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London Steampunk #1

Kiss of Steel

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When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

441 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published September 1, 2012

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About the author

Bec McMaster

58 books3,360 followers
Kidnapped by a dread pirate when she was a child, USA Today Bestselling Author Bec McMaster was raised on myth and legend, and offered her younger siblings to the goblin king many a time. Unfortunately, he did not accept.

Now she writes epic fantasy romance with a dark and sexy twist, which is almost as much fun. She has a secret weakness for villainous heroes, wicked fae princes and dangerous vampires, though in all her daydreams, she’s the one rescuing them.

Bec lives happily-ever-after with her very own hero and princess-in-training in the wilds of Australia, where she can often be found drinking tea or plotting her next travel adventure.

Escape the ordinary at www.becmcmaster.com

Join Bec's mailing list at http://eepurl.com/F_LkD for all the latest news on releases, exclusive excerpts, cover reveals, and epilogues.

Newest Release: CROWN OF DARKNESS (Available now)

Next release: MASTER OF STORMS (Legends of the Storm #5--coming January, 2021)

Where to start?

If you want deliciously dark fae princes, then try Dark Court Rising or Court of Dreams.

For sexy dragon shifters, see Legends of the Storm.

Sorcery and magic?
Try the Dark Arts series.

Kick-bustle ladies-saving-the-day steampunk romance?
Then check out London Steampunk and the London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy series.

For rocket-fuelled post-apocalyptic romance with a twist on the werewolf theme, then read the Burned Lands.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,529 reviews
Profile Image for Kat valentine ( Katsbookcornerreads).
644 reviews878 followers
April 17, 2019
WELL I POPPED MY STEAMPUNK CHERRY and it was fabulously delishous!!!! Bec McMaster is a fabulous storyteller. Her words flow so easy, I felt like I was physically in this victorian world. Such vivid detail from places to things to all the wonderful characters who are so lovely layered and so very interesting. Blade is a blue blood who has to drink blood so he doesn't become a full blood vampire ,he also runs the rookery and is called the devil and murder for having killed his sister during his change. When he meets honoria things change. Honoria works to teach young ladies how to act and more she's also trying to take care of her siblings on her own after he fathers unexplained death. But when the sexy dark mysterious blade has her brought to him honoria is draw to him even though she knows that he wants her blood and body. Theirs a lot of bannter between blade and honoria,but their is a consuming passion that is building into a epic love full sex,love and final surrender for both of these lovers! But a old enemy of both kidnaps honoria and blade most control his demon and save her,but that means going against Vickers the man who turned him into a blue blood and who wants defile and kill honoria. I loved This book so much!!! So well done and even the secondary characters are fascinating as well !!! Can't wait to read more from this epic series!!!💖💖💋
February 16, 2020

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Edit/2/15/2020: This steampunk vampire story is only $1.88 right now!

🦇 Read for the Unapologetic Romance Readers Halloween 2018 Reading Challenge for the category of: A steampunk romance 🦇

Isn't the hero supposed to be blonde? I'm sorry, but one of my pet-peeves is when the cover model bears zero resemblance to the hero and heroine as they're described in the novel. I know it's cool and smoky, and the dude is hot and all, but come on. At least try.

Moving on from Cover Aesthetics 101, KISS OF STEEL is one of those books that aspires to be a little of everything. It's a steampunk novel set in Victorian-era England, only this is a world with vampires and werewolves (oh my), with vampires, naturally, seizing power and forcing many poor humans to resort to using blood as currency. Vampirism exists on a spectrum, first as a plague, then as vampires, and then, in late stages, as violent blood-mad zombies that must be put down as if they were rabid animals.

The heroine, Honoria, was once a part of the glittering upper-class, but when her father was killed, she was forced to take to the streets in order to protect her younger siblings. Now, having reached the bottoms of her shallow pockets, she's forced to turn to one of the local crime lords for help, a vampire named Blade.

I thought the world-building in this book was pretty well-done. McMaster created a pretty terrifying one, filled with squalor and desperation and darkness. You could almost picture the fog-misted blood dispensaries and hear the creep of feet on cobblestones. For the most part, I also liked the romance, although the sexual tension was actually sexier than the actual sex scenes. I'm not really a fan of the phrase "lush pearl," and thought there were actually too many sex scenes towards the end, which seemed to serve an excuse to explain the rushed love between the hero and heroine.

Vickers was a great villain and I'm sad that he wasn't utilized more in the book. This is virtually the only thing that bothers me about some "dark" romances and that's when the books forget to be dark after squeezing in an under-developed love story that makes the story unnaturally fluffy. The beginning of KISS OF STEEL was so promising and even though it wasn't a bad book, I still felt cheated because I thought I was going to get something amazing and ended up with something that was just okay.

KISS OF STEEL passed the time, but it won't be topping any of my favorites lists. That said, if you're tired of cutesy, angsty vampires, this series will probably appeal to you. These guys (and girls) bite.


3 to 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,086 reviews421 followers
June 22, 2018
4.5 STARS!!
"Easy, luv. Don't stir the devil, or you'll 'ave to pay the consequences."
Soooooo, SILLY ME. For some reason, I thought this book was YA so I kept putting it off . . . and off . . . and off . . . even though so many of my GR besties LOVED it.

Well, not only was it not YA, it was just as great as my friends said it would be!! Kiss of Steel was an amazing mix of Victorian morals, dark sensuality, and gory PNR adventure. I devoured this sucker!

In an elaborate steampunk world, a race of 'blood drinkers' - called blue bloods - rules Victorian England with an iron fist. Humans survive as best they can, mostly as 'servants' in one form or another to their overlords.

