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Publisher's Summary

Lady Olivia is not all she seems. Trained for marriage to an assigned political target, her skills lie in programming household steambots to serve tea, dress her hair...and sound the alarm while she picks locks and listens at doors. Humiliated by a failed assignment, she decides to redeem herself by tailing a suspected double agent.

Lord Rathsburn must flirt with treason. Struggles to cure a horrible disease have met with unexpected complications. The cells he engineered can make a man's bones unbreakable, but the side effects are fatal. He believed the research terminated...until his sister was kidnapped by a German count. Her ransom? A cure.

Piloting a stolen dirigible, he uncovers an unlikely stowaway, Lady Olivia. Arriving together at a crumbling castle, an impossible task is set before them: cure the count's guardsmen. Amidst their fake marriage, a very real growing attraction, dying guardsmen, and escalating hostilities, Lady Olivia and Lord Rathsburn are thrust deep into the world of international medical espionage from which there may be no return.

©2017 Karen Pinco (P)2017 Tantor

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  • Yvonne
  • Southfield, mi, United States
  • 12-03-17

passion, steampunk, and espionage

The epic sage of the Duke of Averbury daugthers’ continues in The Sliver Skull. Olivia, the young socialite daughter of Duke of Averbury is looking for a husband. After the escapades of her sisters in The Golden Spider, Olivia is no longer engaged to Lord Carlton Snyder.

This Olivia is very determined to work in service to the Queen. She is an experienced programmer and wants to use her skills as an agent. After rebuffing all the suitors presented by her parents, she travels to Italy with her mother to find a husband. She has one small task do complete in the service of the Queen.

As an overachiever, her small task turns into an adventure; propelling from dirigible, impersonating a medical assistant, pretending to be married, and falling in love with a traitor. The attraction and then love for Lord Ian Stanton plunges her head long in a world of espionage.

There is the excitement of clockwork gadgets, the impropriety of male and female interactions, jealousy, family obligations and devotion, and the passion of love. Unlike the first book, The Golden Spider, much of the clockwork gadgets relate to enhancing the physical attributes of human bones. You will find it to be a tad more medical than the first book.

Do not let that dissuade you because the passion is still hot, there is a fierce independent woman who makes a man’s blood run hot and a suspenseful situation that has the couple fighting for their life.

Enjoy this entertaining story. I hope there are others. Duke Averbury does have another daughter and a son left. Anne Renwick could continue the story of the characters in books 1 and 2.