The Iron Duke (Iron Seas #1) by Meljean Brook
What a magical read!! I loved it from start to finish. 5+ Floozies for this one!!
For some reason I missed the whole steampunk aspect of this book, so it took me a minute to get the idea that Iron Duke did not take place in historical England. Once I got that, I realized the world Meljean Brook had created was so amazing and fantastic. The different classes and the prejudice associated was just one level of this skyscraper of a book.
Rhys (how many names did he have anyway, jeez, I had to reread a few parts to make sure it was him), oh boy, talk about take no prisoner hot boy. He takes what he wants and dosen't even bother with a thank you. His aura and presence were so enthralling. When he was on the page I paid extra attention because his character did not say or do anything that was not of great importance.
Mina's physical appearance is the embodiment of the "horde" to the public and a major catalyst to how she lives her life. I compared the Horde to the Nazis. Controlling, oppressive, unremorseful . . . you get the idea. Mina's mother was raped by one of the Horde and upon seeing her daughter she gouges her eyes out, not because Mina was grotesque, but for the injustice forced upon Mina's mother. Love, support, and understanding take the place of grief and Mina is raised in a house that any child would be proud to call home. However, when she steps on the street she is bombarded with ridicule, name calling, and even physical harassment because people see her outside appearance not taking the time to see what kind of person she is on the inside. That layer of the story really got to me because I can not stand by to racism, prejudice, and injustice. I like to think I fight, in my own way, for those who are effected and try hard not to judge before getting to know someone.
Anywho . . .
Mina is resigned to her lot in life and takes it on the chin like a champ. Rhys vows to purge the nasty thoughts of the "jade whore" from the minds of the public, when in reality Mina is the one that ends up setting the public straight just by being herself, a remarkable public servant, and a women in love.
Mina outwardly wants a quick tryst with Rhys, not wanting to reach too far above her station. However, Rhys will not stop until Mina is in his bed permentatly. Hello, feminist . . . Yeah, I cringed a little but thankful Rhys realized the value of Mina as a person, as a partner, and as a potential mother to his children.
Saw blades for teeth, glass orbs for eyes that detect truths and lies, metal sharks, and cracken!! Action, adventure, love, personal development, and sequels!! I was transported into this world and loved every minute I spent with Mina and Rhys. Even the supporting characters were exciting to get to know. I am a happy book lover right about now. Just so much to chew on without being overwhelming. The core of the story is crystal clear and so entertaining I could not put it down.
The development of Mina and Rhys' love for each was so sweet and just . . . perfect . . . for this book! I can not wait to read Heart of Steel and, really, any other steampunk romance I can get my hands on!!