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Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

Heart of Steel (Iron Seas #2) by Meljean Brook
Romance, Steampunk, Alternate History
Paperback $15.00 (320 pages, BERKLEY)
Ebook $9.99
Audiobook $27.97 (10 hours and 15 minutes)

As the mercenary captain of the Lady Corsair, Yasmeen has learned to keep her heart as cold as steel, her only loyalty bound to her ship and her crew. So when a man who once tried to seize her airship returns from the dead, Yasmeen will be damned if she gives him another opportunity to take control.
Treasure-hunter Archimedes Fox isn't interested in the Lady Corsair -- he wants her coldhearted captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. To reclaim it, Archimedes is determined to seduce the stubborn woman who once tossed him to a ravenous pack of zombies, but she's no easy conquest.
When da Vinci's sketch attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco -- and straight into their enemy's hands. But as they fight to save themselves and a city on the brink of rebellion, the greatest peril Yasmeen faces is from the man who seeks to melt her icy heart...

Author Site: meljeanbrook.com

Everything I desire in a Romance done to perfection. (5 stars)

Archimedes Fox, legendary hero of serial novels and treasure hunter, is bound and determined to have his greatest adventure yet. He plans to fall in love. But not with just any woman. Fox wants Yasmeen, the equally legendary Captain of the Lady Corsair, the woman who has done nothing but make her heart of steel obvious. From tossing him to zombies to taking his most valuable find courting Yasmeen could be more trouble than any adventurer—legendary or not—can handle.

Getting his treasure back is a life or death matter for Fox. When circumstances alter the course of their adventure to get it back the pair must brave zombies, a mutinous crew, and Horde territories. Can the pair survive their most dangerous adventure yet? Will Yasmeen's heart find enough warmth in Archimedes to melt her cold exterior or will her past keep her from a love worth waiting a lifetime for?

I shouldn't be reviewing this book. I'm having a terrible time finding anything I didn't like about it which makes it difficult to be objective. Keeping that in mind let me just say that I know this book and series will not work for everyone. You have to suspend disbelief a considerable bit and let the pseudoscience be.

Brook has built one of the most exciting worlds I've read but there's so much of it I think it'd be easy to get Tolkien-esque in description overload. Fortunately, Brook has done an excellent job of not overly fatting this novel while still giving readers much more of the world to explore. If you've read THE IRON DUKE and wanted to know more about the Horde this book will be very satisfying.

As an adventure this book is great. As a romance it is exceptional. The groundwork for it was laid a bit in THE IRON DUKE so I honestly would not recommend this as a stand-alone though I think it's the better of the two. Yasmeen is an intriguing woman and finally getting some background on her made her even more enjoyable. Archimedes is charming and could disarm any other woman thrown at him but naturally he wants the one who doesn't want love with him or anyone. Their banter is as amusing as always but the sexual tension in this one sparks off the page to the point of nail-biting. Looking for some steamy steampunk? This is your book, hands down.

If you read THE IRON DUKE and struggled with disliking Mina and Rhys or finding their romance a little too unbelievable (I know many of you did based on reading others' reviews) I'd suggest giving this one a try. Yasmeen is no wilting flower and Archimedes is not the overbearing alpha-male type that I personally can't stand. The pair are equals in all ways which is exactly what I was looking for. This is one of my favorite romances I've ever read and the adventure only makes it more exciting. I'm scared Brook might not be able to top this one but I'm anxiously awaiting more Iron Seas novels.

Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Smexy Books
Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

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