Recycled Review: The Iron Duke

(Note: This review has been recycled from Lyndi’s Love Notes, March 1, 2011.)

The Iron Duke (A Novel of the Iron Seas)
by Meljean Brook
Berkley, 2010


First in Brook’s fabulous series “where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas”.


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. 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 on 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 stay with her Iron Duke.

Brook’s world building give new name to the words “alternate history”. In her world, the Mongol Horde conquered Europe, and ultimately, England, aided by superior technology, including nano technology. Her steampunk world bears some resemblance to the usual Victorian-style setting, with steamcars and airships, but women have more freedom. Mina, the half-Horde daughter of an earl, is also a police inspector.

The romance element is strong, with almost palpable sexual tension and some very hot love scenes. Rhys is very Alpha. He takes one look at Mina and won’t rest until he has her. But she’s a very strong woman and a good match for him. I enjoyed the book, though some readers may find the world building intimidating.

If you enjoy steampunk and/or alternate history mixed with romance, I recommend The Iron Duke. [Note to FCC: I purchased this book and read it on my Kindle.]

Linda / Lyndi

Meet Jami Gray, Author of Hunted by the Past

Today’s guest is Jami Gray, author of Hunted by the Past (PSY-IV Teams 1). I asked Jami for Four Fun Facts about herself and this is what she had to say:

Jami GrayWhat you didn’t know about Jami Gray:

1. I don’t share well. Let’s be honest, after growing up in a large family, I refuse to share my things. I spent years either hiding my stuff so my siblings wouldn’t “borrow” my stuff, or just not getting it until I left for college so I wouldn’t have to worry about it. When I first went off to college, my first roommate only lasted about a month, then never came back. (Not because of me, but whatever was happening in her life). That was my first taste of not having to share my room with another living being. After that, if I couldn’t afford my own place, I had to at least have my own room. I really worried about taking on my Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor, but the whole marriage thing made it different. Kind of.

2. I love music, but I can’t sing. Not to say I don’t—in the shower by myself, in a room by myself, in the car by myself—see the pattern here? I sang in choirs and in musicals through high school, but after trying out for a college a cappella group and watching the poor choirmaster try not to wince, I gave up. Instead, I shoved my musical love into instruments until right before I was married. Then I decided to focus all my creativity into my writing.

3. I make up words. Unfortunately, I’ve passed this fun little quirk along to my Prankster Duo. It took me forever to get them to say diagonally correctly instead of sounding like “Di-a-gon-All-ey”. Here’s the deal—when I first started school and we had those lovely phonics classes (yes, I’m dating myself), I could hear the words correctly in my head, but trying to get them out of my mouth with the right sound never worked. So I had to teach myself to stop, think about what I wanted to say, then carefully say it. The other half of this problem is when your brain works much faster than your mouth and the words just tumble out in a chaotic mess. It’s also the main reason I drifted to theater. Enunciation is king on the stage.

4. I can’t watch horror films. Oh, I can hear your gasps of disbelief from here, but seriously—I can’t watch horror flicks. Especially the gory ones. I know it’s not real, but it still icks me out. Now I can read some dark stuff, even write it, no problem. Heck, my favorite TV channel is Discovery ID and their true crime stuff. Yet, somehow my BFF and I stumbled into Paranormal Activity (the first one) and unwittingly sat down. I spent two and half weeks sleeping with the damn lights on. Drove my Knight nuts.

Jamie’s books is an exciting paranormal romantic suspense. Check it out below:

Blurb for Hunted by the Past (PSY-IV Teams 1):cover of Hunted by the PastSometimes death is the only way to out run the past…

A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.

Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledgling relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call. The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list–Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.

The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw. Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her. A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart.

To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves.


Behind me, the sound of the door being shoved flat against the wall jerked my attention back to the entryway. Cold sweat erupted down my spine.

The man strong-arming my door stood at least six two and he wasn’t selling cookies. A black T-shirt outlined broad shoulders and a heavy chest, explaining why my brilliant plan of knocking him back through the doorway had been destined for failure.

My mind took in details, trying to put the pieces together. Brown hair, thick and shaggy, framed dark eyes in a startling savage face. Still reeling from using my stupid ability, I couldn’t make the picture stick, but a niggling sense of familiarity pecked at my mind. Besides, now wasn’t the time for polite introductions.

An impressive snarl emerged from inside the neatly trimmed goatee, “Hello, Cyn.” His deep voice raised every hair on my body and sent my pulse into overdrive.

Hunted by the Past: Bk 1 of PSY-IV Teams is available at: MuseItUp Publishing, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iBooks  and AllRomanceeBooks.

Author Bio:

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Her latest release, SHADOW’S MOON (5/14) was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, HUNTED BY THE PAST, hits shelves in July 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.

You can find her at:


Facebook Author Page:




Amazon Author Page:


Thanks for being my guest, Jamie, and for what it’s worth, horror films creep me out, too. My favorite horror flicks are comedies like Young Frankenstein. 😉 And I, too, sing in the shower, in the car or when I’m alone in a room, but not in public!

What about you? Horror or not? Singing in public or not? Weigh in on anything in the comments to be entered for my monthly drawing for a $15 Starbucks e-gift card.