(London Steampunk #1)
By Bec McMaster
5 of 5 STARS
He craves her like no other...
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.
ARC provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca.
Release date: September 4th, 2012
This was a pleasant surprise. Honoria is a young woman taking care of her younger sister and sick little brother. Their father died around six months before this takes place and whatever he was doing, caused his children to escape and go in to hiding.
Whitechapel is home to the infamous Blade. Rougue Blue Blood who has staked his claim in Whitechapel. You don't do anything without him knowing it and often people pay for his protection from rival gangs.
But first lets define what a Blue Blood and a vampire are in this world that Bec McMaster has created. Blue Blood's are infected with a virus. This virus is gradual but there is a craving for blood that is necessary for their health. They aren't vampires, they can go out during the day and have extra strength and longevity. Vampires are nasty creatures. The virus has gone too far and they lose all sense of reason and humanity.
Honoria is called upon by Blade, coming to a reluctant agreement for protection. As she meets Blade on a regular basis, we see this quirky relationship unfold. Blade is something else. He's bold and authoritative but very kind and caring to those he is close to. Honoria is very secretive and really reluctant to open up to Blade at all. For one, he is master of the rookery which she sees as untrustworthy. He can take what he wants and doesn't have to answer to anyone. Second, he is a Blue Blood. Poor guy has two strikes against him already.
Her gaze flickered his way. "You're staring.""Can't 'elp meself," he replied. "You were made to be stared at."
He's unapologetic in his demands but they are reasonable. Honoria wouldn't get herself in the position to owe him such things if she could just accept a gift. But no, she's headstrong and likes to pay her dues. She starts to see a different side of Blade and gets confused with her own feelings along the way.
Will groaned again, this time there was no mistaking the sound. He was enjoying this. Honoria glanced up. A mistake. For Blade was staring at her, his mouth locked against Will's throat, his hand fisted in the shaggy hair and the other arm wrapped around the man, clutching him hard.
One of the highlight for me is the great character development. I like Honoria and I love Blade. He sets the stakes high by making his intentions known. And he doesn't play fair to get it. Honoria is still trying to hold on to self preservation but he's just so charming, in a lippy fashion.
"I'm afraid you've got me at a bit o' a loss," he replied, leisurely moving around behind her. Sheets rustled and then she heard the unmistakable sound of leather sliding over his skin."Are you decent?""Rarely," he said, with an ironic drawl."Are you clothed?""Aye."
He has a way with words that would have me shivering in anticipation if I was Honoria.
"I don't want you.""Aye. That's why your scent changed. You smell all plump and lush, my little dove. I knows when a woman's got 'er eyes on a man. One of the advantages o' bein' a blue blood." He held his arms out, displaying his magnificent body to full effect. "Do you want to touch me? Is that what's got your heart poundin' in your ears and your breath thick in your throat?" A little smile touched his lips. "I'll let you, you know. You can run those pretty little fingers all over me if you want. Or that sweet little mouth, if you'd prefer." He took a step closer. "Do you want a taste o' me, Honor? Do you want to lick the sweat from my body, taste the salt o' me skin?"
No. This book is not just about a growing relationship. There is a really good plot that is set immediately and moves at a satisfying pace. A murderer is on the loose in Whitechapel and Honoria is in a rush to understand the half finished work left behind by her father, and dodge the man who has a price on her head.
Overall thoughts: Great plot, great character development, intense steamy moments and a great ending. I can't fault a thing. I was captivated from start to finish. Kudos Ms. McMaster on your debut novel! You can be sure I will be on the lookout for any future installments.