Sunday, September 18, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - September 18, 2016

Hello everyone! Sorry, I have been away for so long. If you read this weekly (normally) post you would know I have been away and then I was really naughty the week I came back and didn't read anything. This week however, was an improvement but not much. I won't give you any excuses but rather I will tell you what I have been up to on the reading front.

I discovered that Bec McMaster has started a new series which is set in the same world as her London Steampunk series. In fact the new series includes a number of the same characters.

Mission: Improper is the first novel in London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy series and takes place three years after the events of Silk and Steam (London Steampunk 5) where the Prince Consort was overthrown and now humans, mechs and werewolves have equal standing with the Echelon. Not surprisingly not everyone is very happy with the change in social standing of the former lower classes. When entire families start to go missing a covert group of agents are recruited to try to solve the mystery but what they find is a monster so dangerous that they may not survive to save the day.

The first to be recruited is Caleb Bryne the tall, dark and handsome Nighthawk who jumps at the opportunity to solve the case. However, when he discovers that he is going to be partnered with the fiery verwulfen Ingrid, he starts to regret his decision. Caleb and Ingrid have a past and are determined to dislike each other. However, the closer they have to work together the more their attraction grows. Ingrid and Caleb are the original odd couple and their romance may be as dangerous as their mission.

I was a bit surprised that McMaster decided to set another series in the same world especially with some of the same characters from the first series. It has been a while since I read any of the books from the London Steampunk series so it took me a while to remember who some of the crossover characters were and their relationships to the characters in this new series. This meant I had to do a mini re-read of endings of the final two novels. It didn't take long for it to all to come back to me. I like the new plot arc for this series and am looking forward to finding out what happens next but I hope that McMaster doesn't just repeat the romance plots from the previous novels.

The other new book on my reading radar this week was the second book in The First Empire series by Michael J. Sullivan, Age of Swords. I have been super lucky to be selected as a beta reader again by Sullivan and am really enjoying this new novel in the series. I can't tell you much about it at the moment but stay tuned for my review in a few months. Until then keep your fingers crossed I get through a few more books so I have more to tell you about next week. Happy Reading!

Mission: Improper
London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy 1
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd, August 16, 2016
eBook, 360 pages

Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order...

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He's partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they're chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite... But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.

London Steampunk

Kiss of Steel
London Steampunk 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca, September 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Honoria Todd has more secrets than most people and she's hiding them in Whitechapel. Blade is the master of the rookeries and agrees to protect her, but at what price?

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven as she hides from the Blue Blood aristocracy that rules London through power and fear.

Blade rules the rookeries-no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel-or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

Tarnished Knight
London Steampunk 1.5
Bec McMaster, April 1, 2013
eNovella, 162 pages

In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

After a vicious vampire attack left him struggling to leash the dark urges of the craving virus, John ‘Rip’ Doolan, thinks he’s finally starting to master the darkness within. The only thing that threatens to shatter his hard-won control is Esme, his closest friend and the only woman he’s ever wanted. If the stubborn beauty ever realised precisely what was going through his mind, their friendship would be ruined…

For six months Esme has waited for Rip to recover and take her as his thrall, not daring to hope for more. Too afraid to put her heart on the line, she’s devastated when Rip reveals that he never had any intentions of making her his.

But when a savage gang of Slashers start causing havoc in Whitechapel, Rip and Esme have no choice. They must face up to the depth of the passion that burns between them and forge a new relationship… or risk losing each other forever.

Heart of Iron
London Steampunk 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 7, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

In Victorian London, if you're not a blue blood of the Echelon then you're nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict "blood taxes' on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string...

Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London's vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can't twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can't forget...

Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena-a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect-he realizes she's in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.

With London on the brink of revolution, Lena and Will must race against time-and an automaton army-to stop the humanist plot before it's too late. But as they fight to save a city, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts...

My Lady Quicksilver
London Steampunk 3
Sourcebooks Casablanca, October 1, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

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, Blue Blooded Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. A dangerous mission, but Rosalind is also the elusive Mercury, a leader in the humanist movement.

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.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace
London Steampunk 3.5
Bec McMaster, August 14, 2014
eNovella, 151 pages

Friends, partners, and professionals. So just why is this case coming between them?

In a Victorian London ruled by the blood-drinking elite, Perry Lowell is a logical and accomplished Nighthawk: a rogue blue blood who tracks murderers and thieves for the Guild. So when she and her charming-but-reckless partner, Garrett, are charged with finding a missing theatre starlet, it should be a simple solve.

But with an entire theatre of suspects, including a flirtatious understudy and whispers of a Clockwork Menace haunting the place, tension is brewing between the pair of them. Can they come together to solve the case - or will it be too late, when the murderer turns his gaze on Perry herself?

Warning: This is not a complete HEA. It's a pre-romance novella featuring the couple who will find their HEA in Forged By Desire (available Sept 2014). Heads will butt, tempers will flare - and perhaps one of them might come to realise just what the other truly means to them?

Forged by Desire
London Steampunk 4
Sourcebooks Casablanca, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages


Ten years ago, Perry fled her thrall contract to find sanctuary among the Nighthawks. In that time, she’s become a respected woman of the Guard, and she’s wanted Garrett Reed for as long as she can remember. But when a new case takes a chillingly familiar turn, Perry finds herself once again in the path of a madman…only this time, there’s nowhere left to run.


Out of their depth and racing against time, Perry and Garrett must learn to trust the desire sparking between them…or risk losing themselves forever to the darkness stalking London’s streets.

Of Silk and Steam
London Steampunk 5
Sourcebooks Casablanca, March 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages


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.

Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, RWA (Australia) and RWNZ, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds.


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