Genre: YA Steampunk (Historical/Romance)
Word Count: 75,000
In Georgian England, seventeen-year-old Allie Donovan carries an Egyptian blade in her boot, a chip on her shoulder and a lethal shadow over her life.
Common born Allie roams the slate hallways of exclusive St Matthews school, armed with her dagger and sharp wit. She sparks conflict, physical and verbal, with the aristocratic Jared McLaren. The handsome noble is undefeated with a blade, until Allie turns his sense of honour upon him for the win, pouring fuel on his fascination for her.
Beneath the school in his laboratory, Zeb an eccentric genius, is absorbed constructing mechanical cats, automated limbs, and a weapon for the military. When word is leaked of the weapon’s potential, underworld interest ignites.
When Zeb is marked as a target, the King’s Royal Aeronautical Corp fails to protect him. Allie’s illicit skills and contacts make her the only one Jared can turn to. Instead of fighting each other, now they must fight together. The deeper Allie goes, her feelings for Jared intensify and she discovers her past is intertwined with their mission.
In revealing her past, she jeopardises her future, and risks turning Jared from her. She must decide her course if they are to find the weapon before it plunges Europe into a monstrous war.
Allie was daydreaming of warmer days in Cairo. She remembered the way the palms fanned the air at her favourite swimming hole and felt a deep sadness at not knowing if she would ever see it again. Consequentially she didn’t notice the boys up ahead had come to a complete stop until one shouldered her, bumping her rudely out of her reminiscing and scattering her books.
She automatically muttered a “sorry” and bent to retrieve the fallen items. She realised three pairs of booted feet were standing around her in silence. None of the boots’ owners spoke a word or offered to help and she felt a trickle of ice water run down her spine, an instinct she had learnt to paid heed to. She slowly stacked the books on top of each other, discretely sliding a hand up the side of her right boot as she did so. She drew her dagger from its hidden sheath and palmed it amongst the pile, before picking it up. As she stood, she slung the books on her left hip while slowly eyeing the situation.
In front of her were three sullen youths of similar age to herself. Two were of equal height, the third slightly taller. All three had pallid unhealthy complexions of those who pursue indoor night time activities and rarely see the light of day. The taller one was thinner and even paler than the others; blue veins visibly traversed his face and ran down the side of his neck. He was setting the tone for the other two, a sneer of distaste curling the corner of his lip.