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,vfor 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 undertakings, 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?
Buffalo Police Sergeant Brendan Fagan, investigating a series of grisly murders spurred by clashes between humans and automatons, only wants to save his city. The last thing he needs in his life is a rule-bending, steam-cannon-toting, unpredictable female like Ginny Landry, a woman who could possibly bring down his career and the one woman he quite likely can't resist.
Ginny means to settle the estate of her mother, an infamous madam, quickly and get out of town. She has no intention of becoming involved with any part of her inheritance or falling for Brendan. In fact, she makes it a point never to date handsome men. But when her rash behavior brings them together, the attraction can’t be denied.
And when the city erupts in chaos, forcing her to choose a moral side, can she deny what’s in her heart?
Mitch Carter's a hard man. He's clawed his way up from Buffalo's gutter through a combination of ruthlessness and stark loyalty to become the King of Prospect Avenue. But when he sees lovely Tessa Verdun, a crack appears in his tough veneer. He wants her for his wife even if making it happen requires coercion, dirty dealing, and a touch of blackmail.
Mitch is the last man Tessa would choose to wed, but he's forced her into marriage, even though she's ready to give her heart to another man. Now he tries to win her with lavish gifts and watches her with veiled passion in his eyes. But when everyone else turns against Tessa, it's Mitch who's there offering strength. And when vying factions in the city place Tessa in danger, it's Mitch for whom she longs, though loving such a man is certainly a tough prospect.
When Maddie MacGillicuddy loses her job, she's desperate to find another. Though good jobs are available at the stables, only men are hired. A big, strapping girl, she becomes Matty in her brother's clothing. Complications arise when a city magnate, assembling a tournament hockey team, admires Matty's skating skills and recruits "him," with real money and the city's reputation on the line.
Huritt Gilbert is used to battling his way through life. At the stables, he routinely endures racial slurs, sometimes striking back. He's never met a woman like Maddie and would do anything for her, including accept the dangerous position of goalie for her team. But when competition heats up, loyalties get twisted. Will Gilbert and Maddie play for glory, or love?
Known as the Steam Tinker, Lionel Pike rebuilds aged automatons, those cast off and bound for the scrap yard. When Sofia Gregory brings him her wrecked steam unit and confides it's also her best friend, he agrees to attempt a repair. He doesn't suspect his kindness will open a door to peril, or that he'll end up risking his heart.
Although she's attracted to Lionel, Sofia recognizes he's a mechanic first and a potential lover second. She thinks she can live with that, until Lionel engages in a competition to build a gladiator automaton and she loses his attention. When the ultimate danger comes, will Lionel fight for his lady? In a city torn by the struggle for automaton rights, can they win a future together?
A menace stalks the streets of Victorian Buffalo. Costumed like a medieval physician, it brings panic, sickness, and death to a city already in turmoil over automaton rights. Fresh off a boat from Poland, Kasper Czakcan’t let politics or mysterious figures deter him. He’s willing to work anywhere for an honest wage, including as caretaker at the Lost Waifs Orphanage.
Tori Anderson, a young woman with a withered arm, also works at Lost Waifs, where there’s never enough time, hands, or money for their young charges. Locked down at the orphanage with ailing children, cranky steam units, and the handsome Kasper, Tori wonders if she’ll survive. But when she comes face to face with the plague doctor, she discovers her true strength.