My Rating: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)
Full review here: http://www.twimom227.com/2012/09/review-giveaway-kiss-of-steel-by-bec.html
Kiss of Steel starts the reader off in the middle of Honoria Todd’s meager life. It is evident right from the get go that Honoria and her family were living a good life just a mere six months ago, but now they must scrape to make ends meet. In addition, there is a magnificent bounty on her head, so she must hide her family from those who would turn her in for cash. But all of her hard work didn’t keep her from the notice of Blade, the protector of the rookery and provider for the slums. So when Honoria’s life takes another turn for the worst, she must turn to Blade, and sell her body for blood to make ends meet.
Honoria and Blade are both interesting characters. I enjoyed watching them learn to deal with their lot in life, fighting against stereotypes and falling in love. Their chemistry was fairly hot, at times sensual and at others combative and humorous.
One of the things I really liked and disliked about Ms. McMaster’s storytelling is that she relates the events and tales as if the reader has intimate knowledge of her world. There are no side explanations of her lexicon or creations. The reader must figure out the world by piecing together bits of information and inferring their meanings and importance from dialogue. It makes the story flow faster, but it did make understanding everything a bit difficult at first.
In Kiss of Steel, there is a rogue vampire loose in the slums, and Blade must work with the Echelon to find it. The mystery of where the vampire came from is an interesting one, giving the tale an edge of suspense. And adding to the tension, is Honoria’s attempts to find a cure for her brother before he is discovered.
I would like to mention that I feel this book is primarily a paranormal romance with a historical setting. The steampunk aspect is very minimal, with little detail about any mechanisms or contraptions. The steampunk is more of an afterthought and not the primary aspect of the setting or storyline.
Overall I have to say I really enjoyed this story. Although I felt there were some inconsistencies in Blade’s character, and I longed for more details at times, the tale kept my interest, and I became invested in the characters. A few open-ended items such as the political ramifications of the ending and the desire to find out more about the side characters and the craving virus, vampires, blue bloods, etc., have me looking forward to reading the second story.