Disenchanted & Co., Part 2: His Lordship Possessed [NOOK Book]

Overview

The second half of Disenchanted & Co.—the thrilling conclusion. 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...
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Disenchanted & Co., Part 2: His Lordship Possessed

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Overview

The second half of Disenchanted & Co.—the thrilling conclusion. 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 supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476722344
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publication date: 10/14/2013
  • Series: Disenchanted & Co.
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 28,202
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Since 2000, author Lynn Viehl has published fifty novels in nine genres, including her New York Times bestselling Darkyn series, the StarDoc SF series (as S.L. Viehl), and the Tales from the Grace Chapel Inn series (as Rebecca Kelly). Ranked as one of the top 100 female, top 50 book, and top 10 SF author bloggers on the Internet, Ms. Viehl hosts Paperback Writer, a popular industry weblog she has updated daily since 2004 with free market info, working advice, and online resources for all writers.
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Read an Excerpt

Disenchanted & Co., Part 2: His Lordship Possessed

Chapter One

Half an hour after giving myself to my worst enemy, and daftly imagining myself to be falling in love with him, I paced round the confines of the bedchamber in which he had imprisoned me. I knew for my foolishness I deserved nothing more than to spend my remaining days there, a wretched captive, an illegally freeclaimed woman, alternately forced to attend to satiating Lucien Dredmore’s lusts and left to pine in solitude for the life I had so thoughtlessly thrown away. This was what women like Lady Walsh endured.

But I was not Diana Walsh, and I’d cut out my own heart before I allowed Lucien Dredmore to ever touch me again.

A thorough search of the chamber—which despite its sumptuous trappings was little more than a prison cell—turned up no exit or the means by which I might create one. The only entry had been locked in three places from the outside by his minion, Connell. Masonry had replaced the glass panes in the single window frame on the opposite wall, too. As I poked at the brick, I wondered how many other women had suffered this fate, and what had happened to them once Dredmore had tired of them.

“He probably buries them under the rose hedges,†I muttered, absently clutching at my pendant for comfort. “Please God, if you’ll get me out of this I’ll never glance at another man again. I swear it.†I looked down at the dark stone and realized otherworldly intervention was right in my hand. “Bloody hell. Harry.â€

My eager fingers fumbled a bit with the clasp, but at last I released it and dropped the pendant on the floor, backing away from it quickly.

My grandfather’s specter materialized instantly, and as soon as he looked round he shouted at me. “Do you know where you are? Do you know who he is? Have you lost your tiny mind?â€

“I’m happy to see you, too,†I said. “We’ll catch up once I get out of here.†When he didn’t reply, I added, “You keep saying you’re Harry Houdini, the world’s greatest escape artist. Well, then here’s your chance to prove it.â€

“Oh, shut up.†He went to the window and poked at the brick. “After what you’ve done, it would serve you right if I left you here to rot.â€

“How do you know what I’ve done?â€

“A guardian spirit knows everything. Watches everything, whether he wishes to or not.†He eyed me. “Romping with that bastard in the dirt like some scullery wench. If I were your father, I’d give you the thrashing of your life.â€

He was right, but I refused to cringe. “I suppose you never lost your head in a moment of passion.â€

“Of course I did. If I hadn’t sired your mother, you wouldn’t be here.†He searched along the baseboards before testing the door. “I was fortunate in my choice of wives. Bess forgave me my dalliance and took me back.â€

“But I’m not named Bess.â€

“No. You’re named after my best mate’s wife. I comforted her after his untimely death, rather more than I should have.†He sighed and rubbed his eyes. “The result was your mother.â€

“You did have a forgiving wife.†I sat on the bed. “Did this Charmian raise my mother, then?â€

“She had to think of her family and her other children,†he snapped. “She remained secluded in the country for her confinement, and even kept your mother for a time after her birth. Her family grew suspicious, however, so she sent Rachel to me as soon as she was old enough to travel.â€

