Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, #4) by Nico Rosso

  • Title: Nights of Steel: The Ether Chronicles
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Steampunk/Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 272 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (December 4, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0062201115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062201119
  • Author's Website:
  • Notes: I bought this one.
Anna Blue and Jack Hawkins are two of the best bounty hunters in the Western US. They'd argue which one of them is better, and so would many others. There is a mutual respect and rivalry between the two and many times they have gone after the same bounty. Now they're competing once again for the chance to bring in a bounty and the stakes are high. The payout is set at $1,000 for bringing their man in alive. While everything appears on the surface to be legitimate, the person they're seeking is not like those they usually bring in...

     "Dr. Song break any laws?"
     The Sheriff shook her head.
     Tom scratched at the stubble on his jaw. "Nothing I heard. Last I knew he was working on a two-man Sky Charger for the Upland Rangers, everything on the up-and-up."
     "That inventor's one of our greatest assets in the war against the Hapsburgs." The sheriff drummed her fingers on the desk, "Doesn't add up."

Anna and Jack soon find they're not the only ones looking for Dr. Song and will need to do something neither has ever done before--rely on someone else, namely each other, to come out of this one in one piece.

This is the fourth book in The Ether Chronicles. It can be read out of order, but there are some characters from previous books who make minor appearances. Tom and Rosa from Night of Fire make an appearance in the book and inform Anna and Jack of the bounty on Dr. Song. Additionally, I'm not a hundred percent certain because he was unnamed in the book, but Charron, the rogue Man O' War in this book, may be the same one from Skies of Steel. As I mentioned, the appearances are brief and truly won't detract from the story if you know nothing about them.

Anna is tough, strong, self assured, smart and skilled. From the very first sentence she says, "The only good place for a man is on the other end of my gun." She hasn't had the best experience with men, and she's been on her own since she left the orphanage. She fell into bounty hunting by accident trying to help a friend and later found it to be a good fit. She doesn't easily trust and I found it interesting that she was the one who found it difficult to see the relationship for what it was. I kept chuckling as she kept insisting she would not be sharing HER $1,000 pay off with him.

Jack is somewhat of a loner but still has family. He became a bounty hunter when an opportunity presented itself and he took it. He found the money good enough to stick with it and the rest, as they say is history. He is said to fill up a "campsite with his presence" and, standing well over 6 feet tall,  "challenge the nearby mountains for dominance of the skyline." Legend has it Jack wasn't born, he "simply appeared in the Western territories, two guns strapped to his thighs and a half-metal hand." He's instantly attracted to the beautiful bounty hunter, and slowly tries to ease himself into her good graces as they start to depend on each other while tracking Song. Unlike most men of the time, a strong, smart woman doesn't intimidate him.

While attempting to find the good doctor, the two encounter a rogue Man O' War who also seems to be after their bounty only they're pretty sure it's not the bounty he's after. They haven't a clue what he's truly after, but as Song is both a scientist and inventor, they're guessing it has to be something he was working on that the Man O' War wants. One thing is for sure, he's gunning at the competition and he's playing for keeps. Anna and Jack will need to cover each other's backs to have any shot against the rogue and come out of this one alive.

Overall this one gets 4 out of 5 roses. It had a nice mix of action, mystery, and romance combined with a lot of fun and nifty gadgets. I love the world Nico and Zoe created together. On the Lisarenee romance rating scale, this one gets a STEAM--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of The Ether Chronicles Series:

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