Clara Allen needs a husband in order to keep a roof over the heads of her assorted dependents, a roof her nasty grandfather
will re-appropriate unless she is married by her 21st birthday, only a few days away. Strong-minded, unwilling to take orders
from any man, she decides to solve her problem by raising a murdered prisoner from the dead and marrying him. She expects
an empty-headed puppet; she certainly never dreams he’ll be so devastatingly handsome.
Liam McMahon doesn’t recall much about his life before his hanging in the prison yard, other than being Irish. He does remember
the kiss Clara bestowed as she brought him back to life. Every time he looks at her, his desire gets out of hand. But his former life
is chasing him down like a steam engine, and when a couple of mad geniuses decide he’d make a fine experiment, he wonders if he’ll
live long enough to claim Clara’s heart or if he’ll die all over again.
This story is set in 1880 Buffalo, the city where I was born.
James Kilter has few illusions about himself. Maimed in a boiler accident when young and routinely reviled by those he
encounters, he’s no prize for any woman. He’s content working security for a good friend until he sees Catherine Delaney
disembark from an airship one May afternoon. Her fragile beauty calls up all his protective instincts. But will she accept a monster
as her defender?
Having traded her own safety to save her young sister, Cat Delaney has landed in the hands of a ruthless, wealthy man who intends
to use her as a pawn to his avarice. Alone in a strange city, she has nowhere to turn except to the very man hired to keep her from running.
Can she trust James, with his ruined face and crusader’s spirit? Dare she give him her heart?
All her life, Topaz Hathor has denied her ability to see the spirits of the dead. She despises her father,
an infamous spiritualist,for exploiting his wealthy patrons and the souls that flock to him. But when the
spirit of an attractive man appears in her bedroom claiming he's been drawn to Topaz rather than her father,
she sits up and takes notice.
Though not dead, Romney Marsh has been banished from his body while confined to an asylum and can't
remember much besides his name. Yet he can feel Topaz's spirit calling to his, and he's not leaving until she
agrees to help him. Through an increasingly violent spiral of danger and their discovery of unspeakable ndertakings, 'they bond ever more closely. But can Topaz be in love with a man she's never touched, or would that be sheer madness?
Reynold Michaels might not be the smartest man in the city, but he knows a beautiful woman when he sees one. The lovely creature he watches disembark from the steam tram every morning simply
cannot be a prostitute…or an automaton. Yet at the high-priced bordello where she works he discovers she’s not only a hybrid mechanical, she’s funny, vulnerable, and quite possibly the missing piece
of his heart.
Lily Landry understands that as an automaton she isn’t entitled to make her own choices. She must do as instructed or face the ultimate horror of being shut down. But when she forms a bond with
Reynold, she quickly learns what it means to desire a life of her own.
In a city conflicted over automaton rights, can they hope for a future together?