It had never occurred to me that there would be someone else I hated as much as Dredmore, until Harry began haunting me. “How did you persuade my mother to name me after the adulteress who abandoned her?â€

“I didn’t, not directly. I merely insured that Rachel heard the name in a dream just before your birth.†Harry glanced at me, and his anger faded into weariness. “Don’t judge your namesake so harshly, lass. Charmian never forgave herself for giving up our child. It broke her spirit as well as her heart. She died only a few years after sending your mother to me.â€

“I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt,†I said, “if you’ll agree to overlook my lapse in judgment tonight.â€

“Pray you don’t end up in the same condition as your grandmother.†He eyed my belly before he turned round to inspect the rest of the room. “The door and window are impassible from the inside of the room. Even if you could get at the locks, there is nothing you can use to pick them.†He turned about one last time, studying my prison. “It will have to be a possession, then.â€

“A what?â€

“Stay here.†He floated out through the door.

“Harry!†I went over and pounded on the door. “Come back here.â€

The door opened, but in came Connell, who slammed the door behind him. I shuffled back, unsure if I should try to dodge round him or kick him in the unmentionables.

“You’ve been ill,†he told me as he walked right up to me and studied my face. “You believe you’ve been poisoned. There’s blood coming from your lips.â€

“What are you talking about? There’s no bloo—â€

My head snapped as he slapped me, hard enough to make my ears hum.

“Now there is.†Connell handed me the container of scented powder. “Toss this in the guard’s face. It will blind and choke him long enough for you to get outside. Then lock him in.â€

I stared at him. “Connell, why are you helping me?â€

“Charm, it’s me, Harry.†For a moment I saw the old man’s face appear atop Connell’s, like a half-transparent mask. “I’ve taken possession of this man’s body.†He glanced down at himself. “Which isn’t all that bad.†He stretched out an arm. “Very strappy fellow.â€

“Get out of there,†I almost shrieked.

“If I dispossess him now, he’ll regain his senses immediately and spoil your escape.†Harry/Connell patted my cheek. “Now remember, give the guard a good dousing with that powder.â€

“You’re possessing a guard, so why don’t you simply walk me out of here?†I demanded.

“No time to explain that now,†my grandfather said. “There’s a guard in the front hall, and one repairing the door you smashed in the kitchen. Once you get out of here, go to the servants’ stairs and take the tradesmen’s entrance out.â€

“All right.†I gingerly tested the bleeding cut on the inside of my lip before smearing the sides of my mouth with the blood to make it look more convincing. “Once I’m outside, then what?â€

“You’ll find three horses in the stables,†he told me. “Saddle the black gelding with the white star on his nose. Ride through the pasturelands, and don’t allow anyone to see or stop you.â€

I stirred the powder with a fingertip. “You’re certain this will work?â€

“I wasn’t a hoodlum, you silly twit. I was Houdini.†He gave me an awkward, one-armed hug. “And your lover will not remain in town forever, so you had best get going.â€

“Former lover.†I dragged some hair over my eyes and went to stand by the door. “Did you become Houdini as a cover for the spying?â€

“You mean you haven’t worked it out yet?†Incredibly, he chuckled. “I possessed the body of a spy, Charm, and used him as my cover. Being a spy concealed the fact that I was, ah, Houdini.â€

“Why would you have to hide that?†I demanded. “From what I’ve read everyone adored him—you.â€

“Everyone but your parents, and that story will have to keep for another time. Wait.†He picked up my pendant from the floor and set it on a table near me. “Count to ten after I leave, put this on, and don’t take it off unless you need me.â€

“Why?â€

“Things have changed now that I’m . . . never mind.†He opened the door and hurried out.

I slowly counted to ten before I put my pendant back on, drew a deep breath, and then bowed over, concealing the powder behind my arms. “Please . . . help me,†I called out in a strangled, frightened voice. “I’m throwing up . . . blood. I think I’ve been . . . poisoned . . .â€

I had to keep that up for several minutes until the brute who had brought me to the room from the garden stepped in and scowled at me.