After their scientist father is murdered, Honoria and her younger siblings escape to the slums of London. With a price on their heads, they're barely surviving, and to make matters worse, they've attracted the attention of Blade, aka the Devil of Whitechapel, a rogue blue blood who runs its harsh streets. He wants 'payment' for Honoria's family's 'protection'.
Hunger and poverty could drive a person to abandon all of their morals.
This is the starting point for Honoria and Blade's epic clash of wills and game of cat and mouse seduction.
He smiled and her breath caught. If she had been a normal young woman, without the heavy burden she carried, she might have let her gaze linger. Or if he had been a man instead of a monster.
There was lots of sizzling tension between these two, the proud and stubborn Honoria who would do anything for her brother and sister, and the tortured and twisted Blade who wanted nothing more than to get his revenge. The author did a really good job of intertwining their stories within the vibrant, violent world she created for them.
His beautiful emerald eyes were dark chips of obsidian. Nothing human looked back at her.
All the while their relationship grows, the greater narrative unravels around them . . . and what a narrative it was! For me, it's rare that the action/adventure of a story is just as good as the romance. This one kept me entertained from beginning to end. Even though the denouement was a bit clichéd, I wholeheartedly admit that I ate it up. I just love a satisfying ending!

So, why did I shave off a half star?

A few times I felt that the world building wasn't completely explained (the blood rites), and there were a few loose ends/changing details that I picked up on. But having said that, Bec McMaster's writing will only improve over time. As it is, I breezed through this 400+ page book effortlessly.

To say that I'm excited to continue the series would be an understatement!!!
Profile Image for Fatima.
664 reviews340 followers
September 7, 2012
“But I’m ’fraid I’ll ’urt you.”
Honoria took his hand and dragged it lower. She slid it under her skirts, against the heated skin of her thigh. “That fear is why I know you won’t,” she whispered. Her other hand went to his nape and she dragged his mouth back to hers. “Make love to me, Blade. And don’t stop.”

* Le sigh * I'm actually shocked by how much I enjoyed reading this ... For the love of steampunk , this was awesome !!!

Steampunk has always been a subject of fascination for me . From the mere idea of using steam as a source of power for everything to the Victorian fashion sense , I've always wondered how will it be to live in that era , be it the future or the past

Ah , the steampunk fashion sense ...

OMG !!! I want all of those !!!!!

* Ahem * moving on .....

Kiss of Steel is the story of Honoria Todd , who has escaped from the clutches of Echleon city after the death of her father with her sister and brother . Her new home , the rookery ruled Whitechapel . In other words , its a place where the bad guys well sort of bad guys live .
This is also where our hero the infamous , Blade lives . To get down to more details would be a bit tacky because there are just too many mysteries and secrets that revolve around these too , not to mention that instant sparks that begin to fly the moment they meet each other . Add to this a heinous duke , rotting vampire , steampunked environment and elements and a crew of bandits who'll do anyhting to protect their leader and you have a story so well told and defined that makes it a experience worth remembering .

The cover :

The cover was the first thing that caught my attention . Nothing extraordinary , but it definitely has some eye catching elements Not to mention , that smoldering piece of man meat , although fully covered he made my heart skipped a beat . A very sexy book cover if you ask me !!!

The Setting :

Is mainly England . But not the England that we know of . The author has managed to turn it into a complete steampunk atmosphere with long chimneys towering every building emitting smoke/steam . A very foggy , cloudy kind of environment just perfect for a true steampunkish experience .

The characters :

Honoria Todd :

“He’s mine, you big brute,” she said fiercely and tugged the linen tight.

I loved Honoria . She is a fighter . A very stubborn yet strong willed fighter . Following the murder of her dad , she takes up the responsibility of her very sick brother and her sister . Damn her , sometimes I just wanted to shake some sense into her for handling everything on her own and not letting anybody help . Her relationship with Blade made reading this book fun .
Knowing where she came from and where she stood , her insecurities were justified . She was pretty humorous too , not letting anything get in the way of what she wants .

Blade :

“She’s mine.” She just didn’t know it yet.

* Swooooon * ... Blade .. Blade oh Blade ! I loved him too . A very responsible , arrogant yet determined and extremely jealous , possessive blue blood , who'll do anything to protect the one's he loves and cares about and destroy the one's who threaten his people . He has a past , a dark guilt thats eating him away but also manages to keep him from completely losing control over himself and turning into a monster . You see , a blue blood is someone who is infected by a virus which slowly fades way into Vampirism , is short it turn you into a blood craving , rotten smelling piece of flesh with no sense of sanity and control .
The guilt of his past keeps Blade under control , but when Honoria enters into the scene and hes life that sense of control seems to stir a bit . But Honoria can help him . Will she ? Whats his guilty past ? What is Honoria hiding ? Why is she struggling to keep her brothers condition a secret ? Why is blade considered a enemy by the Echleon's ?? To get answers to all this questions , you'll just have to read this book .

There are other chracters too that make this book interesting like Will , a werwulfen , Leo Barrons a cain who is not what he seems , Honoria's family ,that is her Sister Lena and her brother Charlie and Blade's men who fight along him .

The steam :

As in the romance bit , not the steam of steampunk ... Holy hotness , this book definitely had some wowza steam factor to it !!! Blade and Honoria's attraction was almost instant but that didn't burn the pages well before these two decided to get all the barriers of secrets inbetween them out of the way . Once they did , well it was all fireworks .

All in all , Kiss of Steel wasn't what I expected it to be . I loved the ending and cant wait to read more from this author and also the sequel covering Will's story !

Well written , rusty , tempting , scorchingly hot and uber sexy , Kiss of steel is a steampunk coupled with romance which will leave the readers wanting for more !!

Profile Image for Shawna.
3,547 reviews4,576 followers
September 30, 2012
4 ½ stars – Paranormal Romance/Steampunk

It’s been a while since I’ve read such an imaginative paranormal romance. Bec McMaster has penned a noteworthy debut that’s bold, inventive, engrossing, and sensual. I really enjoyed this!

