To pay off her recently deceased brother’s debts, however, Lorna Robbins must take drastic measures. When she happens upon a resurrectionist gang stealing his corpse, she does the unthinkable and joins the criminal outfit to save her family estate and her younger sibling. For the first time in her lonely, duty-driven life, Lorna finds herself leading a treacherous and exciting double existence. By day, she becomes a popular lady of the ton, relying on society gossip to help her body-snatching gang. By night, she becomes the grave robber known only as the Blackbird.
Surgeon and anatomy teacher Brandon Dewhurst relies on resurrectionists to bring him the specimens he needs to further his research on pregnancy. When his usual suppliers become unreliable, and then downright sinister, he’s reluctantly drawn further into the black market. As Lorna and Brandon both target the same body—a pregnant woman who is still very much alive—they find themselves powerfully drawn together time and again while trying to maintain their own respectable facades. But this daring duo is courting danger, and romance is a complication neither can afford.
Don’t miss this compelling first novel in a dark and dazzling new Regency series by bestselling author Elizabeth Boyce.
by Elizabeth Boyce
Sensuality Level: Sensual
When she isn’t devising new ways to antagonize her characters, Elizabeth Boyce likes to spend her time devising new ways to embarrass her children. She lives in South Carolina.
An excerpt from Honor Among Thieves:
The grandfather clock in the corner thunked a steady rhythm, and Lorna sipped her tea. Around her, the parlor’s shabby sofa and chairs stood empty, waiting for callers who wouldn’t arrive. No one mourned the passing of a madman.
A series of hollow gongs announced ten o’clock. At the cemetery, the vicar soon would pray over Thomas, with only poor little Daniel and a manservant in attendance.
The droning chimes faded. Silence filled Lorna’s ears, a soothing balm to her frayed nerves. Her brother’s screams and curses had filled the house for months before the end came. Belligerent and wheedling and sinister by turns, the incessant noise had threatened to pull the whole house into insanity with him. Even when he no longer opened his lids because light hurt his eyes, his lips moved, spewing blasphemies and mad rants or begging for something—the services of a prostitute his most frequent request.
On one of these occasions, her resolve to ignore his revolting words had failed her. “Hasn’t your whoring done enough?” she’d snapped. “There will be no more of that for you, brother.”
Thomas growled in protest and squirmed against the lengths of linen bound to his ankles and wrists. One eye cracked open, rolling in the socket until it settled on Lorna. It looked like a watery poached egg floating in a ring of crusty lashes. Gaunt, stubbled cheeks pulled back to reveal slimy teeth. “Then give me your mouth.” The thin, soiled nightshirt wadded around his thighs outlined a jutting erection.
Lorna’s cheeks still burned in shame to recall her brother’s suggestion. He’d laughed at her shocked indignation, all the while lewdly grinding his hips in circles. “You’re too scrawny to fuck, and your cunt’s dusty like a harp in the corner, waiting for someone to play it. But your lips are pink and ready.”
She’d never heard two of those words before, but it took her only a second to interpret them.
Lorna took a cake from the table of refreshments meant for sympathetic neighbors. Cook insisted on providing the late Baron Chorley a respectable funeral, despite the disgrace he had heaped upon the family while he lived. Lorna nibbled slowly, relishing the sweetness against her tongue.
Of late, her meals had been gulped down without tasting the food. Almost every waking moment had been spent at Thomas’s bedside, watching the restraints. Twice he’d escaped. The first time, he kicked through a window, shredded his leg, and nearly bled to death before they wrestled him back into bed. The second time … Lorna winced at the memory of the maid’s ruined face.
After that, Thomas was kept under constant supervision. Lorna hadn’t thought it fair to leave the last remaining footman, Oscar, and the old butler, Humphrey, entirely in charge of tending him—especially since the servants worked out of loyalty now, rather than for a decent wage.