Read Her Sky Cowboy Online

Authors: Beth Ciotta

Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Fiction

Her Sky Cowboy

BOOK: Her Sky Cowboy
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PRAISE FOR
HER SKY COWBOY

 

“Beth Ciotta’s
Her Sky Cowboy
is pure charm. This is a must read for anyone who loves the genre—or hasn’t even tried it yet. You’ll be hooked!”


New York Times
bestselling author
Heather Graham

 

“A wildly inventive, action-packed steampunk adventure! Lady inventors, sexy renegade lawmen, airships, acid rock, and flying horses—
Her Sky Cowboy
has it all!”

—Zoë Archer

 

WHEN HEARTS TAKE FLIGHT

 

“Put your arms around me and hold tight.”

Amelia did as he asked, and her heart nearly burst through her cinched wool corset. She’d never embraced a man before, except for Papa and her brothers, but this was vastly different. Perhaps it was hero worship, but quite simply, the Sky Cowboy scrambled her senses. Beyond tall, fit, and devilishly handsome, he possessed confidence and charisma and, by jiminy, a rocket pack!

He buckled a strap around her waist, cinching them close as pages in a book. “Ready?”

She smiled up into his bourbon-colored gaze, stomach fluttering like a flock of wrens. His mouth was most distracting. How bizarre that she was thinking of kissing him just now instead of flying. Embarrassed, Amelia glanced skyward. “Oh, yes.”

H
ER
S
KY
C
OWBOY

THE GLORIOUS VICTORIOUS DARCYS

 

BETH CIOTTA

 

A SIGNET ECLIPSE BOOK

SIGNET ECLIPSE

Published by New American Library, a division of

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,

Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,

Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,

Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,

New Delhi - 110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632,

New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,

Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

First Printing, November 2012

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

ISBN: 978-1-101-60701-5

Copyright © Beth Ciotta, 2012

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

SIGNET ECLIPSE and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Printed in the United States of America

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

 

ALWAYS LEARNING
PEARSON

To my husband, Steve, the inspiration for all my heroes, and the love of my life. Thank you for building this world with me and for inspiring a flying horse with heart!

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

Creating an alternate steampunk world for
The Glorious Victorious Darcys
was a challenge and a thrill, and I’m delighted with the results! The Victorian Age meets the Age of Aquarius. What fun! There’s nothing more exhilarating or satisfying than allowing my imagination to run wild and then, ultimately, sharing those flights of fancy with readers.

Although writing is often a solitary affair, it takes many people to coordinate the finished product. I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone at New American Library who had a hand in bringing
Her Sky Cowboy
to life! The art, marketing, and editorial departments. The sales team. I appreciate your creative efforts and support and delight in the amazing results!

A very special thank-you to my amazing editor, Jhanteigh Kupihea. Your vision, enthusiasm, and keen editorial eye energizes and inspires!

My sincere gratitude to my copy editor, Tiffany Yates Martin, for her sharp and thoughtful touch.

My heartfelt thanks to my agent, Amy Moore-Benson, for her never-ending and always inspiring guidance and support. What a ride!

A special and fond shout-out to my critique partners on this project, my sister and fellow author Elle J. Rossi, and my cherished friend and fellow author Cynthia Valero. Rather than gush publicly, I’ll just say…You know how I feel.

My supreme and sloppy appreciation to authors Heather
Graham and Zoë Archer for reading
HSC
and then providing me with such wondrous quotes! I am blessed.

To my many wonderful and supportive friends and family, loyal readers, and enthusiastic Facebook friends—thank you for brightening my days and enriching my life. To the hardworking bloggers and reviewers who help to spread the word—thank you for your thoughtful time and energy. And to all of the wondrous librarians and booksellers who live and breathe and promote literature—thank you for being.

Table of Contents

 

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

His Clockwork Canary

P
ROLOGUE
 

G
REAT
B
RITAIN
, 1887

T
HIRTY-ONE YEARS AFTER THE INVASION OF THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY
P
EACE
R
EBELS

“Could you have been any more rude?”

And here I was congratulating myself for being so astonishingly polite
. “Apologies, Mother.” Repressing her frustration, Miss Amelia Darcy endured her mother’s disapproving glare—she was well used to it—and moved to the rear of Loco-Bug, the family’s one-of-a-kind steam-powered automocoach. Stoking the coal in the firebox, she simultaneously praised her papa’s ingenuity and cursed the extraordinary and unreasonable price of gasoline.

Since the Peace War, only the very rich could afford petrol for everyday use. Others, like Papa, hoarded such fuel for special occasions or, in his case, special projects. She supposed she shouldn’t complain about their fickle and sluggish mode of transportation. If her mother, who resisted anything relying on cogs, pipes, and belts, had her way, they’d be traveling by horse and buggy. The woman feared progress as though it were the plague. The only thing that vexed her more was her daughter’s emancipated mind-set.

Whilst Amelia replenished the boiler’s water supply, her mother stood by, tugging on her fur-lined gloves, tightening the sash of her ridiculously frilly bonnet, and arranging her thick traveling cloak to accommodate her portly frame. “I
spent two months cultivating a relationship with the dowager Viscountess Bingham,” she grumbled under her breath, “and you managed to ruin my matchmaking efforts in less than two hours.”

“Proof of my restraint. Otherwise we would have earned the boot much sooner.” Not that Lady Bingham had physically shown them the door, but she’d certainly expedited their exit.

Speaking of which, Amelia glanced over her shoulder and saw the dour-faced woman in all her straitlaced glory standing on the front steps of the magnificent country estate alongside her son—the Viscount Bingham. Decorum dictated that they oversee their guests’ departure, no matter how tedious the process. Whereas Lady Bingham was no doubt scandalized by Amelia’s determination to fire up and drive a horseless carriage like an unrefined commoner, she could feel Lord Bingham studying her every move. She knew he was fascinated by her passion for aviation and flair for mechanics and somewhat amused by her father’s Frankenstein version of an automocoach. Influenced by sketches of Bollée’s La Mancelle and a time-traveling Mod’s psychedelic Beetle Bug, Papa’s hybrid, built from available scraps, was a visual curiosity. However, to someone like Amelia, who had not experienced life before the invasion of the Peace Rebels, Loco-Bug just was.

What really irritated Amelia was Lord Bingham’s keen fascination with her bountiful bosom. Even the modest and hideously constricting visiting gown she’d donned to appease her mother had not detracted from her bothersome “fine figure.” Most women would have been flattered by his attention, she supposed, especially since Lord Bingham was a man of great wealth and influence. But he was also an arrogant and crafty sod, and it was for that reason that Amelia had striven to alienate Lady Bingham and her son with her fervent utopian ideals. Influenced by the cautionary tales of the Mods, she took her role in policing the fate of the world most seriously.

The steam engine finally puffed to life and Amelia burst with joy. The sooner she distanced herself from Wickford Manor and the pompous Binghams, the better. She’d been duped into believing Lord Bingham was a fellow utopian, a New Worlder. After an hour in his company Amelia suspected he was, in fact, a Flatliner, someone who cared only for his future—and not the future of mankind.

BOOK: Her Sky Cowboy
13.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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