eBook Details

Wild & Steamy

By: Meljean Brook | Other books by Meljean Brook
      Jill Myles | Other books by Jill Myles
      Carolyn Crane | Other books by Carolyn Crane
Published By: Carolyn Crane
Published: Aug 02, 2011
ISBN # Crane00000001
Word Count: 58,000
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Available in: Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Epub, HTML, Adobe Acrobat

Categories: Romance>Paranormal/Horror Romance>Werewolves/Shifter Romance>Steampunk

Three all-new novellas of the supernatural and steampunk kind...

"The Blushing Bounder" by Meljean Brook (13k words)

A Tale of the Iron Seas - While the search for a killer puts Constable Newberry’s life in danger, he faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

"Vixen" by Jill Myles (15k words)

Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men…it wants them both.

"Kitten-tiger & the Monk" by Carolyn Crane (20k words)

A Disillusionists Novella - Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.
Reader Rating:  starstarstarstar (9 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   liplipliplip

Meljean Brook

The nightmare came, and she saw herself emaciated and pale and ravenous. Temperance opened her eyes to the dark, heart pounding, her linen shift twisted and clinging with sweat. As always, the laudanum weighed on her chest, pressed her into the bed, and she had a moment of terror that she wouldn’t be able to get up, that she was already dead.
But her legs moved, and she swung her feet to the wooden floor. From the other room, she heard a deep coughing. Newberry, but he didn’t suffer as she did. His cough was of his own making.

Desperate for air, she opened the window to the warm night, but it wouldn’t be fresh air—not in London. The gray haze of smoke that hung over the city during the day was still visible at night, the glow of the gas streetlamps casting a dirty yellow into the dark sky. She breathed it in, though the filthy air would kill her faster and was already clawing at her husband’s lungs, air that she could hear being made dirtier in the distance, on the busier streets of London, the never-ending rumble of the steamcoaches and lorries and carts belching their exhaust.

Their second-level flat overlooked the cobblestone alley between the mews and the lockstitch guild’s great stone house—an aristocrat’s house, perhaps, before the Horde had come and most of the nobles had fled to the New World. She looked to the end of the alley. Miss Lockstitch had told her that a park lay not far away, the Embankment alongside the River Thames. From there, she would be able to see the bridges, the colorful tents over the Temple Fair, and the crumbling tower that had once broadcasted the radio signal the Horde had used to control the bugs.

She would like that—the tower was only a curiosity, but the Embankment’s gardens sounded like heaven, and the strange amusements of the Temple Fair diverting. Perhaps she and Miss Lockstitch could hire a cab this week, and if Temperance could not manage a walk through the gardens, at least she could sit.

Feeling light, lighter than she usually did after a draught of laudanum, Temperance idly glanced to the other end of the alley, and realized that she was still in her nightmare. What else could that man have sprung from?

Tall, so tall that the blond woman he faced only came up to his middle, his eyes burning orange like the bowels of a furnace. His legs were long, thin compared to the bulk of his torso, and deeply jointed, bent far over at the knees though he stood upright—almost like the front legs of a mantis, but these were his only legs, and she saw the glint of metal instead of green.

And he was rumbling, too. It was not only the distant traffic. Wisps of steam wafted from the back of his head. Was it even a man? Temperance could not tell anymore, and it looked as through her nightmare was ending, because the blond woman had turned away from the rattling man, as if they were leaving the alley. But, no—not over yet. The man’s metal hand flicked out to his side, then back around, and came down over the woman’s head.
The woman crumpled to the ground.

Temperance screamed. And screamed again, scrambling away from the window as the man suddenly rose up in a great hiss of steam, bounding toward her, springing as high as their second-level flat, his orange eyes glowing with the fires of hell. Her next scream caught in her throat, became a cough, and another. Her bedroom door crashed open, Newberry shouting her name, and she flung herself toward him, because he was horrid but also so big that even a nightmare could not get through him. Strong arms hauled her up against a wide chest, and he demanded to know what had happened, but she could not tell him, she could only cough and point to the window.

Cradled against him, Temperance fought not to hide her face in his shoulder as he carried her over to look—but the man wasn’t there. The alley was empty but for the figure still crumpled on the stones. Newberry’s body stiffened slightly when he saw her, his arms holding Temperance a little tighter.

“I’ll send for the inspector,” he said.
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: anonymoose on Jan 6, 2013
Great anthology. Meljean Brooks' story is probably the best of the bunch.

Wild & Steamy

By: Meljean Brook, Jill Myles, Carolyn Crane