Captain Garret Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.
Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped.
Forged by Desire (London Steampunk # 4) is Nighthawk partners Perry Lowell and Garrett Reed's story to tell. But, they are not alone. Forged is just the tip of the iceberg at what has been happening in McMaster's world since Kiss of Steel was introduced. I would suggest that you not only read Perry and Garrett's story called The Curious Case Of The Clockwork Menace (London Steampunk #3.5) before jumping into Forged, but read each book in this series in order to avoid missing something important.
I say this because McMaster has a tendency of mentioning events that happened previously, and in Garrett and Perry's case, why he is so protective of her for something that happened 3 years before. Garrett has the dubious title of being Acting Guild Master of the Nighthawks after his mentor Sir Jasper Lynch was promoted. Garrett heads a group of rogues that patrol the streets, hunting down murderers and thieves.
After a near fatal incident, and seeing Perry as he's never seen her before, Garrett is having some issues with his CV levels and his feelings for Perry. One can only imagine the struggles that he goes through in attempting to not lose himself, or Perry to the Fade. I have to give Garrett credit for not giving up when he's continually pushed away because of Perry's walls she's built up to protect herself from being hurt again. I have to also give him credit for not turning his back, but charging ahead to win Perry's complete surrender.
Perry has a secretive background that hasn't been touched on until now. She came to the Nighthawks 9 years ago after reinventing herself and burying who she once was in order to make it in a male dominated world. She continues to keep Garrett at arms length, and denies that she has any affections for him, when she in fact, does. Perry is one of a few female Blue Bloods, although she wasn't given much of a choice in the decision.
After reading The Curious Case, I really got excited in learning what brought Perry to the Nighthawks, and what she was running from. Ever since I've met Perry, she's been a character that is not only secretive, but able to do her job better than any man. I'm happy to say that McMaster's answers both questions, while allowing her to move on from her past. I did have some issues with Perry in this book. I think it was because I had thought she was a whole lot stronger than she appears in this book. Her emotions nearly destroy everything. I do wish there had been more of a resolution between Perry and her family.
If you've been paying attention to my reviews recently, you'll notice that I have just completed a mini-readathon of books 2 thru 4 (along with the novella) in the London Steampunk series. I am so deeply involved in this alternative steampunk London now, that it is hard to stop without finding out what happens next. I do have the 5th installment as well, but I am holding off for a little bit longer since it actually doesn't release until March.
McMaster has created her own version of London where the Echelon Blue Bloods (think vampires) rule with an iron fist. The Echelon, controlled by the Prince Consort, treats humans as though they are nothing more than cattle to be drained of their blood, and hammered into submission if they dare to speak or step out of line. But, the series isn't just about Blue Bloods and the humans they subjugate. Readers have now learned about a group of Humanists fighting to regain control, and the Verwulfin who have finally been allowed out of their prisons and a chance at freedom. We've been introduced to several different factions of Blue Bloods, and Verwulfin from places as far away as Russia and America.
I do believe that Forged by Desire is perhaps the most straight forward and predictable of all the novels and novellas that have been released so far in this series. We needed to know about Perry's background, and her personal hell she experienced that led her to become a Blue Blood/Nighthawk. We also needed to have closure for Perry so that she could move on with her life with Garrett. We also needed for the two characters to stop circling the wagons, and just start ripping their clothes off like every other couple that has been introduced in the series. We also needed Garrett to find forgiveness for his actions in the previous novel, and to finally show that he can be the leader Lynch believes he can be.
I would say without hesitation, that the last third of Forged was by far the best and most intriguing because it definitely leads right into the next book called Of Silk and Steam (London Steampunk #5). What's apparent is that McMaster has now laid out all her key players, and they all, every single one of them, make an appearance in Forged, and are now a part of a well put together team that hopefully can trust each other, and survive what is coming next.
Author - Bec McMaster
Title - Forged by Desire
Series - London Steampunk # 4
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released - September 2, 2014
Genre: Steampunk, Romance
Format: E-book, 436 pages