Aug 9 2013 8:30am

First Look: Lynn Viehl’s Her Ladyship’s Curse (August 12, 2013)

Her Ladyship's Curse by Lynn ViehlLynn Viehl
Her Ladyship's Curse (Disenchanted & Co. #1)
Pocket Star / August 12, 2013 / $2.99 digital

In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a s supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

Kitt Kittredge, the heroine of Lynn Viehl’s new steampunk series, is something of an enigma; although she doesn’t believe in magic, she has developed a reputation for the ability to disenchant those who do, and actually solves a mystery surrounding the alleged curse. Unfortunately for Kit, her latest case has gained her more than a reputation—someone wants her dead. To Kit’s rescue come not one, but two heroes in the making. The first, deathmage Lucien Dredmore, has the uncanny ability to appear when Kit is in the most dire straits. Their verbal sparring brings out the best in Kit, and there is definite chemistry between them. The sexual tension is palpable and Dredmore is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome.

I made myself stone as he put his mouth over mine, and I kept my teeth clamped together to prevent his tongue any access.

Like all the others, this would not count as my first kiss, I thought as he worked his lips against mine. Another mauling, most definitely, but I wasn’t kissing him. I’d never kiss him. I would never, ever give in to such brute tactics—

And then I was kissing him, my mouth open to his, my tongue curling round the silky glide of his. Dimly I felt him let go of my hair and gather me closer, his fingers at my bodice and then my breast, cupping and squeezing. He ceased that only to reach down and then I felt my skirts sliding up over my calves and then my knees.

Our second potential hero, Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle, is a childhood acquaintance of Kit’s whom she hasn’t seen since she was five. He conveniently reappears in her life at a time when she could most use a protector. The fair-haired keeper of the peace is safe, solid, and capable of protecting our young heroine. Doyle is the antithesis of the mysterious Dredmore.

Viehl blends elements of alternate history, steampunk, magic, and mystery into a wonderfully engaging story. Her Ladyship’s Curse is the first half of book one in the Disenchanted and Co. series. Be prepared, Viehl literally drops you off at the climax, piquing the readers' anticipation for the conclusion in the second half of the book. As the plot thickens, Kit finds herself in need of a hero. The question is, whom will she choose: dark, dashing, and oozing sexuality, or safe, solid, and secure? We all know who we would choose, don’t we?

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Lynn Viehl's Her Ladyship's Curse, out on August 12, 2013:

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Stephanie is a high school social studies teacher who enjoys escaping from reality with a good book. She is the mom of two energetic sons and when she isn't chasing herself in circles, she can be found lurking on Twitter @KindlesConsort.

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