Book Review #24: Iron Guns Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey

51SydA+TPCLTitle: Iron Guns Blazing Hearts
Author: Heather Massey
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: February 2013
Available Formats: ebook

As I’ve said before, I’ll review almost any work of fiction. I do have some limits. I won’t read erotica or several other genres, but for the most part, these self decided rules leave most things available. The author contacted me after reading my review for another steampunk novel. She described her book as a western steampunk romance.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I really am enjoying good steampunk right now. I also always enjoy a good western. You see, I grew up in Southeast Wyoming in the shadow of the Laramie Mountains and while I might have left the area, the area will never leave me.

Of course I told Ms. Massey I would be happy to read her book and she sent me a copy for review…

So, on to the review.

Synopsis:  The West just got a whole lot wilder.

A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.
A man with a secret… Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.

A perilous quest… Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late.

CONTENT WARNING: An irresistibly dangerous alpha hero, a heroine whose most prized accessory is her steam gun, an automaton gunslinger…and a villain whose lust for power drives him to evils beyond the scope of humanity.

A Lyrical Press Steampunk Romance (Stolen from Amazon.com)

Setting: Southeast Wyoming in the shadow of the Laramie Mountains. If you’re thinking you might have seen that sentence recently, let me help. Look up at the introduction. Yes. Without probably realizing it, Ms. Massey picked a reviewer that is intimately familiar with the land she chose to set her story in. Or not.

I’m not going to bash Ms. Massey on her description of my home, other than to say, it didn’t really seem like my home. However, there are many barren areas in that region that if Dr. Loveless had been allowed to run amok, might have turned out how she described. Once I disassociated names with places I knew, the setting felt very appropriate for this type of story.

Plot: The plot is fairly simplistic. A good girl falls for a rough guy and through the required quest find mutual respect and perhaps more. Nothing new here, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. My wife shared one of her favorite chlidhood author’s, Patricia Veryan with me. Ms. Veryan writes what I believe is called a Regency Romance. I would say that this kind of theme runs through much of this style of literature.

Characters: The characters really come down to Violet Whitcomb and Logan McCoy. Other than first chapter or two and the last chapter or two, no one else even has a speaking role. Thats okay. I found both characters quite likable and interesting. That isn’t to say they aren’t a bit transparent or that most adult readers won’t know more about what is happening than Ms. Whitcomb, but I don’t believe the author meant to write them any differently.

Odin’s recommendation: There are a number of factual errors in this story concerning firearms. Shotguns are not rifles, and a double barreled shotgun cannot shoot three times. I’m a bit hard to please when it comes to firearms because I believe that if you’re going to write about them, even in a cursory manner, you should try to get it right. Ask a friend, talk with your editor, buy Dan Sawyer’s Throwing Lead book. Something. Anything.

These issues notwithstanding, if you enjoy light romance with a western and/or steampunk flare, Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts should provide several hours of amusement and is worth the 4.99 asking price.

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