Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Published: July 14, 2014
ISBN: 978 1 62649 143 4
Genre: Romance, M/M, Steampunk
Book Format: E-book
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by: Helena Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org
When Robert Belton and his brothers reached Seattle it didn’t take them long to lose the money their father had loaned them to stake a claim in the Klondike gold fields. In order to survive, Robert has been working as a prostitute while trying to find a way to make it to Klondike, since going back home is no longer an option. When an attractive customer offers him the opportunity to travel north together, Robert doesn’t think twice.
Dr. John Fauth isn’t looking for gold. He is on his way to the gold fields in the hope of finding the platinum he needs for his revolutionary inventions. This is his last chance. If he doesn’t find the platinum and get his invention to work it will be the end of both his university career and his research.
Getting to Klondike is a dangerous and gruelling journey under the best of circumstances. The invaluable device John carries with him makes the journey even more hazardous. Three men are determined to get their hands on it and will do anything to either Robert or John to achieve their goal. And that’s before other prospectors discover what the device is capable off.
As the relationship between Robert and John slowly develops it becomes clear that they have far more to lose than ‘just’ riches and fame.
This was a fun, exciting and fascinating romance for a host of reasons.
The two main characters in this book were fascinating, both together and separately. Robert Belton finds himself working as a prostitute after he and his brother have lost the money that was supposed to take them to the gold fields. When Robert spends the night with Dr. John Fauth it is the first time he’s experienced anything resembling pleasure with a man and it is a revelation. Still, he will be travelling with the doctor for a while before he dares to believe that the man is more than just another ‘john’ and sees him as anything other than a prostitute.
Dr. John Fauth is a man on a mission. Determined to make it to the gold fields in order to find the precious metal he needs to make his invention work and his dreams come true he doesn’t realise how much danger he’s putting himself and his travel companion in.
The mixture of constant danger and slowly developing relationship is perfectly balanced and kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could without missing a word. The suspense is constantly lurking in the background and the growing relationship between the two, at first glance incompatible, men takes the edge off while at the same time introducing a whole new level of tension.
Then there is the time and place in which this story is set; the most northern parts of America during the late 19th century. Hordes are flogging to the Klondike gold fields to strike it rich before the precious metal runs out. But this is not quite the 19th century as we know it. Thrown into the mix are automatons unlike any ever invented. The steampunk twist gives the story that extra level of originality without taking anything away from the underlying romance.
The story is mainly told from Robert’s point of few, but interspersed are diary entries written by John. I liked this set up. It made a nice change from the more common switch between narrators while still giving us both perspectives.
As always Mrs. Witt’s story was a delight to read. Her writing is smooth, her dialogue sparkles and her plots are clever and never fail to capture me from the start. Noble Metals was a wonderful read and yet another confirmation (if I needed one) of this author’s talent for telling a captivating story.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.