By Bec McMaster
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Series or Standalone: London Steampunk #4
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
I didn’t read the blurb for this book before diving in as I honestly didn’t care what the plot would be, I just wanted to continue reading the series. And I have to say, this book wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, but that’s not a bad thing! I really enjoyed this one though it went in a totally different direction then I thought based on the characters it focused on.
Forged by Desire is the fourth entry in the London Steampunk series and shifts to focus on Perry and Garrett, two members of the Nighthawks who we saw quite a bit of in My Lady Quicksilver. I thought this was going to be more along the lines of a friends-to-lovers story, which it was, but there was also a whole lot of “she has a secret past!” than I was expecting.
The plot of this one is a bit hard to talk about without spoiling some of the secrets about Perry so I’ll try to keep it vague as I really liked uncovering everything as it was happening in the book. Perry and Garrett, along with the Nighthawks get wrapped up in investigating a disturbing series of murders where young women are found without their hearts. As the investigation unfolds, the circumstances of the case feel eerily similar to things Perry experienced in the past. Plus, the Duke of Moncrieff is back after being exiled nine years ago over the disappearance of his thrall, causing issues for Perry.
At the center of this book is uncovering Perry’s history. As a female blue blood, an unusual circumstance since the majority of blue bloods are males, Perry has always been different from her fellow Nighthawks, but she’s also hiding a secret as to who she really is. It’s pretty easy to put together the truth of her identity, but I really enjoyed watching all the different pieces come together as we slowly got hints and snippets of her past woven throughout the book. Her identity is pretty central to the mystery in this book as well, and as we learn more about her history, we slowly learn and see what is going on with the murder mystery. I personally really love stories like this, where someone has a secret past that no one knows about and it all comes out. I always find them a lot of fun, and this was no exception. Especially when we have a nefarious Duke who wants to bring the truth to light.
While I really enjoyed the romance between Perry and Garrett, I don’t think it was my favorite of the series. I feel like Garrett was a little slow on the uptake and it wasn’t until the last third of the book that I felt he truly was all in on his feelings. I know he was also dealing with the fact that his craving virus (CV) levels have skyrocketed to levels near the Fade and that was motivating some of his decisions, but I also thought he was making dumb decisions by not letting Perry in beause of that in the beginning. I feel like Perry and Garett’s romance really came to a head once the truth was out about Perry’s identity. I freaking loved the scene in the rain on the roof. Phew, was that steamy!
Outside of Perry’s identity and the romance, the series feels like it is coming to a head. With the Moncrieff’s return, he has invented a device that can help lower CV levels to prevent the Fade – and the prince consort seems desperate to have that in his control as it gives him power over the rest of the blue bloods. We’ve seen the prince consort grow increasingly unstable over the course of the series, and it seem like we’ve reached the tipping point after this book. All the build up with the humanists and everything in the previous books come together at the end of this one. Actions are being taken to sure up support in case war, a rebellion, breaks out. I felt so excited to see all the pieces coming together and know the last book is going to deliver on the promise and build up over the last five books.
I’m so glad I found this series and I cannot wait to see how it wraps up in the final book!