McMaster has crafted an intricate, alternate London set historical with memorable, complex characters and unique elements of paranormal, steampunk, vampires, and verwulfen blended seamlessly without excessive world building to bog down the pacing or impede the romance. The dark, eerie Whitechapel setting gives the story an authentic gothic resonance and provides lots of danger, intrigue, thrills, and chills.

Blade, “the devil of Whitechapel”, is a captivating, sexy hero with a fascinating mix of tortured soul and primal alpha male who’s at times brutal yet intimately tender and protective of those he cares about. He’s rough, growly, ruthless, and possessive, has a caring heart of gold, and yearns for affection, trust, and peace. Blade reminded me a little of Charming Mickey from Elizabeth Hoyt’s Scandalous Desires at times but with more of a predator, supernatural edge and a somewhat softer, gooier center. In other words...YOWZA!

Honoria Todd is a strong, brave heroine and I both admired and wanted to strangle her at times for being so stubborn, proud, and loyal to a fault. It drove me crazy that she continually resisted and rebuffed Blade, no matter what he did or how hard he tried. Blade and Honoria engage in quite a bit of bickering, sparring, and bantering and have some seriously explosive chemistry. And when she finally comes to her senses I nearly screamed...well, it’s about time!

Kiss of Steel is a terrific, original debut that’s dark, passionate, intense, emotional, and satisfyingly steamy. I’m looking forward to the next book, Heart of Iron.

Profile Image for Holly.
1,449 reviews1,091 followers
June 20, 2019
I'm honestly still kind of iffy on this whole steampunk thing. Though this series oddly has more of a focus on vampires, but with a twist. Somehow in this steampunk version of the world, people with vampirism are their own special ruling upper class group, and the ability to become a vampire must be specially granted, it's against the law to turn people without approval. Once you are a vampire, you get to live for several centuries with super strength/healing/blood drinking powers, but your own blood levels must be checked to monitor if some kind of special level is getting too high. If it gets too high then you will become a vampire monster who will become too dangerous, so you must voluntarily be killed before that happens. It was all a little weird if you thought about it too much. Which of course I did. I think I am going to pass on continuing on with this series.
Profile Image for Christina ~ Brunette Reader.
187 reviews313 followers
November 24, 2019

It's a sinister city the Victorian London Bec McMaster has reinvented for us in her debut novel. A hopeless place shrouded in gloom where men and women move like resigned shadows while an oligarchy of quasi-vampire aristocrats, the Echelons, rule the country keeping queen and king like puppets on strings, and where few options are left to humans when the easiest way to survive is to become a thrall, a sort of blood-slave providing the nobles an endless flow of nourishment in exchange for protection. But in spite of appearances, the bluebloods, a privileged class of preternatural beings that bequeaths the virus to its scions like a closely guarded inheritance to perpetuate power, live in constant fear too. This cursed disease they so treasure, given due time can push them toward the abyss and turn them from invincible creatures still in control of their nature into savage beasts, the Fades, sentenced and chased to eternal damnation by their own former peers.

Honoria Todd knows only too well what it means to carefully tread among the Ton as a mere mortal. The daughter of a brilliant scientist, after what her father was working on cost him a mysterious end she's been forced to flee all she had always considered home and lead a new life made of "smoke and mirrors" in the seedy rookeries. Disguising herself under a false identity has provided a thin layer of safety for a few months, but her little brother is showing the first symptoms of the virus and the forces that destroyed her family are still hunting her.
With nowhere and no-one to turn to, her last hope might be the most dangerous man she's ever met, the "Devil of Whitechapel", a human who should never have become a blueblood and the watchful guardian of the teeming East End underbelly. Nothing happens there without Blade knowing or allowing it and helping alluring Miss Todd falls under his "authority," though the powerful attraction between them and a vicious common enemy will make their unlikely alliance much riskier than they both bargained for.

A flowing writing style blended with an imaginative fictional staging set the mood of this atmospheric romance. A gripping storyline, action, mystery and smouldering sexual chemistry do the rest.
Since the moment Honoria and Blade meet, striking a daring pact, the plot takes up speed and never slows down while both the leads are portrayed in nicely contrasting tones which make for an exciting romp of the "opposites attract" kind with a darker edge. As much as Honoria is proper and clings to her formal upbringing to draw strength and confidence in an unknown and terrifying underworld, Blade is brash, unapologetic and rules his shady kingdom with the reckless courage of those who have nothing left to lose. His attempts at coaxing her out of her primness are a large part of their foreplay, the etiquette and speech lessons she offers as a payment for his help an excuse for him to tease and tempt her and an effective way for the author to lighten up their interactions with some touches of humour in a love story otherwise nuanced with a more "crepuscular" eroticism. Which is not something I usually appreciate or seek out, nor is Blade, with his arrogant attitude, a hero I would normally find appealing, but considering the context it fit. And, by letting Blade have a chance to redeem his humanity through his relationship with the heroine and by bestowing Honoria a personality that remains strong, intelligent and dignified even when needing rescuing or compromising, I must give credit to Ms McMaster for having carefully built the romantic dynamics to the point that at the end I was able to truly believe an initial spark of lust had evolved into a genuine love that knows no unbalance or exploitation, splendidly defying what their society would have instead dictated for them.

Not heavy on the steampunkery and on the world-building, the setting and the imagery benefit from an insertion of paranormal and gory elements into a Victorian London that felt closer to the historical reality and precisely for this even more disquieting and effective for me. Completing the picture are well-crafted secondary characters from both sides of the barricades, starting with Blade's henchmen and Honoria's siblings, but also a main villain that will send shivers down your spine and a fascinating nobleman from the heroine's past, all promising further developments in this exciting alternate society and interesting possible future leading couples as, though Honoria and Blade's romance and adventure are concluded within this book (so no cliffhangers there), it's clear that the battle against the tyrannical Echelons élite is far from over. Another reason for me to look forward to reading the next instalments in the series.
Profile Image for Alkyoni.
111 reviews169 followers
April 8, 2013

His hands came up and captured her face between them. “Damn you,” he cursed. And then he took her mouth in a blistering kiss.


