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03 October 2013

Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

Author: Meljean Brook
Publication Date: Oct 5, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance/Steampunk
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository
Source: Purchased

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

This series has been on my radar for a while now but, for whatever reason, I did not read it for a very long time. I'd heard really good things about it and one of my favorite authors (Nalini Singh) even said that it was one of her favorite series. With such hype, I was a little afraid that this book would not meet my expectations. Fortunately, it surpassed them and I had a really great time diving into this new world.

The Iron Duke is a great mix of steampunk, pirates, zombies and romance. It's like all of my favorite things in one book. The world building is really incredible and Brook manages to create a really intricate world without overwhelming you. There was a lot to take in but I never felt like there was any info dumping or hand holding and I learned about the world naturally as the story progressed.

The story is pretty heavy on the romance though not annoyingly so. Mina and Rhys are both fantastic characters and they make an unlikely couple. Mina is a total badass and I loved how smart and tough she is. She hasn't had the easiest life. A child of what is called a Frenzy, Mina reminds people of their time under Horde rule and she is often discriminated against and assaulted. She has to work twice as hard to make up for the prejudices against her but it hasn't made her mean or bitter. It's just made her more determined. Romance is not something she is used to and it's fun watching the normally calm and cool inspector try to manage her feelings for Rhys.

Rhys Trahaearn is a great match for Mina. Though it seems like the ruthless former pirate captain is the exact opposite of Mina, the two actually have a lot in common. They're both strong willed and fiercely protective of what is theirs. They are both outsiders and don't quite fit in. Rhys hasn't had the easiest life but he made himself into one of the most powerful men in the world. They treated each other as equals and made a great team. Their romance was sweet at times and frustrating at others. They both behaved a little foolishly at the end of the book and neither of them wanted to admit that they needed the other. But don't worry, it all works out in the end. :)

I love it when I find a new series and a new world to explore. The plot was well paced and action packed. I loved Mina and Rhys and the book also had an amazing supporting cast. Newberry and Scarsdale are my favorites.

I am so glad I finally read this. This world has truly captivated me and I have a feeling that I've only scratched the surface of it. I already have book 2 on standby. Recommended for fans of adventure and romance.

Visit the author online at meljeanbrook.com, Facebook and follow her on Twitter @meljean

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