Review: Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

Posted May 9, 2013 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Steampunk / 3 Comments

Review: Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster
Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on: May 7, 2013
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
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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 the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, 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 on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…



Heart of Iron, the follow-up installment to Bec McMaster’s debut onto the steampunk scene is Kiss of Steel’s equal in all things except Verwulfen which means… this book’s even better than the last! Because, let’s face it, werewolves make everything better! Am I right? In this novel, McMaster further expands upon her already colossal universe, transforms two beloved secondary characters into praiseworthy protagonists and weaves a deliciously entertaining tale that’ll keep you reading until there’s nothing left.

The first two London Steampunk stories are closely intertwined which means I highly recommend that you read these books in order so that you get the full experience. Even though Will and Lena are now the main focal point, Blade and Honoria still play active roles in this installment. Typically, in a series like this, previous paranormal couples make occasional cameo appearances in future novels but are otherwise forgotten after their initial love story is told. I’m really happy that McMaster broke away from that pattern because I hate saying goodbye to great characters and, Blade and Honoria are keepers!

Unravelling Will’s mysteries’ was by far my favourite part of this book; from his Verwulfen nature, to his sordid upbringing, to his reluctant feelings for Lena. He’s an enigma and a half! I enjoyed his burly yet protective attitude towards Miss Todd and the way his very presence makes the big bad Echelon shake in their boots. Will’s a brilliantly written character that has permission to warm my bed anytime! Bec also adds a very interesting curve ball to her werewolf lore that helps make the romance believable while solving a major problem in Lena and Will’s relationship at the same time; another great example of just how much detail and thought goes into McMasters’ novels.

Lena rubbed me the wrong way at first what with her snubbing her family in favour of the Echelon and all. However, as the story progresses we learn that her motivations aren’t quite as frivolous as they seem and what she’s really hiding behind her flirty facade. Plus, anyone that can craft a shapeshifting wolf cuckoo clock is a girl after my own heart! What I want to know is: where can I buy one?

It’s only May and already the competition for my top reads of the year is getting fierce; Heart of Iron is definitely on my short list! With another installment scheduled for October 2013 now’s the time to start this series if you haven’t discovered it for yourself already.

Books in this series:


Recommendation: This one will knock your socks off! Recommended for everyone!
Like this, like that: The Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan.



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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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