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.
Note: I received this ARC from the author.
The Iron Duke is a page turning read populated with fascinating characters and a world that comes alive on the pages as much as any character in the story. There is action and mystery and romance. The Iron Duke has air ships, sea monsters, nanoagents and a fascinating alternate history that kept me glued to each page.
Our heroine, Mina, a Detective Inspector, is all about her family and her job. As she says, she goes where the bodies are and that leads her to the front step of the Iron Duke. She's straightforward and brave and has had to fight all her life, first agains the Horde that controlled all of England and then the racial intolerance of her own countrymen because she has Horde blood. Her mother was raped when the Horde put her in a mating frenzy. Because she was under Horde control for so long, and they controlled all her emotions, forcing her to feel lust, fear or apathy, she distrusts the strong feelings that Rhys, The Iron Duke, instills in her. Mina was a good leading lady. She was strong and fearless when she needed to be and accepted help when she needed it. She was never too stupid to live or annoying to read.
Our hero, Rhys, is a hottie. He's powerful, ruthless and has his own code he lives by. If you're an enemy he will be your worst nightmare, but if you're his, he will do whatever it takes to take care of you. Rhys was a great character in that he was very alpha, but he knew how to let someone else be good at something. He also recognized the strength in Mina and how good she was at her job and he respected that and never tried to change it. The love scenes between them were hot and also tender and filled with honest emotion that left me very satisfied.
The world itself is it's own character. There are zombies, kraken, air ships, nanoagents, all sorts of fascinating steam technology and so much more. This story really did keep me glued to the pages to see what else was going to happen.
My final grade is A-.