When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.Shadows of Asphodel excerpt
1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.
But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.
If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster—or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.
Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?
(Dieselpunk romance. Recommended for ages 17 & up.)
“Necromancy is fascinating,” he murmured. “There’s a certain repulsive elegance about the magic. With it, I can recover memories long lost. I can speak to the dead who left this world days, weeks, even centuries ago.”
His eyes gleamed in the dusk, and she wasn’t sure it was sadness for his childhood pet. She thought she heard pride in his voice.
Then he looked at her, and he smirked.
“If I’m an abomination,” he said, “I might as well enjoy it.”
“And you expect me not to be sanctimonious?” she said, but she couldn’t help smiling.
“I do tend to bring that out in people,” he said flippantly. “I aim to please.”
“Please who?” she said.
“Those whose fancy the repulsively elegant.”
“Or despicably handsome?”
A slow grin spread on Wendel’s face. “That too.”
Ardis cleared her throat. She was not about to admit that she found him handsome. Unless she already had, which was a mistake. Clearly he knew about his good looks, considering how much he resorted to charm. Not that she found him charming.