War is hell, but coming home is even harder. Edward Kilsby, Lord Withycombe, flying ace and noted adventurer, has grown increasingly restless with civilian life. He seeks refuge from his depression and nightmares in adrenaline, and when that fails, in painful sex. Until his erstwhile fiancé blackmails him into making an arctic expedition.
In the frozen wastes, Edward and his secretary, Charlie, work hard, facing the rigors of the climate and the lethal war machines they are testing. But no-one is prepared for what lies under the ice.
Back in London, as Edward’s pistol looks friendlier and friendlier, Charlie must deal with kidnapping, cultists and secret societies, all the while keeping his much-loved lord sane and healthy.
The sequel to Amber Allure’s Best Seller The Curse Of The Pharaoh’s Manicurists
“Too much like a dungeon down here,” Charlie said.
“Imagination, Charles.” Edward knocked on the metal door.
It swung open to reveal a dark-haired man of average height, wearing a leather apron, rubber soled shoes and long heavy gloves, almost gauntlets. He blinked at them, brown eyes enormous but distracted, as if his mind were a million miles away, and then pushed the protective goggles up on his forehead, shoving a mop of brown curly hair out of his eyes, and smiled at them. He looked the very part of the eccentric basement inventor.
“Lord Withycombe, welcome. And this must be Mr. Doyle. Mr. Drake has told me all about you and I’ve quite looked forward to meeting you. Do come in.”
Charlie shot Edward a glance, trying to convey his distress at having been discussed by Nigel Drake. He walked into the laboratory and jumped when the door swung shut behind him. Zimmer led them to a small sitting area just before a stone fireplace. A covered Dutch oven sat on the coals, lending the smell of cooking to the already thick stench of ozone and chemicals.
Tables and more tables, laden with an astonishing variety of clock parts, tools, hardware, test tubes and beakers, alcohol burners, leyden jars and other random junk filled the room. Charlie had no idea what most of it did.
“Has Mr. Drake told you of our purpose?” Professor Zimmer adjusted an alcohol flame under a simmering flask of something blue and then took off the gloves and goggles. He hung the apron on the back of an easy chair and invited Charlie and Edward to have a seat on the rather battered-looking horsehair settee near the fire.
“Not really. He said you wished to test some equipment.” Edward looked around as he reached for his pipe. “Is it safe to smoke in here?”
“Not for you, no, my lord. Quite safe for the experiments.” Zimmer chuckled at his own joke. “I have been working on several prototype items for His Majesty’s service. I want to test them under the most extreme possible condition, so I have arranged an Arctic expedition through the graces of your wife.”
Edward rolled his eyes and Charlie caught it. Sarah Brown, Edward’s jilted fiancée, had once again displayed no qualms about presenting herself as his wife.
“I’m sorry, my lord. You didn’t know?”
“I am unmarried,” Edward said. “Miss Brown is not my wife, whatever she may have told you. However, the expedition sounds quite intriguing.”
“I hope it will be. We shall be testing a number of inventions. Both she and Mr. Drake paint you as terribly adventurous and deucedly hard on equipment. So if my machinery can stand up to your uses, it should be suitable for His Majesty’s Army.”
Edward laughed at that. “My reputation precedes me, then. I do try to take care of my equipment, but circumstances and determined opponents take their toll.”
“I understand you lost four fighter planes during the War,” Zimmer said.
“Three shot out from under me.” Edward glared, and Zimmer took the hint, moving away from that line of questioning.
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Angelia Sparrow is a librarian-turned-truck-driver who has been writing off and on for over thirty years. She got her first professional writing break in 2004. When not perpetrating romance, she lives quietly in the Mid-South with her husband, four kids and two cats. She enjoys crochet, cooking and gardening. To learn more about Angelia and her writing, please visit her website at: http://www.angelsparrow.com.
Naomi Brooks, International Woman of Mystery and Stalker of Stockboys, is a retail escapee and technophile residing in Northwest Ohio. She enjoys a life of feline servitude, and is addicted to Netflix, The Sims 2, and World of Warcraft. Her first professional piece appeared in 2006. When she grows up she wants to be Errol Flynn, or Adam Lambert. Whichever.