I am so happy this is over that I want to weep, mentally high-five myself for finishing it, open a bottle of tequila to celebrate and then treat me to a two week vacation to Aruba.

And the funny thing is that the poor book was not THAT bad.

It was all a huge misunderstanding, I'm telling you. This book and I, we were never meant to happen. I joined the group reading under the impression that we’d be reading Steampunk but…

Let’s face it; Kiss of Steel is a Paranormal Historical Romance, with some steampunk in the background. That was quite unfortunate (for me) because I am not exactly what someone would call a fan of the genre.

The young heroine from a decent family that fell into unfortunate circumstances after her father’s death and is now struggling to take care of her younger siblings; the local rogue who has his eyes set on her and offers her protection for a price; the evil royal whatever who also has his eyes set on her for much darker purposes; and lots of tea drinking.

Add the vampires and werewolves and you get the paranormal twist. Have the androids serving the tea and you get the steampunk background.

Now, to the book’s defense, I should have guessed it. I mean, look at the cover. There’s a lady flashing her garters like nobody’s business and some dude looking at her the way Sylvester is eyeing Tweety the bird. So yes, if someone shows up in here and mentions the oh-so-inspired IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE GENRE, DON’T READ IT, they would have a point. A minor one, but still, a point.

Also, the heroine, Honoria, is not what I would imagine the typical HR heroine to be. She’s got brains and guts and that is something that I can appreciate in a heroine of any book genre.

However, a fan of HR I may not be, but I am a huge fan of Fantasy and I must say that the world building was poorly executed. It was quite confusing at times, especially in the beginning when I had no effin’ clue what I was reading about.

So, book…You tried, I tried, but opposites don’t always attract.

Wishing you the best.

She wanted this man, wanted what was to come between them. The very thought tightened her nipples. Wet heat pooled in her stomach and lower, in places she tried not to think about very often.


I can’t believe it’s finally over.
Profile Image for Monique.
420 reviews154 followers
April 9, 2019
5 'beautiful, dangerous, wicked, dark' stars

I'm new to the steampunk genre. Actually, I first heard about it a couple of months ago and to be honest, I still don't quite understand, what it is about. Anyway, I didn't pick up this book because it is supposed to be steampunk but because it was compared to Penny Dreadful series which I loved. And the cover of the book is amazing!

The story is set in Victorian London. It has vampires, werewolves, some kind of mechanic gadgets, etc. Historical events are mixed with paranormal settings like the French Revolution and the Battle of Culloden. First was a cause to get rid of French vampire or blue blood aristocracy and second to extinct Scottish verwulfen clans. I needed some time to get absorbed into this world but when I did, it totally worked for me.

Honoria and Blade were great characters and wonderful couple. I mean these two had some really steamy and sexy times together.


Blade kissed her neck, sliding his fingertips down over the silk of her bodice. He found her nipple and stroked concentric circles around it, slowly tightening the circles until his fingertips barely circled it. Honoria arched beneath him, catlike.
“It’s one of the things I love about you,” he said, burrowing his face in her hair. “You’re proud and stubborn, but you’re so fierce when it comes to your family.” Looking up, he met her startled gaze. “Let down your guard, Honor. Let me in. Let me love you.” He kissed her lips, tasted the sweetness of her breath. “Trust me. I won’t ever ’urt you.”

Side characters gave you a little taste of themselves so that you just have to know more about them. I'm looking forward to novella starring Rip and Esme, and the second book about Will and Lena.

I will definitely read the entire series. I got completely lost in this beautiful, dangerous, wicked, dark Victorian London and I think I don't want to be found anytime soon.
Profile Image for Somia.
2,061 reviews134 followers
April 23, 2019
4 Very Pleased Stars

In book 1 of her steampunk world, Bec McMaster introduces us to a race of 'blood drinkers’ referred to as blue bloods, who rule Victorian England with an iron fist. Humans survive as best they can, mostly as 'servants' and/or thralls. Blue bloods need to drink blood in order to prevent themselves from becoming vicious monster like vampires, but many of the blue bloods are an elitist and manipulative lot.

Now most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district and Blade - the feared master/devil of the rookeries. But for Honoria Todd and her siblings the district and Blade will provide a much needed safe haven.

This was one delectable read – Blade I loved, there was just something about him, he was one hero who drew me in and kept hold of my attention. Honoria is one strong-willed and independent women, who finds it difficult to trust or ask for help – but for her siblings she is willing to push pride aside and enter the lion’s den and when she does, she’s in for a surprise – Blade is so much more than she could have ever expected. The chemistry and heat between the two, was clear, I swear at times I could almost hear Blade’s scrumptious accent/voice.

Honoria tests Blades much needed control and he is somewhat startled at how she makes her feel, I loved how protective he was. I found myself entertained by the plot and characters – the banter between Blade and Honoria was fun.

I will most certainly be re-reading this at some point and am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 46 books128k followers
October 27, 2012
OKAY Vampires and werewolves and steampunk AND victoriana? wow it's a lot mashed together in series these days. I've actually read SEVERAL series with these mashups, but I think this one did a very good job, moreso than other books I've read, to make it a believable world.

