Title: Noble Metals
Series/Universe: Metals Universe
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: July 14th 2014
Page Count: 204 pages
Age Rating: Adult (explicit sexual scenes and violence)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Noble Metals
Ever since Robert Belton gambled away the money to stake his claim in the Klondike gold fields, he’s been stranded in Seattle working as a prostitute. When an attractive customer needs help hauling provisions to the frozen north, Robert eagerly volunteers.
Dr. John Fauth is only searching for one thing, and it isn’t gold. He needs platinum for the prototypes of his revolutionary inventions, and if he doesn’t find it in the Klondike, his university career—and his research—is over.
Getting to the Klondike is a grueling, dangerous journey, and just hours after leaving Seattle, John and Robert find themselves in over their heads. John is carrying an invaluable device that his competitors will do anything to get their hands on. And as the cold nights and mutual desire pull John and Robert closer together, they discover that they have much more to lose than gold or platinum.
I love L.A. Witt books and I love steampunk, so when I saw that L.A. Witt had written a steampunk book I just about squealed with joy (confession – there was actual squealing and maybe even a little chair dancing).
A historical action/adventure romance set in an alternative history that combines steampunk with the Wild West/Gold Rush, Noble Metals is a tale of two men searching for precious noble metals (namely gold and platinum) and discovering an even greater treasure in the love they find within each other’s arms.
Robert Belton, a prostitute in Seattle, is desperate to get to the gold fields. He has no prospects and very little money, so when a well-turned out man turns up at his place of business and talks about needing help to get up the mountain, Robert offers to go with him for half the price it would cost to hire someone else to do the job. Dr. John Fauth is desperate to get to the gold fields as well, but for a different reason – where there’s gold, there’s platinum and John needs all the platinum he can find to complete his life’s work. He’s also low on funds, so he takes up Robert on his offer. In the midst of a treacherous journey in harsh winter conditions and being pursued by bad men who want to get their hands on the device John carries, the former-prostitute and university professor/inventor share a few passionate nights, a growing attraction, and a realization of how well-suited they are for each other despite their differences.
This book was such a page turner and I loved every moment. The tension in the action parts was nail-biting and riveting and I found myself unable to put the book down for a second. The romance between the two characters was fantastic as well. The book is told through the first person POVs of Robert (mostly) and John (through scattered journal entries) and the two men, while so different in who they are on the surface, have very similar personalities and backgrounds and the two just really click on a personal level (leading to some truly steamy scenes). Rest assured these two get a much deserved happy ending, although it gets a little touch-and-go there for awhile (oh man the tension towards the end Was. Killing. Me., I hadn’t realized how invested I was in the couple’s happy ending until I really thought they wouldn’t have it).
The steampunk elements in the book aren’t really heavy – there’s “mechas”, steam-powered spider-like machines used to carry supplies up the mountain, the obligatory goggles make an appearance, and, of course, like any good steampunk work, an inventor and/or invention holds a place of importance in the story – just enough to give it steampunk flavor, but still be enjoyed by people who aren’t really all that into the sub-genre.
I recommend this book to lovers of romance, steampunk, and/or historical action/adventures. Upon visiting the publisher’s site I saw that another book is coming out set in the Metals universe (Precious Metals, due out Oct 27, 2014) and I can’t wait to get my hands on that one as well.
John and Robert endured some below-freezing harsh conditions on their trek up the mountain. We’re talking never taking off your clothes even to sleep, it hurts to breathe or even move cold – I shivered in empathy with the poor guys. To take the edge off the chill, I recommend Heritage Coffee Klondike Blend – a little earthy and sweet with an espresso body, this coffee will warm you from the inside out.