To be perfectly honest, I went off urban fantasy as a genre a while ago, having read far too many books which were retreads of each other. This meant that Iron and Velvet was a bit of a harder sell for me than it should have been - it's one of those books I wouldn't have read if not for Netgalley.
It's urban fantasy set in London, with a protagonist who has just broken up with her girlfriend and also lost her (business) partner, so life is all a bit raw. She also has a dodgy ex hanging around who's obsessed with her and who happens to be a vampire, leading her to have a strict no-dating-vampires policy. This doesn't stop her from getting dragged into a murder outside a vampire-run club and then getting embroiled in the life and former history of its proprietor.
There's a lot to like about this book, as it had a really strong set of characters - even the supporting cast are well-defined and feel like real people (or not people, depending on where they come from). There's also a strong sense of place, though a lot of that time the place is London's sewers so some people might struggle with that as a location. While our hero has powers, they're not convenient most of the time and aren't used as a cheat code for the situation. The plot is also pacey and drives on, with all sorts of twists and turns - what starts off looking like inter-species rivalry turns out to be well-entrenched in our hero's new love interest's own history. My only slight caveat is that our hero is also attractive to everyone, which is the curse of many urban fantasy protagonists and gets a bit annoying.
So, all in all an enjoyable read and also a book that went a few places I wasn't expecting. These books have been republished so there's a sequel but at the moment only one, if you're not looking to dive into a lengthy series.
I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.