#BookReview – “Tarnished Knight” by Bec McMaster


In the steam-fuelled world of Victorian London, vampires, werewolves and slasher gangs stalk the night and a man made partly of metal is about to discover just how far he’ll go to protect the woman he loves…

After a vicious vampire attack left him struggling to leash the dark urges of the craving virus, John “Rip” Doolan thinks he’s finally starting to master the darkness within. The only thing that threatens to shatter his hard-won control is Esme, his closest friend and the only woman he’s ever wanted. If the stubborn beauty ever realized precisely what was going through his mind, their friendship would be ruined.

For six months, Esme has waited for Rip to recover and take her as his thrall, not daring to hope for more. Too afraid to put her heart on the line, she is devastated when Rip reveals that he never had any intentions of making her his.

But when a savage gang of Slashers start causing havoc in Whitechapel, Rip and Esme have no choice. They must face up to the depth of the passion that burns between them and forge a new relationship…or risk losing each other forever.


In book 1.5 in the London Steampunk series, John “Rip” Doolan is learning how to deal with the craving virus that’s forever changed his life. Six months earlier, a vampire nearly killed him, and his friend and boss Blade (the leader of the Whitechapel rookery gang) saved Rip’s life by turning him into a Blue Blood, a type of vampire. Now, Rip craves blood, and he’s struggling to stay in control. To do so, he does his best to stay away from Esme, the only woman he’s ever really wanted.

Esme has secretly loved Rip for years, but he’s never shown interest in her as a woman, only as a friend. She’s willing to serve as his blood thrall in order to help him through his problems, but he spurns her advances. Will her hopes and dreams of a future with him ever come to pass?

I really enjoyed this novella, but poor communication kept Rip and Esme apart for a long time. They’re both strong, stubborn, loveable characters. She’s infinitely patient, which is wonderful because he’s very insecure when it comes to trusting himself to not hurt her.

The characters from book one returned, and it was especially nice to see Blade again (he’s my favorite hero in the series!). This story is a standalone, but it’s best to read the other books as well, just to get a better understanding of the Echelon, the Blue Bloods, and their societal problems.

Unfortunately, there were some typos, and I’m not meaning the Cockney dialect. For example, the word “pretty” was used in the place of “pity.”

Anyway, I’ve read the other books in the series and enjoyed them, and this one is no exception. I haven’t read the spin-off series yet, but I plan to. Ms. McMaster certainly knows how to weave a fun, exciting, heartwarming tale, and I definitely recommend her books.

4 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

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