Review of Mission: Improper (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #1), by Bec McMaster

I snagged a copy of Bec McMaster‘s Mission: Improper from Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order… 

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist. 

The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting. 

Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.

Review:
This was ok, not great for me, but not too bad either. It’s the sort of book that tempts me, but generally disappoints me in the end. It presents a strong-willed, self-reliant woman, one that even takes charge in the bedroom. But then always somehow turns the plotting just so, leaving her waiting passively to be claimed by the man. So close to something I love, just to turn into something that annoys me.

But I still might have enjoyed this a lot, McMaster’s can write well, except for a SERIOUS PET PEEVE. Some authors and/or publishers have this infuriating habit of looking at a running series and, I don’t know, deciding not enough people will but a sixth book in a series. So, they go, “Hey, let’s just make it a spinoff series and then we can call it book 1 and people who haven’t read the previous 5 books will still buy it.” Yay, sounds great. NO.

You see, Mission: Improper is labeled book 1. But it is book 6. Sure, I could follow the plot. But I could definitely feel I was missing a lot. All the characters knew one another. They had and discussed history that I’m fairly sure was the plot of past books in the London Steampunk series. I never felt I got to know the main characters, because they had already met before the start of this book. It’s a continuation of something. While technically this book stands on its own, you feel the lack of past books A LOT. And that’s seriously annoying when you are reading a ‘BOOK 1.’

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