Enthralled

with Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, and Lucy Monroe

Enthralled

<– Go to previous book in the series

The next book in the series –>

New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers a new story in her steampunk world of the Iron Seas…

 

“Salvage”

A man who’s lost everything returns home to find that not only is his marriage in jeopardy, but he must now fight air pirates who intend to steal his one remaining treasure — his wife.

They have the power to hold you spellbound, to captivate your senses, and to keep you forever in their control. Forever enthralled…

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh returns to her sensual world of the Breeds…as one stubborn Breed meets her match, and can no longer deny her mate—or the fierce desires of her own heart.

New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Day introduces the League of the Black Swan…and the dangerous game one woman plays when her family’s curse dooms her to kill the man she loves.

And Lucy Monroe, national bestselling author of the Children of the Moon novels…unleashes the feral passions of a werewolf on the body, mind, and soul of his prey, his lover, his lifemate.

ISBN 978-0425253311
July 2, 2013

Audiobook

Narrated by Justine Eyre

Narrated by Justine Eyre



READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter 1

When Georgiana came across her good-for-nothing cheating bastard of a husband washed up on the beach with a bullet in his side, she considered leaving him for dead. Then she wrapped both hands around his iron wrist and dragged him up to the house.

Despite the tiny mechanical bugs that lived inside her body and enhanced her strength, hauling him wasn’t easy. Big Thom, everyone in town called him. Taller and broader than any other man of her acquaintance, her husband deserved the appellation. But Georgiana had other names for him.

Always-Gone Thom. Empty-Hearted Thom. Abandon-Her-Bed Thom.

Not that his cold heart or her bed mattered now. Georgiana’s hopeful expectations for their marriage and her burgeoning love had wilted the first time he’d sailed off and left her alone. All remaining affection had withered to ashes during his most recent absence, which had passed without receiving any communication from her husband—just an occasional bit of money in an envelope stamped with his ship’s seal, and no note to accompany it. She hadn’t needed the funds, but there had been days when she’d have given anything for a single word from him. Now nothing he ever said could soften her heart toward him again.

If he’d sent even one message, she might have attempted to carry him up the stairs to the seaside entrance of the house. Instead she dragged his body up the steps and listened to the four solid thunks.

One for each year he’d been gone.

#

She’d lit the stove before setting out on her morning walk. Georgiana usually welcomed the cozy warmth after the brisk ocean air, but while sweating and flushed with exertion, the kitchen seemed stifling and cramped. Her shoulder muscles burning, she pulled Thom through the entrance, leaving a trail of seawater, blood, and sand. Her mother’s hand-knotted rugs slid across the stone floor with him, bunching under his head and shoulders. Her bottom bumped into the table before his boots cleared the door.

The big, heavy dolt. She let go of his wrist. His arm dropped to the floor, his sodden gloves and woolen coat muffling the clink of iron against stone.

Where to now? Unwrapping her scarf, she eyed the door leading to the second level. The bedchamber she’d shared with him was up there, but she’d closed that part of the house years ago. It made no sense to open the upper floors now, and her husband wasn’t worth the effort of hauling him up the stairs or the expense of heating the rooms. She would put him in the single bedchamber downstairs, then send him on his way the moment he was well enough to walk out of it.

That wouldn’t take long. Thom was infected by the mechanical bugs, just as she was. They’d have him on his feet within a day or two.

After shedding her coat and gloves, Georgiana bent for his arm again. The iron forearm beneath the wool sleeve was thicker and more solid than she expected. His prosthetics were of the skeletal kind, resembling metal bones. But perhaps his iron arms always felt bigger than they appeared. Georgiana didn’t know. She’d only seen them once, after walking in on Thom while he’d been changing his shirt. And she recalled resting her hand upon his coat sleeve several times, but she’d never dragged him around like this before.

The bedchamber stood on the opposite side of the kitchen. With her skirts swinging around her booted feet, Georgiana huffed her way past the table and stove and through the door.  Once inside, she let his heavy arm drop again.

Soaked and bloody. Thom wasn’t going into the bed like that. She stripped the quilts down the mattress, then covered the sheet with towels.

Thom needed to be stripped, too. She reached for his cap, damp but warm. Too warm. Heat radiated through the knitted wool. Tugging it off, she laid the backs of her fingers to his forehead.

Burning.

Oh, no. No, no, no. When she’d first found Thom on the beach and rolled him over, she’d touched his face. His skin had been cool. Not now. And the bugs wouldn’t heal this—they created the fever. It only happened rarely, and with severe wounds. The tiny machines worked so hard to heal him that they overheated his body. Infected men and women almost never sickened or died from anything but old age, unless an injury killed a person faster than the bugs could heal him. But bug fever was often fatal.

Rushing to the window, Georgiana threw it open. Frigid air swept inside the room. She flew back to Thom’s side. She needed ice, opium. His temperature had to be lowered, and the drug slowed the bugs. They wouldn’t repair his wound as quickly, but the opium might keep the healing from killing him. He probably only lived now because his body had lain half-submerged in the freezing ocean water.

She tore open the buckles of his coat, her mind racing as quickly as her fingers. A few blocks of ice were stacked in the ice house, but she would have to send a wiregram to town for more. The physician could bring opium.

But she had to get Thom undressed first. She wrestled the thick coat down his arms and tossed it aside. A woolen fisherman’s gansey lay beneath, the gray weave soaked in blood. She yanked the pullover up to his chest, taking his linen shirt with it and exposing the bullet hole in his side.

The small wound had stopped bleeding. Carefully, she turned him. The bullet’s exit had done more damage, the injury larger and more ragged, but no blood seeped out. The edges had already healed.

Thank the blue heavens. Even if the healing slowed, this wound no longer threatened his life. She just had to worry about the fever.

Gripping the hem of his gansey and shirt, she stripped them the rest of the way off, almost losing her balance in the process. His prosthetics thunked back to the floor, and—

He had new arms.

For an instant, astonishment froze Georgiana in place. No longer dull, skeletal iron. These were steel, and shaped in proportion to his body—intricate machines designed to resemble a pair of long, muscular arms.

Where on Earth had he gotten them? Who could have made such incredible devices?

But Georgiana knew. She’d heard the whispers in town, rumors that had flown by airship and sailed by boat across the North Sea. Yet although she herself had called him a cheating scoundrel in her mind, that was only when she’d been at her angriest, her most hurt. She hadn’t believed the whispers. After all, Thom had only visited her bed three times. Three awful times that he’d seemed to enjoy even less than Georgiana had. So she hadn’t believed that he’d gone to another woman’s bed.

And maybe he hadn’t. Perhaps there was another explanation. It hardly mattered. As soon as he was well again, she would say good riddance to him.

He would go, anyway. Thom always did. But this time, for the first time, Georgiana would have the satisfaction of knowing that he went after she’d told him to leave—and not after she’d asked him to stay.

***

ENTHRALLED will be in stores on July 2nd, 2013, and is available for pre-order at:

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