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I won't read a book that doesn't contain a romance plot of one kind or another...

The Iron Duke -  Meljean Brook I'm not writing a review for this one; I'm just going to mention a couple of things that "bugged" me:

1. This was more adventure than romance at least for the first 2/3 of the book. And despite the fact that it's focused on the suspense/action, two out of four battles against the vilains took place in no more than a paragraph. Totally anti-climatic.

2. This was my first steampunk and I think it may be my last. For the first 150 pages I got sick of reading about people with hammers instead of legs, mechanical lungs that needed extended tubes in their shoulders to work, pincers instead of hands and so on. The icing on the cake were the zombies that are described as mindless, vicious and highly infecting. Thankfully, the second part of the book on the airship was lighter and devoid of too many mental images like those.

3. The hero is described as cold and tortured in the beginning of the book. Well, I definitely didn't see it at least where the heroine was concerned. He touches her and he's immediately a goner. Puddle in her feet, lapdog in her arms. He will do anything to have her (although it's not love, he just wants to 'shag' he, but he's never felt so strongly for anyone else, et cetera et cetera). I'm sure many readers love the posessive/obsessive hero who is willing to cut his wrists and bleed himself dry so the heroine won't die of thirst, but for me this is sappy; sweet and sappy. I know however that most people love this kind of hero, so what's a minus for me is probably a plus for others.

4. I didn't particularly like the heroine or could understand all her actions and decisions. Again, this has only to do with my personal likes and dislikes rather than something particular in her behavior except for the fact that I thought she teased him and at the same time repelled him for more than was necessary.

As it's obvious, the reasons I didn't particularly enjoy it are purely personal; it was just not my cup of tea in too many areas. On the contrary, it was well written, fast paced (even though I didn't particularly like it, I was never bored) and had a couple of very interesting secondary characters. Will I go on with the rest of the series? Not likely but it's not out of the question either.