The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas) by Meljean Brook
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.
This was my first experience reading steampunk and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I read sci-fi and historical romances and this was sort of a combination, but with an alternate history and zombies. Something about the romance felt a little off to me, though. Maybe it was the overly explicit language that felt like too much, or the way the Duke seemed to look at Mina as a possession and it's not exactly clear when that changed. I liked Mina and I could see where she was coming from and why she thought the way she did. I was pulled into the story, and overall I thought it was a great read.
My Rating: ****
Steam Factor: !!!!