TOUCH OF STEEL
Vengeance thrusts two enemies together in this latest installment of Cross’ fantastic Clockwork Agents series. The tale of the war between two powerful espionage agencies continues, full of incredible steampunk innovation as well as some losses, with agents’ lives always on the line. The romance between jaded spies is powerful, sizzling and mesmerizing.
Since she was a young teen, American Claire Brooks has served the cause of the Company, becoming one of their best agents. But when her brother Robert is murdered by fellow agent Stanton Howard and the Company does nothing, Claire is out for vengeance. She nearly takes out Howard in London, but is badly wounded and captured by the Wardens of the Realm, the Company’s bitter rival. Claire agrees to help the Wardens capture not only Howard, but also the infamous “Doctor.” Alistair Payne, the Earl of Wolfred, is still recovering from injuries he sustained at the hands of a female agent of the Company — so he’s not inclined to cut this potential ally any slack. Thrown together, Claire and Alistair must pretend to be engaged as they track their wily prey. (SIGNET ECLIPSE, Dec., 352 pp., $7.99)