For my last post of the year, I’m daring you all to read a more recent work: a delicious steampunk romance from Meljean Brook.
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.
Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.
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.
Released on October 5, 2010, The Iron Duke is the first full-length novel in the Iron Seas, Meljean Brook’s steampunk romance series. (There are a couple novellas that were previously published but you don’t need to read them to get into The Iron Duke.) It’s a great adventure story filled with steampunk gadgets and amazing chemistry between Rhys and Mina. Rhys is a big hero, having freed England from 200 years of tyranny of the Horde (yeah, Genghis Khan’s descendants), an invading force that took over by sneaking nanotechnology, or bugs, into imported sugar and tea, and then using the bugs to control the population, until the Iron Duke destroyed the radio tower controlling the bugs, setting the population free. Mina is much less famous, and more reviled, as a half-Horde resident of London struggling to make a life for herself. Romantic entanglements aside, Meljean tackles a lot of issues in this novel, including some biggies like racism and women’s rights, and it’s done in a thought-provoking but not in-your-face way. And the worldbuilding is just fantastic. The world of the Iron Seas has just about everything you can think of -- zombies, the Horde, pirates, airships -- and more!
Plus, the cover is a lovely example of the trendy headless man torso we’ve been seeing more and more of. Check out those abs! ;)
Read an excerpt
(You’ll need to scroll down a little bit)
So what are you waiting for?
Don’t forget to add your own Daring You To Read… post in the linky below.
If you want to learn more about the meme, read the inaugural post!