“What’s all this?†he demanded, peering at my face and then straightening. “Where did you—?â€

I hurled the scented powder in his face, shoving him aside and darting past him through the door. As he coughed, I slammed the door shut and engaged the locks.

He began immediately swearing at me and hammering on the door’s inside panel, but I didn’t linger to hear his poor opinion of me. I ran down the hall to the servant’s stairs then took them to the first floor, where I stood in the shadows until I saw the guard there rushing upstairs. Then I ran round the corner and fled to the deliveries door.

It refused to open at first, but then the knob gave way and I was outside. I scanned the grounds to look for other guards and saw the coast was clear.

Bunching up my skirts and running across the lawn put me in view of the house, but I felt sure I had another minute or two before Powder-face and Dredmore’s other hooligans came after me. I made it to the stables and darted inside, stopping long enough to listen for a moment and glance out. Lamplight flicked against the side windows of the house, descending from the second to the first floor.

I turned and dashed to the stalls, where five black horses were watching me with some interest.

“All right, which one of you has a white star?†I went to the center stalls, avoided a nip from a cranky-looking mare with a white stripe, and then found the gelding, a placid-eyed fellow who nuzzled my fingers looking for a treat.

“Saves you for the ladies, does he?†I glanced at the saddles hanging on the end wall before I took down a bridle from a post peg and unlatched the stall door. The gelding dipped his head as I bridled him, and only gave me a mild look of surprise when I tossed a blanket over his back.

“Sorry, no time for anything else,†I told him, and climbed up the side of the stall to swing onto him. The only times I rode horseback were when I dressed as a native male, so I was used to sitting astride. For his part the gelding turned his head as if to inspect me. “For God’s sake, just pretend I’m a man.â€

I guided him out of the stall and rode him to the double doors, where I reached up for the latch pull. Dredmore had installed a mechanized opener, the wheels of which whirred as four telescoping bars pushed open the big doors. Through them I saw the indistinct shapes of two men halfway between the stables and the house.

“Now let’s make a run for it.†I thumped my heels into the gelding’s sides, and he trotted out with a sedate, fastidious trot. “I said run, my lad, not mince.â€

After two more insistent thumps, the gelding reluctantly stretched his legs and galloped across the lawn away from the manor and across the clearing that led to the cliffs.

I reined in the gelding when I reached a grove of cypress and took cover there to watch for Dredmore’s men. When the horse became restless, I stroked his neck. “I know, George, first time you get a decent rider and now you have to wait. You don’t mind if I call you George, do you? You look like a George.â€

George snorted and dropped his head to crop some grass.

I rode horseback often enough not to be sore, but one already tender portion of my anatomy made me acutely aware not only of how daft I’d been, but why women were rarely seen in public the day after their weddings.

“I’ll wager he isn’t suffering,†I muttered to the gelding as I watched several men riding Dredmore’s other horses gallop past. “I imagine he’s swaggering about and bragging of his conquest and feeling quite the master of all he surveys. I should have set fire to that damned hovel of his before I escaped.â€

Once the posse had disappeared over the next hill, George and I came out of the cypress and went in the opposite direction, toward the first spread of pasturelands that surrounded the city. The gelding perked up as soon as we were in the clear, and I eased off the reins to let him have his head.

“Go on,†I said as he went into that mincing trot again. “This is probably the only chance you’ll ever have to really run.â€

George seemed to understand me and took off in a long, elegant lope that gradually increased in speed until we were fairly flying across the pastures. I glanced back now and then, but no one appeared behind us. Dredmore’s men were too accustomed to dealing with ladies, I imagined.

I stopped the gelding twice: once to water him at a spring-fed trough in a cow pasture, and the second time just within sight of the city’s streets. George had proven himself a worthy steed, so I abandoned my initial plan to turn him loose outside Rumsen and instead rode him through the back alleys to Halter’s, a small stable near my flat that I often frequented.