The main character is hiding from the bad aristocratic vampires in the outcast part of London ruled by the sexy outcast vampire. I mean, it's pretty obvious what's gonna happen with the setup (the relationship part) but the journey of it is pretty enjoyable. Although she's kinda helpless, the main character Honoria was fun to read along with, and her relationship was Blade was excellent (and way good "getting together" scenes!). I liked them together, and so the book really worked for me. There were some plotting pace issues I think, and the whole ending was a bit of an odd resolution, but I really really liked it and would definitely read another by the author!
Profile Image for Birjis.
439 reviews331 followers
May 21, 2020
A crafted tale set in Victorian period in London, we are sucked from the beginning in a world of supernatural species. Last I read on Vampires and Werewolves was of Kresley Cole books (her Immortals After Dark series are amazing, unfortunately she isn't realeasing any new books) and stepping into this world again I was reluctant at first but I'm glad I did, for not only it was refreshing but also mind engaging. The characters are so creative and the plot immersive. This story environment also gives gothic vibe with mixture of steampunk and danger. I just love the world build.

There are Bluebloods (vampires who are not rogue, but there are good and bad vampires), last stage Vampires (vampires who are on a stage of Fade, they are beyond any sense. They have rotting flesh and avoid the sun) and Verwulfen.

Honoria Todd is an admirable heroine who is stubborn and loyal. She used to be an assistant of her father, both of them working an a vaccination to cure virus. But her father died/killed which led to Horonia escape with her sister Lena and brother Charlie. She seeks employment, living on little earning hidden from the enemy.

Blade is the self-appointed leader of Whitechapel, a blueblood with a tortured soul who can be tender and protective yet brutal and ruthless. His little family consists of Will, Rip, Lark, Esme, O'Shay and Tin Man. His guilt from the past has kept him on control from turning into a monster. I enjoyed this character and his gutter-born language.

"You’re fools, the bloody lot o’ you,” Blade snarled, pushing past. “Aye, then. Come and dance with the Ech’lon. You can be me bloody retinue. King o’ Fools and ’is merry band o’ jesters. If they don’t laugh us out o’ the tower, it’ll be a bleedin’ miracle.”

I am glad the author didn't improve his language and grammer. I think his dialogues gives him a charm.

Both Horonia and Blade has a mutual enemy, Vickers. One tries to hide the secrets and the other wants revenge. With facinating mixture of dark gothic world with paranormal beings, this story was action-packed and hot. Honoria and Blade are stubborn-headed, the arguments, romance and possessiveness was steamy with enamored trapping of explosion.

Now I ruined my suspense. How? While I was almost half-way through the book I went and read the summary of the series, of which character from this series is going to pair up with who. Now I won't absorb the story of the next book instead be desperate to finish and get on to the next couple pairing.

My best best best regards to sweetest Monique for recommending me this wonderful series. She spoils me with so many books and I'm glad I picked one up. Thank you so much! 😘
Profile Image for Paige ♠.
293 reviews911 followers
February 15, 2021
This book started off confusing because there were a lot of character names being referenced and terms being thrown around and I had no idea what any of it meant! But eventually it started to make sense and I definitely enjoyed it by the end

🆗 I THOUGHT I WOULD LOVE STEAMPUNK because it's like the perfect combination of fantasy plus science, but I didn't love it in this. There was too much focus on the vampires and the class hierarchy and not enough emphasis on cool gadgets and engineering, but the overall steampunk vibe was still there

THE SPIN ON VAMPIRES was unique, with humans turning into partial vampires upon contracting a disease, which eventually progressed into true vampirism and their resulting death. I liked that vampirism actually felt like a curse instead of being completely romanticized

BLADE'S POV AT THE BEGINNING bothered me a lot because his side of the romance was too insta-lust for me. From the beginning, he knew he wanted Honoria in a very carnal way and was essentially just trying his best to "court" her and win her over. This isn't really my favorite style of romance

THE ROMANCE was definitely very steamy! What is it about vampires that's just sexy lol 😆 Like I mentioned, Blade spent a lot of time trying to court Honoria, which was cute, but I would have liked it better had I not known his thoughts at the beginning. There was a lot of flirting and tension that built between them and their scenes together were super sexy

I didn't realize each book in this series was a standalone, but I'm actually pretty happy about that because it makes it much easier to casually read them. Anyway, I definitely plan to continue with the rest of the series eventually because I adored the side characters and the blurbs sound interesting!

PS: One thing that bothers me is that Blade is described many times as having blonde hair but the guy on the cover has brown hair - whyyy?!?!
Profile Image for Whitney.
329 reviews112 followers
October 8, 2019

Bec McMaster has masterfully created a sinister city in the Victorian London. It is filled to the brim with paranormal creatures and Bec's take on the steampunk genre. Her characters were so creative and flawed that I was immediately drawn into their story. Speaking of story, the plot was well-paced and so immersive. I was legit hooked on the story from the very first chapter.

Honoria was such a badass heroine. Trying to hide from her past, she finds herself taking risks to care for her sister and ill brother. She is determined not to fall in the hands of the evil lurking in her town, but the "Devil of Whitechapel" knows everything. Honoria ends up on his doorstep making a deal for his protection. She has principals that she won't break for him, but he hopes for a change of heart.

Blade was considered a rogue blue blood. He'd actually become a blue blood in an unfortunate way that has left his character haunted and crass. Through his interactions with Honoria, we get to see him regain back some of his humanity. Honestly, I really enjoyed his character. Did I mention that he has an accent!? So hot!

“You're staring."
"Can't 'elp meself," he replied. "You were made to be stared at.”

I felt like all the scenes that he and Honoria shared were just scorching hot! There was so much chemisty, feelings, and respect for one another. They are literally one of the best paranormal couples that I have read about in a while.

Overall, this was a bloody brilliant book. ;) I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for ❤️Emma Book Lover ❤️.
470 reviews269 followers
January 14, 2020
5 "Bloody 'ell" stars

Anyone who has paid attention to my reading habits observed I'm a huge fan of Bec McMaster and I will make it my personal mission to read each and every one of her series.
This woman can write ! is no surprise here. I have been captivated by every book written by her.

