The Wardens of the Realm are a group with extraordinary abilities, dedicated to protecting England from any threat. But in this steam-powered world, there’s a fine line between enemy and ally…
Reeling from her brother’s death, beautiful American spy Claire Brooks has vowed revenge on the member of The Company who she believes to be responsible: Stanton Howard. But when she chases the man to London, Claire is captured by the Wardens of the Realm and placed in the custody of the Earl of Wolfred, the dashing Alistair Payne.
Seeing the prospect of retribution slipping away, Claire convinces Alistair that she has defected and will help him take down The Company. As they travel via steam liner, Claire and Alistair must pretend to be engaged. Claire can’t deny the growing attraction she feels for her pretend husband, but when Howard is finally within her reach, she will have to decide whether her true loyalties lie with The Company or with her heart…
In Cross's second steampunk romance, following Heart of Brass, rival operatives find love together while chasing a master criminal. American spy Claire Brooks, having been captured in England by elite government agents, the Wardens of the Realm, agrees to help them apprehend evil genius Stanton Howard. Paired with the aristocratic Alastair Payne, Claire finds herself on a New York bound steamship, with Stanton also aboard, pretending to be her new partner's fianc e to deflect suspicion. Claire and Alistair's initial distrust soon turns to respect, and then to love, even as Claire secretly plans to countermand their orders by killing Howard and thereby avenging her brother's murder. Alastair cuts an appropriately dashing figure, suggesting a cross between Wolverine and the Six Million Dollar Man, while Cross creates a richly imagined alternate world deftly straddling the line between romance and SF.