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I just have to say before I start, OMG! I loved this book. I have loved the London Steampunk series from the very first chapter in Kiss of Steel, and this conclusion of the series did not disappoint.
Aramina Duvall (Duchess of Casavian) and Leo Barrons (Duke of Caine's "son") are from rival families. Leo has been pursuing Mina for the past 6 or so years and she has not been pleased with his attentions, believing him out to get something from her or hurt her. She wants vengeance against his father because she believes he had something to do with her father's death so she is quite adverse to trusting Leo's motives. The story begins with a flashback to the time when Leo first meets Mina and is attracted to her and fascinated with her. It then jumps to the present (Steampunk-Victorian England, 1880). The story is broken down into three parts: The Chase, The Betrayal, and The Tower. There are forces at work to remove the Prince Consort from the thrown and both Mina and Leo are part of those forces, though they both do not realize it, and they are working with two different groups, but with the same outcome desired. The chemistry between the two of them are wonderful. I loved watching the scenes where he flirted with her and she tried to resist his appeal. When they finally come together it is explosive.
Part 2 The Betrayal is intense; Leo believes she has betrayed him and he loses everything (or thinks he has). The Prince Consort is slowly trying to eliminate those counselors that vote against him, and Leo is on that list. The Prince Consort uses information about Leo's birth and the fact that he isn't actually the Duke of Caines' biological son to remove him. He wants him executed for treason and the abused queen (who actually has all of the power, but has been beaten down throughout the years and is controlled by the Prince Consort) says to execute him. The information the Prince Consort uses Leo knows that Mina possessed. He believes she gave that information to the Prince Consort. Their interactions after this scene are emotional, but it also forces them together and it gives Mina a chance to see that maybe she does have an ally in her plans to kill the Prince Consort in Leo. When her secret humanist leadership role comes out it is totally awesome. I loved reading that scene and Leo's reaction to the fact that they are fighting the same war.
Part 3 The Tower is a wonderful conclusion to the series. LOL, I think I have used too many "wonderful", "loved", and "awesome" words :-P I just love this series and this last book doesn't do anything that disappoints. The passionate scenes between Leo and Mina are perfect. The Prince Consort is a villain that I looked forward to seeing die and the person who makes the first fatal blow is poetic justice. When Mina confesses that she and the queen have been the ones working to eliminate him for years and that the queen is the leader of the Humanist party, the look on the Prince Consort's face is perfect. The battle scenes are well written and the conclusion of the coupe is exactly what I wanted to happen. When Leo and Mina find each other after everything they embrace each other and have a passionate reunion and she confesses her love for him, taking the final step to being together permanently.