Once again she creates an enthralling world filled with blue bloods, vampires ,verwulfen in the Victorian London that ensnared me from the first page with characters that emanate determination, integrity, bravery and passion, plus the steampunk factor , an engaging plot full of mysteries and secrets , a villain duke ,a group of yummy baddies (not so bad guys after all) ..oh! and the bloody accent (😳swoooon)= a brilliant f**ing story🙌

The story revolves around Honoria Todd , a young woman who has to take care of her younger sister and brother after their scientist father was murder and they had to flee the place they called home. With a price on her head and no money to provide food she makes an alliance with the dangerously sexy Master of Whitechapel the rogue blue blood Blade.
From now on these two stubborn strong-headed personalities clash together in the start of a slow burn game of seduction that neither of them is prepared for.

“Easy, luv. Don’t stir the devil, or you’ll ’ave to pay the consequences.”
“I’m not sure I have any coin on me,” she said, leaning closer and kissing the stubbled roughness of his jaw. “Do you think he would accept my favors instead?” A sultry whisper in his ear."

Honoria is the kind of character that you want to shake and hung in the same time.She is rational, guarded,stubborn, curious and proud. Sometimes she took risks that were not necessary, but I understood her action and reasoned with her.Once she lets her heart open she is a woman discovering love, pleasure,true happiness for the first time.
“Let down your guard, Honor. Let me in. Let me love you.” He kissed her lips, tasted the sweetness of her breath. “Trust me. I won’t ever ’urt you.”

Blade..oh man !Blade and his accent ...I could hear it in my head all the time. He is possibly one of my favorite H mc. He is a blue blood (he has a virus in his body that slowly fades into vampire)turned by the villain of the story and has to drink blood . He is a tortured soul for what happened long ago and all his life his purpose was to get revenge. His "adopted" family is very important to him and I loved how united they were.
At first his new feelings for Honoria confuse and scare him because she is the only one that was able to make him loose control since a very long time ago, but he is patient and caring. I loved when he went ballistic and possessive and all masculine, I was cheering him out loud.

These two burned the pages with the tension and chemistry between them and when set off it was bomb HOT!!

I will definitely continue this series!!
Profile Image for Seon Ji (Dawn).
1,033 reviews227 followers
March 21, 2021
I read Book 2 first and backtracked in hopes of gleaning more insight to what I thought I was missing.. I missed nothing.

The characters were flat, the "steampunk" was minimal as the world building seemed lacking. There was little to no descriptions of a lot of the automatons, and the antagonists were cartoonish.

It was a chore to finish.

I completely disliked the arrogant man-whore hero. Especially since he had the audacity to demand the heroine not be with any other man. Double standards.

I saw no reason for his falling in love with her or him. It was all lust at first sight.

IMO the hero was unlikable and the heroine weak minded. I had no feelings about either.

If the above mentioned would bother you too, then perhaps you should pass on this one, it's not needed. Go to book 2 which is filled with less triggers.

Content concerns:
Profile Image for Juliette Cross.
Author 37 books2,669 followers
July 30, 2019
Do you ever have those moments where you start reading a new author and the story/writing is so wonderfully spellbinding that before you're even halfway in you KNOW that this is now one of your favorite authors? Yes, that happened. I couldn't put this one down (even though I have a tight writing deadline looming myself). I woke up thinking about these characters and my mind kept wandering back to them throughout the day. That's when I knew McMaster had hooked me well and good.

Why did I fall so deeply in love? A combination of things. Her poetic turn of phrase. The Gothic beauty of the world. The perfect harmony of multiple plot elements. The wonderfully wicked villain--the kind I love to hate (and create). The swoon-worthy, sexy-as-sin, knee-buckling hero. The strong yet feminine heroine. And the lovely juxtaposition of light and dark within the characters, including secondaries I can't wait to read more of.

Thank you, McMaster, for putting all the romantic, fictional elements I love and adore into one book. I'm a fan for life.

Suffice it to say, that if you're a fan of the sensually dark and beautiful with a touch of horror as I am, then you MUST read this. So worth it. Trust me.
Profile Image for Lana Reads.
459 reviews179 followers
August 11, 2020
4,5 stars

Well, it was good. Not as amazing as Darkest London (Book one: Firelight) by Kristen Callihan, but I still loved the setting and the world building. The characters were authentic and I loved how the real historical events were smartly weaved into the story, with interesting plausible explanations.

She had a talent for speech and could teach a parrot to sound like a duchess.
- That's Honoria.

"Are you decent?"
"Rarely," he said, with an ironic drawl.
"Are you clothed?"

- That's Blake.

I felt for Honoria and Blake, their build up to a relationship was well done and my love for slow burn was well rewarded here.

It was my first read by the author, but definitely not the last.
Profile Image for Annie .
2,449 reviews818 followers
February 14, 2013
If you’re reading this, you at least trust some of my judgment when it comes to books. That being said, stop and go purchase this book. I can tell you that I absolutely fell in love with it! The worldbuilding is astounding and makes me wish I could put on a corset and dive right in. The characters are strong and vivid (and don’t forget sexy when it comes to Blade). The writing is unparalleled and upbeat and the last few chapters? Awe-fucking-some!

I don’t usually enjoy steampunk but this one has a more paranormal twist to it. It could very well make it to my favorites of this year.

Also, here this loud and clear: I CLAIM WILL!!!!! Back off! *crazy eyes*
Profile Image for Mindy Lou's Book Review.
2,699 reviews657 followers
October 24, 2020
I liked it. It's a historical vampire story that felt unique. The heroine was someone I could completely respect and I approved of her will to be strong, and do right by those she loved. Through the heroine's thoughts, I was expecting the hero to be a bad guy but he was just as strong and protective of those he felt were family. There were a perfect fit.

