This series has been on my radar for a while now but, for whatever reason, I did not read it for a very long time. I'd heard really good things about it and one of my favorite authors (Nalini Singh) even said that it was one of her favorite series. With such hype, I was a little afraid that this book would not meet my expectations. Fortunately, it surpassed them and I had a really great time diving into this new world. The Iron Duke is a great mix of steampunk, pirates, zombies and romance. It's like all of my favorite things in one book. The world building is really incredible and Brook manages to create a really intricate world without overwhelming you. There was a lot to take in but I never felt like there was any info dumping or hand holding and I learned about the world naturally as the story progressed.The story is pretty heavy on the romance though not annoyingly so. Mina and Rhys are both fantastic characters and they make an unlikely couple. Mina is a total badass and I loved how smart and tough she is. She hasn't had the easiest life. A child of what is called a Frenzy, Mina reminds people of their time under Horde rule and she is often discriminated against and assaulted. She has to work twice as hard to make up for the prejudices against her but it hasn't made her mean or bitter. It's just made her more determined. Romance is not something she is used to and it's fun watching the normally calm and cool inspector try to manage her feelings for Rhys.Rhys Trahaearn is a great match for Mina. Though it seems like the ruthless former pirate captain is the exact opposite of Mina, the two actually have a lot in common. They're both strong willed and fiercely protective of what is theirs. They are both outsiders and don't quite fit in. Rhys hasn't had the easiest life but he made himself into one of the most powerful men in the world. They treated each other as equals and made a great team. Their romance was sweet at times and frustrating at others. They both behaved a little foolishly at the end of the book and neither of them wanted to admit that they needed the other. But don't worry, it all works out in the end. :)I love it when I find a new series and a new world to explore. The plot was well paced and action packed. I loved Mina and Rhys and the book also had an amazing supporting cast. Newberry and Scarsdale are my favorites. I am so glad I finally read this. This world has truly captivated me and I have a feeling that I've only scratched the surface of it. I already have book 2 on standby.Recommended for fans adventure and romance.