Tarnished Knight - Bec McMaster *Genre* Steampunk Romance*Rating* 3.5*Thoughts*Tarnished Knight picks up six months after the end of Kiss of Steel. It features Esme, Blades housekeeper and John "Rip" Doolan, one of Blade's henchmen who was attacked and survived a vampire attack in Kiss of Steel. It was Esme, who has strong feelings for Rip but hasn't exactly been forthcoming about them, that gave him his first taste of blood as she has done for Blade for years. The story also returns all cast members from Kiss of Steel including a very married Blade and Honoria. Tarnished is filled with angst, and misunderstandings on both Rip and Esme's part. The communication fails on both sides. This, of course, puts a sort of strain on their relationship because Rip no longer feels as though he is in control of his actions, or emotions, while Esme feels unloved and unwanted because Rip keeps pushing her away. The story also focuses on the fact that the nefarious Slashers are getting a bit uppity and try to take a power grab from Blade that ends up with Esme in harm's way and Rip rushing in trying and save her. The London Steampunk series itself is a unique one in that the Blue Bloods of England are not vampires, but something else entirely. It is true that the BB's have to drink blood in order to keep the craving virus from getting out of control. It is also true that some BB's do eventually turn into vampires if they don't keep their virus levels from exceeding 80 percent.As with Kiss of Steel, the romance and sex is hot, heavy, and steamy. The story itself is actually rather long at 162 for a so called novella, which I didn't have any problem with. This is a good bridge from Kiss of Steel to Heart of Iron which features Lena Todd and Will Carver. Published April 5th 2013 by self published - Smashwords