I listened to the audiobook version and while I would give this narrator 5 stars for her performance on pretty much all the characters, except one. Unfortunately, that one was an important one. Her performance of the hero had me thinking the hero was a old man. Not a good impression for the hero of the story. I don't know if that affected this story for me or not because I still enjoyed the book, and I eventually got past how he sounded, to envision what I needed for him.
Profile Image for Melindeeloo.
3,103 reviews159 followers
February 20, 2015
Please forgive me while I rave about Kiss of Steel - what a great melding of steampunk and paranormal romance. I have become enamored with steampunk romance recently, but there aren't many books in the genre where the steampunk trappings are integral to the story. Kiss of Steel is one of the rare ones where the steampunk elements are woven into the fabric of the background instead of relying on 'hey, there's an airship' decorating the story in order to steampunk-ize it. And I thought that the alternate London with its literal twist on bloodthirsty Bluebloods - a twist to European history that also gave a new significance to the use of guillotines in the French revolution - was clever and I also liked that the Whitechapel setting provided a suitably gritty backdrop for our down and out and desperate heroine, Honor.

On the romance front, I loved the complicated hero, Blade, a gutter born Blueblood - who fights his blood hunger and darker nature around Honor. And while, being exceedingly hero-centric, it is easy for me to love the leading man, I also really liked Honor too. I liked that she is smart and stubborn and that Honor's determination to protect those she loves doesn't make her seem 'too stupid to live' even when she insists on heading into dangerous territory. And I liked that she eventually trusts Blade to go wild with her, but that it takes some time for her to learn that trust which makes for a nice build up to some pretty steamy intensity in their romance.

So great steampunk/paranormal world, great leads and a satisfyingly steamy romance. I loved Kiss of Steel and I am really looking forward to the next book, Kiss of Iron - the next up dangerous leading man is confused and definitely in need of some therapeutic loving.
Profile Image for Roobie.
681 reviews88 followers
June 15, 2022
⭐️3.5 stars⭐️

"I am tempted to incapacitate him with the hemlock and then castrate him."

Lena paled. "I don't think that would be very wise," she said. "And the only knife we own is what I use for the cooking. You're not using that."

"I was planning on using a spoon," Honoria replied.
Profile Image for Caz.
2,760 reviews1,034 followers
October 18, 2017
B+ 4.5 stars Read for the October prompt of RS/PNR in the 2017 TBR Challenge.

Published in 2012, Kiss of Steel is Bec McMaster’s début novel and the first in her London Steampunk series.  Rather like Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London novels, the books in this series are set in a recognisable Victorian London, which enables the author to get right into the story without the need for extensive description, as the locations and references to things like the London Underground and the rookeries are already familiar.  She can then focus on initiating the reader into her vision of London as a grim, dangerous and divided city where the elite, quasi-vampires known as blue bloods rule and regard all other species – humans, mechs, verwulfen – as scum, useful only to them as menial workers, servants or thralls, slaves who provide a supply of fresh blood in exchange for protection. The blue bloods will stop at nothing to retain their power and influence, their superhuman strength and ability to self-heal making them virtually indestructible. But these abilities come at a price, as the virus to which they owe them – a virus they deliberately pass from generation to generation  – will eventually turn each blue blood into a fully-fledged vampire, a mindless, almost invincible killer; and to prevent that happening, anyone showing signs of entering the Fade (a pre-vampyric state) is summarily executed.

Ms. McMaster does a fabulous job of getting across all those facts – and many more - during the story as and when the reader needs them without resorting to static info-dumps which disrupt the flow.  The world she has created is a fascinating one that mirrors actual Victorian society in the huge divide that exists between the haves and have-nots, as well as putting a different twist on familiar paranormal tropes and setting the stage for the conflict between blue bloods and the other races that is going to run throughout the five full-length novels and two novellas that comprise the series.

Until the death of their scientist father six months ago, Honoria Todd and her younger siblings, Lena and Charlie, had lived under the protection of the Echelon, the ruling class formed of the highest aristocratic houses of the British Empire.  Artemus Todd was working to find a vaccine against the craving virus, principally to prevent the accidental infection of servants, thralls, women and anyone else the Echelon deemed unworthy. But Todd also had a hidden purpose; he theorised that if sufficient numbers of the uninfected aristocracy and their children could be inoculated against the craving virus, the blue bloods would eventually die out.  Unfortunately, he died before he could complete his experiments and Honoria and her siblings disappeared with his diary/notebook, infuriating Todd’s former patron, Lord Vickers, who has put a massive price on Honoria’s head.

The family has retreated to the one part of London that is more or less safe from the Echelon, the rookeries of Whitechapel, where Honoria changes her name and works as a finishing tutor at a local school.  Life is hard; she doesn’t make enough money to keep them warm and fed, but even worse, Charlie has been accidentally infected with the craving virus and the medicine needed to keep it at bay is extremely expensive.  Rogue blue bloods - anyone infected unintentionally or deemed unworthy – are not tolerated by the Echelon so Honoria is desperate to keep Charlie’s condition hidden for fear he will be taken away and either enslaved or killed.  Worried about her siblings, their lack of money, the fate awaiting them if they are discovered…  the last thing Honoria needs is a summons from the Devil of Whitechapel himself, Blade, a rogue blue blood who managed to escape the Echelon and make an empire of his own among the rookeries where he has ruled for the past fifty years.  Nothing happens in Whitechapel without Blade’s knowing about it or allowing it, and the people who life on his turf are expected to pay for protection in one way or another.  Having no wish to become his mistress or his thrall, Honoria offers the only thing she can; her services as a teacher of elocution and etiquette three evenings a week.

