By Bec McMaster
Publisher: Lochaber Press
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Series or Standalone:London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #2
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
I am so addicted to this series! When I saw the library didn’t have this book available immediately after I finished Mission: Improper, I did what any sensible person would do. I bought the ebook box set for the whole series.
The Mech Who Loved Me picks up fairly recently after the events of book one and shifts the focus to Ava and Kincaid. Ava is a virgin and all around innocent – she’s the one member of the Company of Rogues who everyone is willing to protect and tries to keep out of the action. Her specialties however lie in crime science investigation and science. Despite the trauma in her past that left her a Blue Blood with a literal clockwork heart, Ava is ever the optimist. And then we have Kincaid who is Ava’s opposite in every way. As McMaster writes on page one, he is “the storm clouds to her sunshine. The bah humbug to her Chrstmas.” Kincaid is a mech who was part of the humanist movement and a staunch opponent to the Blue Bloods during the revolution. As a member of the Company of Rogues, Kincaid feels out of place, though he definitely brings his mechanical skills to the table.
If you’re a fan of the grumpy hero whose heart melts for the sunshine and cheerful heroine, then this book will be right up your alley. The attraction between Kincaid and Ava sizzles on the page, and we even saw it in the Mission: Improper when they end up in the gardens of a pleasure house. Yet Kincaid won’t let himself fall for her even when she asks him to take her virginity. See he thinks he’s cursed as his family has a hereditary condition that destroys the heart and body and he’s determined to not pass it on to anyone else. The craving virus would likely be able to cure Kincaid of the disease that has already forced him to wear a mechanical brace to work, but Kincaid’s distrust of the Blue Bloods leaves that option off the table.
While Kincaid and Ava are sorting out their feelings for each other, and she is working to lose her innocence, there is a larger mystery afoot. This wouldn’t be a Bec McMaster novel without an incredibly strong story arc filled with mystery, intrigue and adventure. Blue bloods are being killed by a mysterious new disease – Black Vein. The disease presents a unique challenge for Ava and an opportunity for her to take the lead on the investigation with the Rogues. Kincaid is obviously paired to protect Ava just in case the investigation takes a dangerous turn, which it inevitably does. I loved watching the mystery of the Black Vein unravel in this and we really start to see the workings of the broader plot. Someone is trying to cause chaos and disorder and I kept asking myself who the puppet master is as Ulbricht is clearly a pawn in this game.
I feel like the stakes were also raised a lot in this book. The Black Vein presents such a threat to the Blue Bloods we know and love in this series. Throw in the mounting tensions with the humans who are a powder keg waiting to explode into a mob and it feels like all the hard work of the revolution is going out the window.
As I’ve stated before, one of my favorite things about these books is how McMaster masterfully weaves romance into a well-thought out plot filled with intrigue and action. This book is no exception to that. We have literally explosions and massive fight scenes, and yet the romance fits in seamlessly to them. The character development never feels forced and neither does the plot. The pacing in this one is also amazing. I couldn’t read it fast enough as I kept wanting to see what happens next. I was on the edge of my seat numerous times and McMaster had me incredibly worried that she was going to harm one of our main characters from Forged by Desire that I felt like I nearly had a heart attack.
AND THAT ENDING! I was so glad I had bought the box set as I immediately needed to pick up the next book after the big reveal in the epilogue. I definitely shouldn’t have started You Only Love Twice immediately afterwards as it was very late, but McMaster has me hooked on this series.
I will say, Ava and Kincaid aren’t my favorite couple of the spin-off series, but this book somehow is still one of my favorites given everything that happens with the story and the plot. I love that about this series . The couple doesn’t necessarily define the whole story or your experience reading the book – but they can amplify it.
I think it is safe to say that I’m addicted to this series and I think it’s shaping up to be even better than the original. Only time will tell though! I highly recommend this book if you like your romances to have a fascinating world and a plot filled with action, adventure and intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat.