*REVIEW* ~ Steel Rose (The Cardinal Winds #1) by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

#enemiestolovers #scifi #steampunk #dystopian #villainromance

~*Doing a HAPPY DANCE!* ~ I am so, so happy I have discovered this author. I was hooked on the story as soon as I read a sample and immediately one clicked.  I’m delighted to learn that she has a back catalogue of enticing reads and a bevy of books in the pipeline, including more in this series!

Blurb

The commander of the East Wind Dominion is a terrifying man. He leads an army of automatons. He can control lightning itself. And now, Rose Calder is his prisoner of war.

All Rose has ever known is fighting. When the invading forces of the East Wind Dominion take away her friends, her family, and her home, she takes to the skies to battle for her freedom. For hope.

When the war comes to a sudden end at the hands of commander Viktor Lang, she is certain that she is about to die. When he discovers her impossible secret, she becomes a mystery that he is desperate to solve and that may be worse.

The war may be over, but now she stands to lose much, much more.

Authors Note: “Steel Rose” is what I consider to be a villain romance. My male characters are often not very kind or gentle. This story has a HEA, but it may be a tough ride getting there. This story has mature themes and content.

My Review

Must read enemies-to-lovers Steampunk Romance! ~ 5 stars

Steel Rose represents the archetypal bibliophile’s dilemma – a book so good I did not want it to end, but at the same time I couldn’t stop reading it! Enemies-to- lovers romances are my favourite bookish trope and the fact that the story takes place in a dystopian steampunk world just added to my enjoyment of this quirky and hot read which contains moments of humour and some darker themes.

I loved the author’s world building – Viktor, aka the East Wind, presides over a communist style society where each gives according to their abilities, for the good of all, contrasting with the society inhabited by Rose and her fellow rebels.

The romance is a slow burn, but when it does ignite it does so in stellar fashion and continues to deliver in terms of hotness! I absolutely adored Viktor the anti-hero/villain – at first he comes over as an unlikeable, albeit fascinating figure – cold, manipulative and controlling, but slowly we learn, as Rose does, that there is a lot more to him…

Rose’s character is a delightful contrast to Viktor – freedom loving and chaotic, wearing her heart very much on her sleeve. Viktor is determined to solve the mystery of this captive rebel pilot. There is plenty of tension in the plot as he is as devoted to his cause as Rose is to hers.I am glad that the author did not make Rose into a one dimensional kick-ass fighter. That is not to say that she cannot stand up for herself and others, but she has so many more qualities that make her far more interesting to Viktor…

Indeed, it is not long before Viktor, despite his efforts to the contrary, becomes totally undone by her and their romance evolves in such a delicious way! Rose has a dilemma – how can she give up her principles for a man who holds her captive and has destroyed her dreams of freedom?

The book has a host of fascinating supporting characters, namely Otto and the other Cardinal Winds. I am especially looking forward to reading Nero’s book which is in the pipeline.

Recommended to lovers of Steampunk and Sci-Fi who are after an original take on the genres with a captivating romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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