Touch of Steel

Kate Cross. Signet Eclipse, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-23882-5
In Cross’s second steampunk romance, following Heart of Brass, rival operatives find love together while chasing a master criminal. American spy Claire Brooks, having been captured in England by elite government agents, the Wardens of the Realm, agrees to help them apprehend evil genius Stanton Howard. Paired with the aristocratic Alastair Payne, Claire finds herself on a New York–bound steamship, with Stanton also aboard, pretending to be her new partner’s fiancée to deflect suspicion. Claire and Alistair’s initial distrust soon turns to respect, and then to love, even as Claire secretly plans to countermand their orders by killing Howard and thereby avenging her brother’s murder. Alastair cuts an appropriately dashing figure, suggesting a cross between Wolverine and the Six Million Dollar Man, while Cross creates a richly imagined alternate world deftly straddling the line between romance and SF. Agent: Irene Goodman, Irene Goodman Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 12/04/2012
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-101-60716-9
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