The Iron Duke (Iron Seas Series #1)

The Iron Duke - 'Meljean Brook' I enjoyed this a lot, yet I still don’t feel like I really get steampunk. The worldbuilding seems largely based on “this is wicked cool and/or scary” rather than on a logical chain of events. I never did get how, in this obviously very sexist world, women get to be on the police force.The book’s biggest strength is its heroine. Mina is brave, determined, caring, yet also vulnerable -- everything you would want in a cop, or a heroine. I found myself just a bit disappointed in Rhys, a fairly standard romance hero. Not that that’s a bad thing -- I love romance, obviously I love romance heroes. I guess I was just expecting someone a little more out of the ordinary. The fact that he turns out to be literally made of iron doesn’t count. The best thing about him was his horror at realizing he had misunderstood Mina's sexual signals, in a a very powerful scene. (I did not read him as a rapist at all, by the way, as quite a few readers have.)The backstory of the characters was fascinating but I found myself yearning to know more about how people who were quite tortured wound up with such sane, healthy relationships. Again, not quite sure how we got from A to Z.And a last complaint... if I never see the word “shagged” again, it will be too soon.But -- awesome adventure, fascinating characters, intriguing world (even if I didn’t really get it) and some angsty romance.Good stuff.10/21 I've been skimming the book prior to reading the next in the series, and have decided to upgrade my rating it to 4 1/2 stars.