This rather odd bargain is the jumping off point for an action-packed, steamy and very well-devised story with a heartbreaking twist towards the end that had me glued to every single page.  Blade and Honoria are strongly-written, flawed characters you can’t help but root for, and there’s an equally well-fleshed-out secondary cast, many of whom will no doubt feature as future heroes and heroines in their own books.  At first glance, Blade is the sort of damaged alpha-hero found in many romances, but his struggles against the inner darkness that threatens him and the traumatic events of his past nonetheless made me care about him and want him to triumph over them. He’s got his own brand of charm, too; most definitely a diamond-in-the rough, he takes no prisoners but is deeply loyal to those he considers his own, and especially to the small ‘family’ he has built around him.  He delights in rattling the rather starchy Honoria and delights just as much when she gives back as good as she gets – although he readily admits to himself that sometimes she confuses the hell out of him.  Honoria is stubborn, intelligent and strong-willed; her desperation to protect her brother leads her to make one or two questionable decisions, and also to keep the truth of Charlie’s situation from the one man she knows who could help her for perhaps a bit too long.   It’s somewhat frustrating to read, but it does make sense in the context of her character; she’s had to become completely self-reliant and to eye everything and everyone she encounters with suspicion in order to keep her family safe and hidden.

The relationship between this unlikely couple crackles with sexual tension from the moment they meet, and their romance is superbly developed.  Large, well-muscled, brooding and careless of his appearance, Blade is the complete opposite of the elegant, pale-skinned, ennui-laden aristocrats amongst whom  Honoria grew up, so she is surprised at the strength of the fascination she feels toward the dangerous, rogue blue blood who is everything she’s never wanted.  Blade is just as drawn to the prim Honoria, sensing straight away that she is keeping secrets and determined to get them out of her. He’s impressed by her courage and inventiveness, her loyalty and her inner strength; they’re a great couple, the love scenes are sensual and earthy and their HEA is hard fought and well-deserved.

Kiss of Steel is a wonderfully imaginative, dark and gripping read featuring a seriously sexy and intense hero, a spunky heroine and an intriguing cast of secondary characters.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and am eagerly looking forward to reading the next in the series, Heart of Iron
Profile Image for Dina.
1,324 reviews1,232 followers
March 6, 2016
Wow! Where has this little gem been hiding all this time? Awesome characters, excellent story and great writing.

Note: The cover of the book has nothing to do with Blade and Honoria, but I won't hold it against the book. Publishers will be publishers, what can we do?
Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,732 reviews543 followers
February 28, 2015
Honoria Todd and her younger siblings have disguised themselves and fled to Whitechapel,  the roughest and one of the most dangerous places in London, to get away from the Echelon, the people who murdered their father. Whitechapel is one of the few places where the Blue Bloods don't have complete control, instead Blade a mysterious Rogue rules over them and he seems to have taken an interest in Honoria, but can he be trusted, or will he just use them as a pawn to get the revenge he desires over the Blue Bloods he hates?

Normally I am a little suspicious of books that have kick ass covers, the quality of the content doesn't always match the beautiful wrapping, but I am pleased to say that with this book, it was fantastic both inside and outside, I. Loved. It.

The two main aspects ofKiss of Steel that earned it top marks are the new world created by Bec McMaster and the characters, especially Blade. Now I haven't actually read huge amounts of Steampunk so when I say this world was completely original bare that in mind! But it was a great mixture of historical with the setting being in a Victorianesque and paranormal with the presence of Blue Bloods, who were essentially a new and interesting take on vampires. I also liked that the Steampunk element wasn't over the top as although there were nifty gadgets being used and mechanical men, there wasn't women swaggering around in strippy tights, corsets and funny hats every 5 minutes and lots of weird and outlandish technology that needed to be overly explained. So I am definitely looking forward to the next book so I can explore this world further and delve into the more intricate aspects now that the basics have been set up. 

Now Blade...he has promptly been added to my list of book boyfriends, a very bad boy who has a soft spot for those he considers his family and of course the woman he loves and a tortured past, how was I supposed to resist that? But you can't swing a cat in the romance world and not hit a hero like that, but Blade had that extra something that had me panting, darkly sensual and struggling with inner demons but determined to do right by the people he protected I was doomed to love him.  Honoria I did like, but she took some time for me to warm to and although she was a good heroine it wasn't her that stood out for me. 

This book was well written, with an interesting and well crafted world with plenty of characters from some of the vile Blue Bloods to Blade's motley crew for you to get involved with, and I can't wait for the next book to come out and continue the story. 
Profile Image for alicat ♡➹♡.
696 reviews6 followers
May 17, 2022
4.25 stars.

Hmm, I have a new sexy book boyfriend, Blade! He's hot, protective, and badass.

This book was great. I enjoyed the setting, an AU Victorian era steampunk London where most of the elite males are all slowly transitioning vampires.

Honora is an interesting character. We meet her as an older sister struggling to keep a roof above her family's head. She is brought to meet Blade, the man who runs the Whitechapel district, since her new home is the area under his protection.

They are both intrigued by one another and are quickly thrown together by danger and their growing feelings.

I liked Honora - she was very smart, I'm sure in another life she would have been a professor. She teaches young ladies to speak correctly, but it is obvious her true passion is continuing her father's work.

Blade was a great character. He started out quite mysterious but his tragic past and precarious current situation are soon revealed. He was really great to Honora and her family from the beginning of their acquaintance. Once they were together... *swoon*

I do wish there were a bit more steampunk elements, maybe the future books?

The audio was pretty good - I liked everyone's voice except Blade who unfortunately sounded a bit like an old pirate who had smoked his entire life. I was able to roll with it, but I would have preferred something a bit more toned down.
Profile Image for Susan (susayq ~).
2,158 reviews120 followers
May 24, 2013
This is definitely a 5 star read cause I finished it this morning and haven't been able to get Blade and Honoria off my mind since. I loved their romance. It wasn't too fast and there wasn't any extra added drama, just for the sake of drama. I really liked Blade. While he was a badass Blue Blood, he had this vulnerable side that came out when he was with Honoria.

The world that was created for this series was great too. While I admit to being a little confused about vampires and Blue Bloods at first, it made sense after a friend explained it (thanks ShoSho :) ) I'm looking forward to reading more about the characters and this world.
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