“May I ask what happened?” Laurel grazed her fingertips against the strap tying the patch to his head.
He grasped her wrist.
She immediately lowered her hands and gazed to her lap, chiding herself inwardly for speaking without thinking.
“Civil War. Bayonet.” His voice was curt.
“I am so sorry.” The flood of sympathy she held when she first saw him came rushing back. She lifted her face.
“I don’t need your pity, Miss Gunn.” He seated himself farther away from her.
“Misses,” she corrected him.
“I beg your pardon?”
At his look of bewilderment, she covered her mouth and bit her lip to keep the laughter from bubbling forth. “I’m a widow. My husband died during the Crimean War. He too was an American, from Boston actually, a doctor, a lovely man.” Laurel knew she was rambling talking faster than her brain formed words. Her sorrow nearly overtook her fine-tuned control. No Tears. Do not cry. Twelve long years had passed, and grief still hung like an anchor around her neck.
“I had no idea.” His hoarse whisper broke her cloud of gloom. “Is his passing and your loss why you do this?”
“The killing of my husband is part of it.” Laurel could not very well tell him within the toils of the Embassy trade, she had found a sense of family. Her mother had died in India and her own father had traded her freedom for land and a title. Her new friends gave her an unexpected strength and power, which helped mask the deep grief of isolation.
The Courtesan of Constantinople
Archangel Revolution Book 1
by Tina Holland
Genre: Steampunk Romance
Laurel Gunn’s freedom and body were traded for queen and country following her husband’s death on the battlefield. Laurel is a courtesan, a spy, and a fae. Like most Fae, she is not free.
Doctor Benjamin Gunn is sent to investigate a body for clues as to The Cleaver’s identity. Ben has been keeping secrets and is unsure if he can reveal what creature he is to Laurel, and why he is among the living.
Constantinople, also known as the Global City, is filled with politicians, espionage, and magic. In a world of spies, not everyone is who they seem, but those seeking justice aren’t even human. Laurel must tread carefully as allies become foes and her very fate lies with England’s Queen.
Award-Winning, romance author Tina Holland takes you on an electrifying journey into retrofuturistic Victorian England, where technology, magic, and murder collide! This spine tingling adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end!
*Not intended for readers under the age of 18.
Tina Holland was born in Frankfurt, Germany to military parents and is a self-proclaimed military brat.
Tina began her career by attending a Romantic Times Convention in 2003, and writing a short story for Kathryn Falk’s Bordella series. After additional encouragement Tina decided writing was a dream worth pursuing. Her debut e-book, The Pilot and the Pinup was released by Liquid Silver Books in 2005.
Tina continues to write as her schedule allows. She is active in RWA online chapter and also a member of Writer Zen Garden and FM Word Weavers. When Tina is not writing she can be found enjoying her hobby farm in North Dakota. It may seem like a desolate place but with her husband, horses, dogs and cat, it’s rarely lonely. It’s the perfect fit for a wonderful imagination and an opportunity to be a little naughty.
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Thank-you for hosting me. ~Tina