A few minutes after I rang the service bell, John Halter came out of the barn in his shirtsleeves, his penders still hanging round his hips. “We don’t open ’til dawn, so you can . . . sod me, Miss Kit? That you?â€

“No, John, it’s not me.†I handed him the reins and dismounted. “It’s just George here. Say hello to my mate John Halter, George.â€

The gelding blew out some air.

“Morning, George.†John gave his neck a few gentle slaps. “So why is this big fellow getting me up out of bed before I’ve had m’tea?â€

“Last night George wandered away from home and has since become lost,†I said. “You can tell by the sadness in his eyes.â€

“Bugger looks right happy to me.†The stablemaster frowned. “Where’s George’s home, then?â€

“That would be Morehaven.â€

John swore softly.

“I’ve watered and rested him. He’ll need a rub and some feed, and his master will pay you when he comes to collect him.†I hesitated. “He’ll likely have some questions, John.â€

“Then I’ll let George answer what he can.†John sighed. “You’re not here, Miss Kit. Best you go on home.â€
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Highly Entertaining Steampunk Adventure

    The second part of Viehl's magical steampunk adventure romance is almost as muchfun as the first part. Charmian is a terrific protagonist, and Dredmore is a compelling romantic foil. The story took a sharp turn that I was not expecting, and there were afew plot elements that could have been more thoroughly explained (like the importance of Charmian's pocket watch and the exact nature of the nightstone); nonetheless, this was a highly enjoyable story and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

    Highly recommended to fans of Zoe Archer and Lilith St Crow. -- lyradora

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Viehl creates a wonderful and vividly original world where Ameri

    Viehl creates a wonderful and vividly original world where America lost the Revolution and now is her majesty’s Provincial Union of Victoriana. What a marvelous setting for a turn of the century romance with a strong paranormal presence and a flare of steampunk.




    Charmian “Kit” Kittredge is fighting her way through a man dominated world. Her Ladyship’s Curse ends with our heroin, Kit, in the clutches of the Deathmage Lucien Dredmore. Although he is a controlling powerful man, you can’t help but feel the passion burning between them.




    Lord Walsh will stop at nothing to destroy Kit, there is a very dark and menacing presence behinds Walsh’s motives.




    With all of Kit’s resistance to magic and her firm to dispel the belief in magic, she is given irrefutable proof that magic and the spirits called Aramanthan’s do exist. She finds herself pitted against one of the most powerful Aramanthan called Zarath and the man that has stolen her heart.




    I love when my imagination is completely drawn into figuring out the direction of the story. I am even more pleased when an author can shock me with a brilliant twists...Viehl’s imagination shocked and amazed me!




    A fast paced thrilling adventure, His Lordship Possessed made my heart pound in anticipation, hurt for the choices the characters had to make and delighted in the outcome. Outstanding storytelling, I can’t wait for more. I won't have to wait long because The Clockwork Wolf is coming February 25, 2014!




    His Lordship Possessed is the second ½ of the book Disenchanted and Co. Part one, Her Ladyship’s Curse was released August 12, 2013 and His Lordship Possessed, part two, will be published October 14, 2013. If you can wait and want to read the story in one book, Disenchanted & Co will be coming January 28, 2014. You should not start part 2 without reading part 1, it is a continuing storyline. Whatever way you purchase this story, I highly recommend this book, especially to my fellow steampunk, paranormal, romance enthusiasts.




    This ARC copy of His Lordship Possessed was given to me by Pocket Star in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication October 14, 2013.




    Written by: Lynn Viehl
    Series: Disenchanted & Co
    Sequence in Series: (Book 1 Part 2) 
    Publisher: Pocket Star 
    Publication Date: October 14, 2013
    Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
    Rating: 5 Stars
    Genre: Steampunk, Paranormal, Romance
    Age Recommendation: Adult

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 29, 2013

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    Posted March 7, 2014

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    Posted May 20, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

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