless manages to keep her strength and pride. Blade is a sexy, secretive 'monster', both dangerous and caring. The way their relationship evolves is fantastic and had me speed reading to get to the juicy bits - and they were juicy! Sexy without being gratuitous, and very well written. I've already pre-ordered book two in the series :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review of audiobook, 24 Mar. 2015
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Serin6 (Dunmow, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Audiobook with excellent narration - a performer who can "do" a London villain! Story set in alternative-universe Victorian London with vampirism caused by a virus. Entertaining and vivid story which has minimal "infodumps" even though it is the first of a series, and portrayal of the characters by the narrator is skilful - they are differentiated and recognisable by voice alone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!!, 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) (Mass Market Paperback)
Kiss of steel- I loved it! I would recommend this to anyone who likes a strong female lead character, a damaged but honourable male lead and a historical yet futuristic setting. This book was my first foray into the steam punk genre and I'm so glad I took the leap! McMaster's writing brought this unusual setting to life and I loved the characters. I can't wait for the next book in the series!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book, 15 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm a big fan of authors like Nalini Singh and Kresley Cole, and really enjoyed Kiss of Steel. It is essentially a romantic story with some goth elements and creatures such as werewolves/vampires thrown in, set in a world that is very similar to ours (albeit a slightly historical one!).

I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
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Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk)
Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk) by Bec McMaster (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Dec. 2012)
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