As a Rebel Ink Press author, I often find myself on the outer edges of the box. As a writer of adventurous tales of science fiction and steampunk, I hardly considered myself a romance author until now. Looking over my novels I see a thick river of romance coursing through a valley of adventure; both teeming with life due to their complimentary natures.
Adventures Above the Aether and Aether Legion, both qualify as adventures but both indulge in their fair share of romance. As tensions rise and quarters grow tight, attractions mount and barriers melt.
In Adventures Above the Aether, a nineteenth century man and his twentieth century wife each find their hearts drawn elsewhere; he to his mistress, science, and she to a man who’s open mind and adventurous spirit offered a liberating alternative.
In Aether Legion, Regina’s rudderless life finds focus when she’s kidnapped by the callous and deadly Douglass. In her captor she sees a man overshadowed by his monstrous past. As she matches him in cunning and courage, he considers her plea to set aside his burning desire in a gamble to win her love. Together they struggle to make peace, forge love, and survive their dangerous liaison amidst a madman’s quest for power.
Here, an excerpt from Aether Legion:
Regina’s heart still rattled in her chest as she struggled to calm her nerves. The clasps of her nightgown blurred before her, shaking with her quivering fingers. The cold no longer served as an excuse for her shivering state. She unpinned her hair and guided it down her shoulder. Without looking, her mind in a fog, she found herself pulling a heavy brush through her thick amber hair.
The steady click-clack-click-clack of the rails and the muffled rustle of the cushioned car failed to hide the strange stillness in the air, the humid hush of a storm front on the verge of breaking. Slowly she turned from her boudoir and peered through the flickering shadows of the dimly lit room. A silhouette eclipsed the scant light from outside the cabin and loomed closer as she gasped.
“I didn’t mean to disturb you,” Douglass said in a low voice. “You surprised me back there.”
Regina forced her white knuckled grip loose on the brush as she regained control of her breathing. “I surprised myself, honestly. I cannot imagine what came over me.”
Douglass stepped closer. “Maybe you see something between us.” He reached out and lightly touched her hand. With his other hand he plucked the brush from her grasp. “Maybe we can find love in the peace between us.”
“Is it always some form of conquest?” Regina asked.
Douglass shrugged. “Ain’t it? You high and mighty women act like you’re protecting the family fortune, you guard your affections so close, ain’t nobody gonna get a peek but that one perfect man.”
Regina poked his chest with a single firm finger. “And what happens when you conquer that inner citadel you covet so much, when the kingdom falls to your siege, what then?” She nodded. “Then you must rule, day in and day out.” She waited to see him slowly absorb the depth of her meaning. She nudged his chin up, bringing their eyes together. “If we are to travel down this road together, understand that we will spend much time together, not in silent awe, not quietly waiting for your next heated assault; but conversing, exploring, and growing together. I do not say this to dissuade you, but to put forth a reality so few men understand.”
“Time’s up, Regina,” Douglass said. “I understand what you’re driving at, but we’ll be pulling into this train’s final stop soon. Will you love me?”
“I want to love you, for your strength and courage, I want to, but not yet, not now,” Regina replied. “Your gawking as I change, your kisses forced on me for your own pleasure, I must know I’ll not become a slave to your lustful whims.”
Douglass slammed his fist on the table. “You have no idea! No idea how civil I’ve been or how much control I’ve fought for in your presence.”
Regina curtly nodded. “And I applaud your efforts, but there’s still more work to be done.”
Douglass lunged at her, clutching her shoulders tightly. “That’s it then, time for me to take what I can and move on. I’ll not have beauty such as yours slip through my fingers.”
Regina’s stiffened in his grip, emotion drained from her face as she leaned closer to look him in the eye with an unwavering stare. In a low voice she warned. “Do it then, and be quick. Do it, and surrender to your evil past. Do it, and throw away the progress you boast of, the progress you’ll need if ever you expect to find a wife.”
Douglass’ jaw tightened and he bared his teeth.
A cold shadow darkened Regina’s gaze as she issued another warning. “When you’ve finished satisfying yourself, kill me. Otherwise keep a wary eye open the rest of your days.”
Douglass threw her to the floor. Standing over her he stared with wild furious eyes. With a roar he turned away and stomped off, hurling a chair into a nearby mirror and overturning his desk. The door slammed behind him with a glass rattling shudder.
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