The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas #1)

A blacksmith can go anywhere. A detective inspector only goes where the dead bodies are.”
“But there aren’t any dead people here today.”
Mina glanced over her shoulder at the chest Newberry carried. “That’s why I brought my own.

Aghast, Yasmeen gaped at her before looking to the duke. "It's worse than I thought. Not just the Horde, not just the police- you're keeping company with someone who has principles.

A jagged stone existed where her heart had been.

Breathe, Newberry. If you faint in the Blacksmith’s laboratory, only the stars above know what might be grafted to your body when you wake up.

Confounding woman. He wanted to drag her close and kiss her senseless.

From the very first, I knew you’d be dangerous to me. I should have run.”

“I’d have caught you.

He cupped her face in his hands, made her meet his gaze. Solemnly, he said, “I heard you say that when two people love each other, they fight through everything together. Every doubt, every challenge, every pain. Fight with me, Mina. Please. You are the only one for me, for as long as I live. And if you love me, fight with me.

He focused on the inspector, instead, though she didn't want him watching her. But Rhys liked the way she looked, particularly when her expression suggested that she'd prefer to have a gun aimed at his head rather than sit across from him in a private railcar.

His dark gaze searched her face. “Aren’t you curious, inspector? A kiss—and only a kiss.”

Only a kiss . . . from someone who wanted her. Longing slipped through her, tugging at hopes best kept buried. Yes, Mina wanted to know. But she couldn’t afford it.

“No,” she said.

He smiled. “Liar.

His gaze settled on her mouth. “Have you been kissed before, inspector?”

“Why?” If he wanted virgin lips, she’d claim to have serviced an army.

“If it’s your first, I’ll do it differently.”

“You won’t do it at all.”

“Yes, I will.

Hot, hard and so thick that her fingertips didn't meet when she closed her hand around him.

I'll kiss you until we can't breathe. I'll strip you naked and taste every inch of you. Then I'll shag you until neither of us can see straight.

I'm beginning to think that you aren't with child. You've simply become fat after reading too many recipes.

I’ve only imagined seeing you again. That you’d come to my home. That I’d run into you on the street. That I’d look up, and you’d be there, and you’d be well . . . and I’d tell you that I love you.

Mina’s mouth dropped open, and he bent his head as if to kiss her. She jammed her gun barrel under his chin. He grinned.

No armor. No buckles. Only a few layers of cotton and ten feet of parlor separated his mouth from her breasts.

She did like him...sometimes. When he was not a complete knacker.

...she studied his clothes, his top hat. “And you’ve just come from Parliament? How are you finding that?”

“It’s much like piracy. You tell your enemies that if they don’t fall in line, you’ll leave them to die.

The first opportunity he got, Rhys was going to shag her blind.

Yes. I remember.”
His voice had deepened. I remember. Mina did, too, every conversation they’d had over breakfast, and it made her heart ache. Such a strange thing... She suddenly couldn’t laugh anymore.

You wear your armor even to dinner, Lady Wilhelmina?"

“Of course I wear armor. I am sitting with a pirate, a mercenary, an adventurer, and a bounder. If a shot is not fired tonight, I daresay that your reputations are nothing but lies.