Today we have author Leslie Dicken visiting with us and sharing an exclusive excerpt from her upcoming book, which will be released on February 7, 2012! In fact, buy links aren’t even available yet, but I’ll do my best to add them once they’re up. I haven’t read much Steampunk, but this one might just drag me over to the “dark side.”
Sexy, Victorian Steampunk!
One woman swears to avenge the savagery of a ruthless killer loose on the streets of Lundun; if only she can stay one step ahead of an inventor who fears his greatest work, a labor of love, has turned on humanity.
Grieving the loss of her beloved cousin, Ella Wilder is determined to catch the murderer. Infuriated by the fumblings of the constable, she seeks the assistance of a handsome Noble who seems to be looking for his own answers, and who’s reluctance tells her he has something to hide. Over time, hesitant intimacy grows into fiery passion but brings them no closer to finding the madman.
As the killer reveals darker inventions that blur the boundary between man and machine, Ella fights the fear he may be after her next. Can Ella trust her heart to the man who refuses to share his secrets yet swears to protect her? Will Bennett be able to choose between keeping terrifying family secrets…or losing Ella to the iron-hearted killer who stalks the night?
His door rattled. Bennett didn’t know the time, but it certainly wasn’t the three o’clock when his valet would wake him.
He watched as the door opened and then quickly closed again. Someone was in the room with him. Someone who was not his valet or his butler. Someone with a light step and rustling skirt.
As the person neared, Bennett closed his eyes to feign sleep. He knew who it was now. The delicious aroma of lavender gave her away.
His lips curled. That little minx. He couldn’t wait to see what she had planned.
He heard her remove her shoes and then felt the weight on the bed as she sat. As much as he tried, he couldn’t prevent from breathing in her scent. Just last night he tasted that heaven with his tongue.
His groin twitched. Oh hell, he would show he was awake soon if he didn’t refocus his thoughts.
She scooted closer. Bennett forced his face still. Waited.
She must be looking him over. He remembered that the blanket was low now, just at his hips. She had only shift aside a few inches to see what grew more solid despite his attempts to stop it.
Hold still. Breathe normally.
Damn her curiosity and unashamed desire. She had no idea what she was getting herself into, whom she was seducing.
He should tell her that he was responsible for Jenny’s death and those of the others. He should admit his failures and have her be on her way, out of his life forever. As she once said, he wasn’t worthy.
Her hand brushed lightly on his stomach.
Oh Lord, he couldn’t. He was a fool, a cad, a selfish bastard. He couldn’t let her go. Not yet.
Light fingers trailed up to his chest. One brushed his nipple. It was too much for him. His flesh hardened completely, his pulse increased, breathing deepened.
Heedless to his physical changes, Ella continued with her exploration. Her finger swept to the other nipple and circled it.
Bennett clenched his teeth to keep from moaning out loud. If she continued down this path, control would surely loosen from his grasp.
Then her palm was on his stomach again. It rested there briefly before slowly inching its way down. It slid over his navel and was almost to the blanket.
He must stop her!
Bennett snatched her arm. Ignoring her gasp, he pulled her on top of him.
Her face hung over his, eyes wide.
“Yet again you play a dangerous game, Ella.”
She grinned. “You weren’t asleep.”
“And so you were testing me to see how far I would go.”
Her body, even clothed, was divine atop his. He resisted the urge to bury his fingers in her hair and yank her lips to his.
“Perhaps I was.”
She raised an eyebrow. “And reaching below the blanket was too far?”
He wanted it more than anything in the world. He wanted her hands on him, her mouth on him, her body to envelope him.
But where would that lead? Ella would want him to marry her. And that would be a mistake of gigantic proportions.
Reluctantly, he rolled her off him.
She didn’t pout. “I’m surprised you wanted me off of you after what I could feel down there.”
Yes, his body clearly wanted her. His common sense told him something else.
“You need to go, Ella.”
“I just got here.”
“This isn’t proper.”
She laughed. “Neither was last night in your Flyer.”
Bennett closed his eyes. “What do you want from me?”
Ella kissed his shoulder. Shivers danced down his spine.
“Oh, that’s simple.”
Simple. Nothing about Ella Wilder was simple.
“Tell me, then.”
She leaned against him, her lips at his ear. Soft breasts pressed upon his arm. Mad. She would drive him mad before long.
“I came here for…”
She let the sentence trail off as her breath tickled down his spine and set his erection blazing again.
Damn seductive minx.
Her lips brushed against his ear.
At once, he rolled over on top of her and braced himself on his elbows. It was time he took control. He’d not stand for her playful kisses and teasing words.
This time her breathing grew heavy. Her lips parted. A flush spread from the tops of her mounds up to her cheeks.
He was nestled between her legs, his throbbing flesh separated from her by a blanket and her skirts. Things he could rip away in a matter of seconds.
Fire burned through his veins, urging him down that path. By the wicked glint in her eyes, Bennett doubted she would stop him.
“Is this it?” The words strangled in his throat. He forced them past his lips. “Is this what you came for?”
Leslie Dicken has very kindly offered an e-book of any of her back list to one lucky commenter. So what’d you think of this Tuesday’s teaser? I told Leslie she was evil… ;D [The winner will be announced on the blog Saturday.]