Review: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Posted May 6, 2013 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Steampunk / 10 Comments

Review: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
Series: London Steampunk #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on: September 1, 2012
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Won
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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…



From the very first page of Kiss of Steel I was swept away by Bec McMaster’s lovely writing style; her three dimensional characters, stunning dialogues and surreal universe are so brilliantly executed that I’m giving this book a 5+ star rating.

This is a story about vampires but McMaster does such a brilliant job of claiming them as her own that they almost felt new again. There are three different subgroups to the vamps in her lore and I really enjoyed the way that we get glimpses into each of their lifestyles. They live in a tiered society so life’s very different in the rookeries compared to the Echelon. The amount of detail that Bec put into this book is staggering; her vampires don’t even feed like typical blood suckers! The minutia is evident in her world building as well; I loved stepping into McMaster’s London Steampunk universe! I lost myself for hours in her descriptions of the gritty city streets and feminine petticoats.

At first I wasn’t a fan of Blade but he quickly grew on me once he started to open up to Honoria. I loved his constant inner struggle with his Blue Blood half; it added an element of vulnerability to his otherwise tough guy exterior. Blade’s scary as hell not because he’s a straight up badass but because he’s barely holding on to the reigns of his sanity! His dialogues were some of the most entertaining parts of this book; McMaster does a phenomenal job of portraying his street accent. I think this would make a great audiobook with the right narrator!

Honoria’s side of the story is an emotional upwards battle from page one. Fallen from her privileged life, she finds herself barely making ends meet and desperate times call for desperate measures. Blade is her absolute last resort but as her situation becomes direr she’s forced deeper into the master of the rookeries dept. Just when you think that Honoria can’t possibly get knocked down again, she does. I really felt for her and by the end of this book I was so happy that she had Blade looking out for her. Miss Todd’s growth as a character is remarkable; I especially enjoyed watching her realize that some of her founding principles were wrong. It’s not easy to change the way you think but love is a powerful thing.

The ending is HEA perfection; Blade saves Honoria and she saves him in return. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Kiss of Steel is steampunk at its best; I’ll definitely be buying Heart of Iron when it hits shelves tomorrow!

*I want to thank Amber I. from Awesomesauce Book Club for another stellar recommendation! She’s 2-for-2 so far!

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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10 responses to “Review: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

  1. Great review! I loved this book SO HARD! I’m almost finished with Heart of Iron, and Bec McMaster doesn’t disappoint!

  2. Steampunk and vampires? That sounds fantastic! Thanks for your review, I’m a sucker for good world building and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this aspect so much 🙂

  3. I’m excited! Kiss of Steal is coming out soon on audio, I’m glad to see that it’s a good series 🙂 But I’m a little confused, the title says Kiss of Steal, but the Cover says Heart of Iron??
    Thanks!

    • Oopsies. See this is what happens when you put a post together while you’re still suffering the effects of jet lag. Thanks for pointing that out; I fixed it! 🙂