The Wardens of the Realm are a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England from any threat. But in this steam-powered world, there’s a fine line between enemy and ally…
her brother’s death, beautiful American spy Claire Brooks has vowed
revenge on the member of The Company who she believes to be responsible:
Stanton Howard. But when she chases the man to London, Claire is
captured by the Wardens of the Realm and placed in the custody of the
Earl of Wolfred, the dashing Alistair Payne.
Seeing the prospect
of retribution slipping away, Claire convinces Alistair that she has
defected and will help him take down The Company. As they travel via
steam liner, Claire and Alistair must pretend to be engaged. Claire
can’t deny the growing attraction she feels for her pretend husband, but
when Howard is finally within her reach, she will have to decide
whether her true loyalties lie with The Company or with her heart…
Claire Brooks and her brother Robert had been American spies
for the The Company since they were young. But when her
brother died, she vowed revenge even if it meant she has
to find the culprit herself. She believes Stanton Howard is
responsible and follows him to England. However, she is
captured by the British spy agency, The Warden's. In
exchange for the valuable information she can give them,
she is given under the custody of the Earl of Wolfred,
Alistair Payne. Together, they will find the men involved,
discover the truth about the spy agencies, and fight the
dangerous attraction they feel toward each other.
I have read steampunk books before. I love the costumes
(Victorian dresses) and the combination of history and
modernity. In the past, I haven't liked how the mechanical
terms takeover the story; sometimes it's hard to focus on
the narrative. However, with TOUCH OF STEEL, romance and
steampunk are perfectly balanced.
Kate Cross did a wonderful job describing a vivid world
of fan knives, metals, spies and historical England. The
story flowed smoothly luring readers in the world she
created. The terms used did not interfere with the story.
The world building is done well, dropping the right amount
of information just at the right time.
The main characters, Claire and Alistair, are both epic
spies, they are deadly-badass! But also, they showed
weaknesses. Claire suffers as a result of her brother's
death and Alastair is still
wounded from his former lover that betrayed him and left him
for dead. Both have their share of tragedies and yet they
still fight for good and their loved ones. I enjoyed the
slow burn of love between these two, coupled with witty
remarks and full-packed action, what more could I ask
for?! For me, they are a perfect couple, one where a simple
kiss could make their romance steamy and sensual.
Also, the secondary characters are unique and interesting,
each has his own story to tell. Besides that, in this book
you'll never guess who's good or right, each has his own
agenda; each of them will do anything to get whatever that
agenda may be.
Even though this is the second book, it is a stand-alone. I
can't wait for Breath of Iron this summer and if ever
there's a chance I will read the first book, Heart of
TOUCH OF STEEL is a not just steampunk but an
action-adventure full of spies, revenge, loyalty, twists,
steamy scenes and love. It's a new world of wicked spies
that I'm not willing to leave yet.
copy provided by Fresh Fiction