This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk Romance
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on August 25, 2020
Mission Improper began a new season arc in the London Steampunk world with a mysterious new menace that threatens the hard-fought peace. The action-packed, sensual, and gritty world blends paranormal and steampunk well. I was eager to pick up the next in this sub-series.
The Mech Who Loved Me is book two in the London Steampunk The Blue Blood Conspiracy spinoff of the original London Steampunk series. While one can begin with this series, there are connections with characters from the original series as well as references to past events.
Ava McLaren sighs over the one who got away when she observes Brynes and Ingrid’s wedding. She truly is happy for them and realizes that she wasn’t really in love with Brynes so much as seeing him as one of the few men who would accept her. She was forcefully changed into a Blue Blood and held hostage so this ruined her in the eyes of her aristocratic peers including her former fiance. She was given a second chance working for the Nighthawks and now the Companiy of Rogues in the labs to study the evidence the Nighthawks gather in their investigations. She was sheltered before and her new friends continue this. But, Ava wants to get rid of her virginity and she wants to go out on investigations. She gets her chance when Blue Bloods start dying from a mysterious disease, Black Vein, and she learns her erstwhile partner in the investigation is the Blue Blood hating mech, Kincaid. Their partnership becomes more when they agree to have a fling for as long as the investigation lasts. But, what do they do when feelings come into play and someone doesn’t want Ava to discover the answers to Black Vein and the insidious plan behind it?
It had been some time since I read the earlier books of the original series and the first in this series so I was vague on where things were at and who all were doing what. I was glad the story started with a new pair and it didn’t take long for me to get up to speed with where things were at after the last book.
I love the world the author created with a blend of historical, steampunk gadgetry, and paranormals that include her own version of vampires and weres as well as mechanically enhanced humans who all have a bit of darkness in them. The series is spiced up with a nice twisting, action packed intrigue with formidable villains and a mastermind. Mission Improper hinted that there was a plot and mastermind, but The Mech Who Loved Me reveals it and things are dire. I liked that the Company of Rogues grows tighter as a team even if they are all a rather disparate group. It was fun to see Ava and the other women become friends even if they are all different and come from different backgrounds.
Ava came across as a sweet innocent in the earlier book and Kincaid a bluff irritable member of the Company of Rogues. He hates her kind and she’s pretty sure he isn’t real impressed with one of the most vulnerable Blue Bloods who doesn’t even drink blood, but in his own way, as a human working with and against powerful Blue Bloods, he’s at a disadvantage, too. They are definitely an opposites attract pair and have different methods on the job even. His job is to protect her when she goes out in the field. I was glad that sweet and somewhat naive didn’t mean she did stupid things and she proved that she was a vital member of the team with her bright, scientific mind and upbeat attitude. Kincaid was already the broody sort so it was good to have her lightness.
The romance started as a lustful transaction of sorts where they agreed to a fling, but as they got to know each other, this changes and deepens though they fight it for their own reasons. Kincaid shows Ava how to get in touch with her sexual side as she recovers from her capture and abuse. He’s good to her and good for her because he doesn’t coddle though he does protect. She’s good for him because her sweet nature smooths out some of his rough and slips inside his heart. The next pair will be something else in their own book.
This was my first time experiencing Siena Frances’ narration work. I thought she did a good job with the large cast of male, female, accents, and different types of scenes. I read the first series and the first book of this series so I had certain ideas in my mind of what series characters would sound like so I did experience a time of adjustment to how she voiced them. It was a great story for audio and whew, the sexy times were hotter as well as the breath-taking action moments.
So, it was exciting through and through. The espionage elements and the villains counter plots give this newer series a different flavor than the original, but I loved seeing all the elements come together. The steampunk is less than the paranormal, but they work well together with the suspense and the romance. I can definitely recommend these to those who like action-packed, spicy stories.
My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #151
Romance BINGO #24 ‘love’ in title
Historical Fiction #78
About the Book
The Mech Who Loved Me by Bec McMaster
Ava McLaren is tired of being both a virgin, and a mere laboratory assistant for the Company of Rogues. When a baffling mystery rears its head, it presents her with the opportunity to work a real case…and perhaps get a taste of the passion that eludes her.
Blue bloods are dying from a mysterious disease, which should be impossible. Ava suspects there’s more to the case than meets the eye and wants a chance to prove herself. There’s just one catch – she’s ordered to partner with the sexy mech, Kincaid, who’s a constant thorn in her side. Kincaid thinks the only good blue blood is a dead one. He’s also the very last man she would ever give her heart to…which makes him the perfect candidate for an affair.
The only rule? It ends when the case does.
But when an attempt on her life proves that Ava might be onto something, the only one who can protect her is Kincaid. Suddenly the greatest risk is not to their hearts, but whether they can survive a diabolical plot that threatens to destroy every blue blood in London – including Ava.
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