I am really impressed with this alternative world Bec McMaster has created. I do not mind the plot holes so much. My rating has a lot to do with characterization. While the story is indeed enthralling, I cannot like the heroine, Rosalind. That, comes as no surprise to me.
The hero Jasper Lynch is perfect. He is everything you want in a romance novel and not an asshole. So I think he would appeal to almost every female reader out there. I cannot find faults in him.
But Rosalind is just not my type of heroine. She has a mission and that puts her at the opposite side of Lynch. She seduced him as Mercury, his opponent and then posed as his secretary. Lynch is confused as hell, how is he so deadly attracted to both women? Regardless of the unliklihood of the plots, I find it distasteful that Rosalind is the scheming kind. She is plotting against Lynch but at the same time, enjoys his protection and affection. She may feel conflicted about what she does or have perfectly good reasons to do what she does but I see her in an extremely unattractive light. I took a significant dislike to her and that made it very difficult for me to appreciate her relationship with Lynch.
The story itself is ok, this installment is significantly more steampunk than the first 2 because Rosalind herself is "mech", having a mechnical hand/arm herself. It could have contributed to my aversion to the story because I am not certain that steampunk is exactly my genre. Paranormal is something that I could probably work with. Steampunk, now that is pushing it.
Rosalind and Lynch did not really "come clean" with each other until the end of the story. Since the story was already so blah for me, I would have appreciated a little more interactions between the lead characters, and that is missing too.
In this book we got to see a little bit of Perry and Garret, who are the lead characters in the next book and I already know, I will not be reading it. My experience with "manly" heroines such as Rosalind, even though she was portrayed as extremely sexy, suggests that I would not appreciate a heroine like Perry. I will probably continue on to the last book in the series, where we return to the bluebloods.