Welcome to the Launch Party for My Lady Quicksilver!
I almost can't believe October is upon us; it's been that kind of year! And with it, I'm happy to announce, is the release of My Lady Quicksilver, the third in my London Steampunk series.
Featuring the dutiful Sir Jasper Lynch, Master of the Nighthawks, and Rosa, the leader of the humanist faction determined to restore human rights in a blue blood world, My Lady Quicksilver is all about enemies slowly falling in love with each other. For Rosa, Lynch is one of the very creatures she seeks to bring down. As for Lynch, when he gets his hands on the masked revolutionary he's looking for, duty dictates he should hand her over to the Prince Consort for judgement.
So let me share a little about how the inspiration for Lynch came about. Here for your viewing pleasure, I give you Richard Armitage. In leather. (He just has that perfect steely smoulder for Lynch).
The Nighthawks of my London Steampunk world are all rogue blue bloods - infected by the craving virus by chance not design, they're considered illegal by the ruling aristocratic blue bloods. History dictated that rogues were to be executed, until Jasper Lynch, all of fifteen years old and stricken with the virus, stood before the court and put his case forward to hunt miscreants, murderers and thieves. With their enhanced senses, speed and healing capabilities, the rogues would be the perfect weapon to use against the seedy underbelly of London life.
As the Nighthawk, Lynch has never failed in his duty. Until now. When he first meets the masked revolutionary Mercury and realises she's a woman... well... let's just say duty doesn't always win.
Here's a little excerpt of that meeting:
Lynch slammed one hand against the wall beside her head, shuddering. “Curse you,” he whispered. Then his mouth bit at hers hungrily and he was lost in her again.
Rosalind slid her hands over the corded muscle of his throat, linking them behind his neck. It was a simple matter to tug the glove from her mech hand. Dropping it carelessly, she groaned into his mouth as his hand slid over her arse, tugging her against him hard.
A twist of the knuckle on her mech ring finger and a sharp needle slid from the interior. Rosalind tasted his breath and realized that she was stalling. She slid her hands over his shoulder, the rasp of his stubble scraping her jaw.
Just another moment.
Her hips rode his and she threw her head back, eyes glazed with passion. “I almost wish...” she gasped, “that I didn’t ‘ave to do this.”
Then she slid the needle into his neck and injected the hemlock straight into his body.
Lynch stiffened, spasms racking him. “No.” Slumping against her, he clawed at the wall to hold himself up, his knees giving way.
Rosalind landed lightly on her feet, the hard body pinning her to the wall. It was a good thing, for she wasn’t sure her own knees would support her right now. She caught Lynch under the arms as he gurgled something in his throat. Words she probably didn’t want to hear.
Laying him on the ground, she stepped back, capping the needle neatly within her metal finger and twisting the knuckle back into place. A sensation almost like guilt licked at her.
A stupid thought. A dangerous one. Sentiment had no part in her world. Nor emotion. Either could get her killed in an instant.
Her knives were tucked behind his belt. Lynch’s gaze locked on hers and she realized what he was thinking.
Cut his throat now and there’d be no more nighthawks on her trail, no more martial law. This would be a devastating blow to the blue bloods that they might not recover from.
Her fingers slid over the knife hilt as she took it, familiarity moulding it into her hand. Rosalind’s fingers clenched unconsciously as she stared at him. It wouldn’t be the first blue blood she’d ever killed.
Come on, my little falcon. Do it. You are what you are, after all. What’s one more death?
She could almost hear Balfour whispering in her ear. Lust died a quick death and bile rose in her throat. No. She wasn’t his to command. Not anymore. She’d freed herself the moment she’d cut her hand off.
It doesn’t matter. His whisper sickened her. I made you what you are. And you can never escape that...
“No,” she whispered. Metal clanged and she realized she’d dropped the knife.
Lynch twitched, a gurgling snarl in his throat. She couldn’t tear her gaze from his. He knew, she realized. Knew that she couldn’t do it. No, not couldn’t. Wouldn’t.
Fool. She shook her head and took a step back, her boots crunching on old metal filings on the ground. She’d regret this. Tactically this wasn’t the right choice. All of her training screamed at her to finish the job.
Lynch’s fingers twitched. How long had he been down for? One minute? Two? The amount of time the hemlock would paralyse him depended on how high his craving virus levels were. If his CV levels were high, then he might begin to regain control of his body before she’d fled the scene. Not a thought to relish, especially with that look in his eyes.
Rosalind snatched her knife up again and sheathed it in her boot. Sparks sprayed off a welding rig nearby. She crouched low, looking to see if anyone had seen. If they had then Lynch’s life would be in danger.
You don’t even have to wield the knife. Just walk away and leave him here. Defenceless.
One second of hesitation. It would be so easy... But something stopped her. A hitherto unknown sense of mercy. This was the second time in as many months where she’d allowed someone to live whom she probably shouldn’t have. Rosalind cursed under her breath and bent low to grab his wrists. Dragging him behind a boiler, she hid him from sight.
“I want you to know that you were beaten,” she murmured, kneeling beside him. His eyes glittered in the shadows, red furnace-light flickering over their dark depths. A promise of vengeance. She nodded slowly, acknowledging it. This – what she had started here tonight – would not end until one of them had the upper hand.
“I’ll come.... for you...” He could barely speak, but the words sent a shiver down her spine.
A vow. A deadly promise.
Anticipation flared as she turned and walked away. The world was bright with colour, her body still dancing with energy. Awake. “I’ll watch for you then.”
The enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite themes in a romance. What's your favorite? One person who comments will receive a copy of My Lady Quicksilver (U.S. and Canada only). Please leave your email with your comment so I can notify you easily if you win!
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MY LADY QUICKSILVER BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES OCTOBER 2013
“I WILL COME FOR YOU…”
He will find her no matter what. As a blue-blooded captain of the Nighthawk Guard, his senses are keener than most. Some think he’s indestructible. But once he finds the elusive Mercury, what will he do with her?
It’s his duty to turn her in—she’s a notorious spy and traitor. But after one stolen moment, he can’t forget the feel of her in his arms, the taste of her, or the sharp sting of betrayal as she slipped off into the night. Little does Mercury know, no one hunts better than the Nighthawk. And his greatest revenge will be to leave her begging for his touch…
"Deftly blends elements of Steampunk and vampire romance with brilliantly successful results...darkly atmospheric and delectably sexy."—Booklist Starred Review for Kiss of Steel
"McMaster's characters are beautifully drawn and the tension between them is completely smoking... [a] dark, menacing and strangely beautiful world. 4 Stars " - RT Book Reviews
Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.
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