Rating: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Picking up shortly after the explosive conclusion of Heart of Iron, My Lady Quicksilver focuses on the search for the humanist leader, Mercury, by Sir Jasper Lynch, the commander of the Nighthawks (the blue blood police force). Lynch is determined to capture him, for crimes against the Echelon, including the bombing at the Ivory Tower, the seat of the ruling Echelon's power.
Rosalind is Mercury. Trained as an assassin, Rosalind picked up the humanist cause after her husband’s death. She and her two brothers, Jack and Jeremy, have lead the humanists for several years. However, after the mechs mutinied against her leadership (Book #2) taking Jeremy with them, Rosalind’s focus is no longer with the humanist cause - instead centering most of her energy on finding her younger brother that she raised as her own.
You know those series that you just seem to fall more in love with after each successive story? The London Steampunk series is that way for me. Ms. McMaster weaves a wonderful romance in and among an interesting political climate founded on a unique vampire mythology. While one could definitely read My Lady Quicksilver as a stand alone, I recommend starting with the first book so that you get a full grasp of the world. It took me that whole first book to understand the intricacies of the Echelon, blue bloods, vampires, rogues, mechs, humans, and all of the other bits and pieces. Ms. McMaster’s world is complex and so very fascinating.
As Mercury, Rosa and Lynch share a healthy respect based in a deep rivalry, which plays out like a game of cat and mouse. They are each drawn to the other, which surprises them both. And after sharing a kiss, neither can forget the other. I love the tension created between the two; however, it is clear that their “relationship” is doomed. A man of the law and a revolutionary leader cannot have an HEA. This adds an element of intrigue for me, as I was constantly trying to figure out HOW things could possible work out for the pair.
Now enter Mrs. Rosa Marberry, Lynch’s newly hired secretary. Rosa takes the job in disguise in an effort to learn the whereabouts of her missing brother. Mrs. Marberry represents everything Lynch wanted in his life - a life he will never have. The pair match words and innuendos. They spar with sharp wit and sensual looks. I LOVE them together. Their sexual tension is heightened by the fear that Lynch will discover Rosa is in fact his greatest nemesis, Mercury. The dichotomy of Lynch’s affections for Rosa and Mercury creates a wonderful story.
Of course, Rosa and Lynch each hide certain truths from the other, playing their cards close to the vest. It is the slow exchange of truths and development of trust, coupled with the sexual tension, that creates intimacy and my love for this couple. It’s amazing how well each sees the other’s true inner-being, even through the blurred lines. This exchange is a perfect example of their tit-for-tat sparring:
"And I shall offer you a truth in exchange for one," he said, knowing that curiosity was her downfall. ... "Besides, I didn't request the food for myself, obviously. I have been remiss in feeding you since you started."
"I don't mind."
"You mean," he said, looking up over the tray, "that you do not wish to tell me your truths."
I love how brilliantly observant and sharp these two are. Their mental dueling and game of truths is incredible. The sexual tension coupled with their quest for truth is tangible. Perfect!
Rosa and Lynch spend much of their time working on a series of mysterious blue blood deaths. Something is making healthy blue bloods act like crazed, mindless vampires, and both Rosa and Lynch are driven to find the truth. Each interaction at a crime scene is filled with amazing action. In addition, the reader can pick up bits and pieces of the mystery, as well as clues to the inner workings of the main characters.
My Lady Quicksilver has a few twist and turns that kept me glued to the pages. The overall humanist vs. Echelon storyline progresses and deepens. There are surprises that had me catching my breath and smiling all at once. What makes this story great is that there is closure on key parts of the storyline, while leaving open a few questions for the next book. Plus the ending plays out perfectly. All of this makes for a very satisfying read.
All-in-all, My Lady Quicksilver is a wonderful tale full of suspense and romance. The sexual tension between Rosa/Mercury and Lynch is palatable, making their coupling all the more satisfying. They are almost combustible together.
I love that both had to overcome a lot, which helps drive a satisfying tale. They come from such different backgrounds, and what may have started as a dangerous kiss, slowly smolders into a flaming need and eventually mutual love.
The continuing story of the humanists was captivating. I love cheering for a noble underdog. Solving the mystery of what is causing the blue bloods to go mad, trying to figure out if Rosa's brother is still alive, wondering if Rosa would be caught... Such a fantastic mix makes this another wonderful story in the London Steampunk series.