I love this series and have read The Iron Duke, The Blushing Bounder (the novella in Wild and Steamy), and Here There Be Monsters (the novella in Burning Up) so I had great expectations for Heart of Steel. It not only lived up to my expectations, it surpassed them. Even with all of the danger and tension it was not as dark as The Iron Duke, in fact in many ways it was very light hearted.
Heart of Steel started with a series of letters between Archimedes Fox and his sister Zenobia. Those letters told of events that happened in The Iron Duke. They were a great way to set the background and the mood for Heart of Steel. Archimedes Fox and the mercenary captain Yasmeen were secondary characters in previous stories. In Heart of Steel they get their own stories. When they last appeared together Yasmeen threw Archimedes over board and into a group of zombies. Imagine her surprise when he re-appears. Events from their past throw them together and they are off on a adventure that will determine whether they live or die.
Both Archimedes and Yasmeen are great characters and between them they carry the story. Archimedes is the over the top hero whose exploits are put into novel form by his sister. Yasmeen is a mercenary captain who has been hurt before and is slow to trust. She has read and loved all of the Archimedes Fox adventures. She finds the man to be much more than his stories. Archimedes does not need to change Yasmeen. He is planning to fall in love with her just as she is. If they survive they may be just what the other one needs.
This is another book I had trouble putting down. I am looking forward to more stories in the Iron Seas series.
I did an interview with Meljean after I read The Iron Duke. You can find it here.