Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Adult Steampunk
Enemies. Allies. Lovers.
When her beloved father was assassinated, Lady Aramina swore revenge. The man responsible is well beyond her grasp, but his dangerously seductive heir, Leo Barrons, is fair game. When Mina obtains evidence proving that Leo is illegitimate, she has the means to destroy both the killer and his son, a man who troubles her heart and tempts her body.
A woman of mystery, Mina's long driven Leo crazy with glimpses of a fiery passion that lurks beneath her icy veneer. He knows she's hiding something, and he's determined to unravel her layer by silken layer. He just doesn't expect the beautiful liar to be the key to overthrowing the corrupt prince consort… or to saving his own carefully walled-off heart.
And so it has come full circle. What was started in Kiss of Steel has now been concluded in OF SILK AND STEAM, book 5 of Bec McMaster's fiery and sexy series, London Steampunk. This latest installment is explosively action packed, filled to the brim with damaging secrets, devastating betrayals, tempered with love and loyalty. Should BMcMaster decide to end the series at this point, I wouldn't have complaints because she gave full closure on every long standing conflict and wrapped-up every story thread, big and small.
OF SILK AND STEAM is predominantly a friends-to-lovers kind of story. For 5 books, we saw the rivalry and tension build and swell between Lady Aramina, Duchess of Casavian, and, Leo Barrons, the Duke of Caine's heir. Their long standing feud started when Caine allegedly murdered Lady Aramina's father. Undeterred, Leo Barrons relentlessly pursued Lady Aramina through high water and Hell (intentionally reversed) and said pursuit was fruitful because these two eventually had their HEA.
It's a little challenging to characterize these two as characters, and as a couple. In so few words, Lady Aramina is fire and ice, haughty yet passionate, and very loyal. Leo Barrons is playful, arresting, principled, determined, and Aramina's perfect match. As a couple? These two are dangerous. I'm barely skimming the surface because as I mentioned, it took 5 frickin' books to get them (and us) here. And that's partly why OF SILK AND STEAM has an epic feel to it, BMcMaster has been building up London Steampunk to this moment from all angles and the novel's scope is all encompassing. Now all the previous books are tied together by OF SILK AND STEAM. All the previous characters made cameos not just BMcMaster wants to give us treat, but because they all play important roles in ousting the cruel tyrant that is the Prince Consort: Blade the Devil of Whitechapel and leader of the Nighthawks, Lena and her tinkering genius, Lynch and Rosaling's humanist efforts, and even Lady Peregrine's stealth and skill as a Nighthawk proved integral in winning their impromptu coup de
If you remove the romance and paranormal elements of OF SILK AND STEAM, you'll end up with a civil war story of sorts. The vein of this novel lie on the conflict between classes, discrimination between humans and the paranormal citizens of London, political conlfict within the Echelon, and other odds and ends that makes up for this ticking bomb. Add a madman into the equation and a Queen who's been manipulated and abused close to breaking, and you end up with a story akin to Tolstoy's epic novels.... albeit fantastical and definitely fictional. But you get my drift, right?
The best part? OF SILK AND STEAM isn't the last book of the series. It may close off this particular story arc but there's more to come! I had the pleasure of interviewing the super cool Bec McMaster and here's a snippet of it:
Braine: How many books are you still planning to write for London Steampunk?
Bec McMaster: [As mentioned], if I continue the series, I will have to start a new story arc. I have two arcs in mind, which excite me, so I'm dabbling with one of those ideas at the moment. I've basically plotted out six books, all featuring characters that have appeared in the previous series, though right now I'm playing with a couple of other worlds and stories to keep me fresh.
The rest of the interview will be published on Romance at Random on March 11, 2015. We talked about a lot of things, and not to toot my own horn, it's a juicy one because Bec was so game and shared a lot of great things about this novel and the series. I hope you'll catch it!