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Raised from childhood as an assassin, Claire finds her world knocked off kilter when Theo Kevonis, a rich, ex-Air Corp nobleman, rescues her from an airship crash. Being a soldier of a hostile nation she cannot reveal her identity, but Theo sinks his steely Dom fingers into her heart and soul, showing her the pleasures to be found in surrendering to his touch. Captivated, Claire cannot help but bind herself in lie after lie rather than risk losing the one man who’s ever loved her.
When her loathsome commander returns from the dead, her deceit is uncovered. Somehow, Claire must find a way to win back Theo’s trust and destroy the man who threatens them both.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and elements, violence.
Becky’s Review: I love steampunk. As a child I read everything I could find in the library by Jules Vernes and particularly enjoyed Mysterious Island and Around the World in Eighty Days. Later, I dropped whatever I was doing to watch the latest episode of The Wild, Wild West on TV. To me it was cold-war James Bond dropped unexpectedly into the Civil War and I loved it.
In Cari Silverwood’s Iron Dominance we’re treated to a highly erotic and ambitious tale of BDSM during a time of steam-powered vehicles and an alternative historical time-line that has a western alliance centered around Mexico vs a British/French coalition.
Claire is a frankenstruct. Frankenstructs are sentient beings created in a lab and when first released appear to be eight-year-old human children who then grow up normally. However, since they are lab creations they can be genetically altered to perform whatever tasks their owners need, and in this case, Claire is an assassin. Her instructions are to kill Theo. When her aircraft is sabotaged and crashes, Theo Kevonis rescues Claire.
It takes Clair a while to realize that this is her target but meanwhile Theo has introduced Claire to the BDSM lifestyle. He has to keep Claire hidden because harboring a frankenstruct is against the law. When one is found they are to be brought in and euthanized. The laws do not treat frankenstruct as humans and in fact they are considered by some as little more than an unfeeling robot. The truth is otherwise, and it is this belief that Theo holds to the point of working to change the laws.
Despite her assigned role as a cold-blooded assassin, Claire is at heart a submissive, and Theo, not realizing Claire’s true assignment, develops a D/s relationship with her that blossoms into love. The sex is scorching hot. Claire, whose sexual qualities were never nurtured, is first excited and then soothed by Theo’s care for helping her find sexual release even over his own. This steampunk world even has sex toys, including a vibrator. If I were to travel backward in time that little item would be high on my list of things to “invent,” so I enjoyed finding that it is also a priority for the steampunk world Ms. Silverwood created.
Ms. Silverwood manages to throw in a thrilling twist ending that you will be unable to forsee. This is a delightful book, with its alternative universe and a plot that flows through it like a maze. Cari Silverwood is now on my very short auto-buy list.