Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Steampunk
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother's disappearance. And get out.
In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn't count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.
He could be her most dangerous nemesis—or the ally she never dreamed existed.
I went on a mini Steampunk binge and I think I won't stop at Bec McMaster's MY LADY QUICKSILVER. If anything, Ms. McMaster gave me an appetite to feast more on the genre. There's something about London Steampunk that really works for me starting with the series going beyond steamy romance, Victorian automatons and other fantastical details unique to the genre. It's politically conscious and has social issues that BMcMaster play devil's advocate with. Of course all within the realm of the world that she built.
After all that werewolf business in Heart of Iron, I was expecting London Steampunk 3 to continue that arc. And though I love Honoria and Lena, I'm glad that MY LADY QUICKSILVER deviated from their storyline. In fact I love that the POV shifted and we see this world through a different looking glass, that of humanist, Rosalind "Mercury" Fairchild. Rosalind is very different from the two previous series heroines and for the purpose of choosing favorites, I have to say I like her the best amongst the three, four if you include Esme, the novella heroine. In a genre where tortured Alpha males are popular, it's nice to cross paths with a heroine that has a rich and interesting background, for a change.
Perhaps I should say something. Perhaps this eternal damned silence-this hold-your-tongue-or-die attitude is what keeps women like that in shackles. This lack of a voice-it's the very reason we are here. The reason there is a war going on, played out in secret beneath the Echelon's very noses.
Rosa has many facets to her character. For one, she's a widow and not a simpering virgin so in terms of sexual tension, there's a healthy back and forth between her and Jasper Lynch. In fact, Rosa is the aggressor of the two and has Lynch at the palm of her hand, hers to command and enjoy however which way she wants. She's the one driving the relationship although it backfired a bit towards the middle which really worked well for me (can someone say, nookie!). As a character, she's sassy, brave and a woman beyond her time. She may be female but she's very capable, independent and isn't confined to the restraints of her corset and petticoats. But aside from these, Rosa's backstory is filled with guilt, heartbreak and that need for redemption. So her storyline is focused on her quest to assuage her guilt for deeds done in the past balanced with her budding romance with the infamous Nighthawk, Lynch and her search for her lost brother, Jeremy.
"God. Rosa-I wish-I with I could give you forever."
"I'll take tonight."
Jasper Lynch. My, my my. This man is dark, brooding, mysterious, rugged and utterly delicious. Donned in his signature body armor, he's like a dark knight and a rogue through and through. At first I feel bad that Rosa is playing him, he's so gullible as to fall prey to her plots and traps but its that pinch of naivete that saved him and his heart in the end. Lynch isn't a bad boy nor do I consider him a tortured hero. I see him as a decisive male with a lot of control. He doesn't dwell on the errors of his choices but rather lives with them with dignity and pride. He doesn't whine nor did he break down or go on a bender over his misfortunes but rather makes the most of it. Not swoon worthy enough? I'll leave it at dark knight then.
MY LADY QUICKSILVER is such a rich novel. To reiterate, it has great romance and tension but what I love about it the most is BMcMaster's all encompassing take on the world she created as a whole. Not only does she titillate her readers with bodice ripping romance, she also adds layers of social intrigue to make the plight of her characters believable. Rosa, Jasper and the other characters before them, dealt with equality among species, prejudice and a lot of politicking to name a few. Not only that but there isn't an actual villain here meaning it changes depending on whose POV you're reading and I promise, BMcMaster is great at arguing ALL sides. I despised the humanists in Heart of Iron but MY LADY QUICKSILVER sure was successful in helping me see things from their perspective. I don't know what book 4, Forged by Desire (Sept. 2014), is about but you can bet that I'll be feasting on that when it comes out.