The only way to save her life is to resurrect the dead…
Julian Darke was only a newborn when he was abandoned on the doorstep of a gentleman doctor. Though raised with love, he is driven to discover his true origins.
Convinced Sir Thaddeus Ormond knows something, Julian shadows him one night—and is shocked to see a young woman thrown from Ormond’s carriage and accosted by a thug. Julian manages to save her life, but not her face and hands from horrific injuries.
Nellie Barchester doesn’t recognize the scarred, disfigured stranger in the mirror. Though the gifted doctor and engineer has done his best to repair the damage, scars ravage her body, and chill her soul with the realization that her own husband may have plotted her death.
Julian’s tenderness is a balm to her soul, and Nellie is drawn to the edge of passion by a man not repelled by her deformities. But as their pursuit of the truth draws them into London’s underbelly, they cross the path of a ruthless enemy who will stop at nothing to fulfill his schemes.
About the Author:
Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. At school English was her favorite subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life — and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance and steampunk romance.
Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia with her partner and two children. When she isn’t writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate, and watching The Office.
Darke London by Coleen Kwan
Copyright © 2013 by Coleen Kwan
The man she was tailing paused outside a mean little gin shop. Nellie stopped behind a tottering pile of crates filled with rotting cabbages. Now she was nearer she could make out the man’s fair curls peeping below the brim of his fashionable top hat. He dithered on the threshold of the shop, then plunged in and emerged a minute later, shuddering and wiping his mouth after his quick dram. His Savile Row suit and polished boots attracted a few sidelong glances and mutters, but he appeared not to notice as he hurried down a side street.
Nellie skulked after him. This secondary road was darker, quieter, the cacophony of the night market gradually subsiding to a low hubbub. Fog wreathed the dwellings and dulled her ears. The heels of her boots clicked on the cobblestones. From an alleyway, a cat yowled. Up ahead, the man dipped past a hazy pool of gaslight from a lone streetlamp.
Footsteps sounded behind her. She glanced over her shoulder. Nothing but wraiths of mist. It must have been those rats rooting through a rubbish heap she’d heard. She pushed on. A moment later the footsteps behind her resumed. This time she spun round, the hairs on her nape standing on end as she scanned the length of road she’d just crossed. Through the gathering fog, she could make out nothing. Then, from one of the nearby houses, an enormously fat crone meandered out, bunched up her skirts and squatted in the gutter to relieve herself.
Nellie expelled a deep breath and turned around just in time to see the object of her pursuit enter the last house of a row of terraces. Well, she’d suspected this was his destination as soon as she’d realised he was heading for Aldgate. This would be the third visit she’d witnessed; who knew how many times he’d come before? She edged her way to the shadow of a high, blank wall opposite the house and settled down to wait. A few minutes ticked by. On the upper floor of the house, the light shining from the windows faded and remained dim for a further five minutes. Slowly the windows brightened, and moments later the young man clattered out of the house.
As he approached her, Nellie’s heart beat faster. He was so close! She had just to step out of the shadows and call out his name. Pip. It was so easy, so tempting. Pip, I’m still alive. I’m not dead.
I’ll be reviewing Darke London in the next couple of months, so watch this space…