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The Restitution League

To Miss Nelly Tremaine

Dear Sister—

What’s this about you leaving your position with the Grenvilles?  Word is they’re a respectable family. I had hopes that their cook would train you up. Good cooks are scarce. You’d never want for work with that kind of skill.

I must confess, your new employers sound terrifying. I know you said they assist people who’ve been done wrong, but they used to be thieves. Even the women! I can’t imagine why you’d leave a fine household to work for such a strange group. But then, you’ve always been one to leap before you looked.

I pray to God every night to keep you safe. Your loving sister, Bess

To Mrs. Thaddeus Wilton

Restitution

Dear Bess—

I know you’ve been worried about me taking that new position with the Restitution League, but I couldn’t be happier. Mrs. Crane and the rest are very kind, even if Mr. Edison does scare the daylights out of us with his experiments. The explosions do rattle one’s nerves, I don’t mind saying. Last week he built a brass automaton that pours tea!  It wasn’t long before the poor fellow knocked over an end table and broke a vase. Mrs. Crane was not pleased.

As you can see by this letter, I’ve learnt to use the typewriter quite well. I’m to start lessons on the telegraph machine next week. Learning Morse code seems impossibe, but Mr. Edison says I’ve got the brains for it. Time will tell. I’m so happy to be doing something besides sweeping and dusting. 

I hope Thaddeus and the children are well. It looks as if I’ll get a chance to see for myself soon. Mr. and Mrs. Crane are going on a delayed honeymoon trip next month. She says I’m to have a whole two weeks leave. The Grenvilles were never so generous.

 I’ve already saved up for the train fare, so you can plan on having me at the first of the month. There’s no need to fret. I’m happier than I could imagine. And wait until you see my new clothes!  Office girls don’t have to wear stupid old uniforms like maids do. I’ve got a smart new set of dresses to show you.

I can’t wait to see you all.  Your sister, the office girl

Restitution
Yost Typewriter 1890

About the Book

A woman who disdains love collides with a man who lives for passion. Explosions ensue.

Ada Templeton believes in science. She believes in chemical reactions and experimentation and old-fashioned common sense. She’s far too clever to be seduced by a rake like Edison Sweet.

Over Ada’s objections, Edison agrees to guard her latest invention from a mastermind willing to kill for it. He never expects to be intrigued by the lovely widow whose body he finds as exciting as her mind.

Seducing the Scientist and the other books in the Restitution League series are now available in Kindle Unlimited.

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Excerpt:

In the daylight, Ada’s laboratory was nothing short of spectacular.

It was everything Edison’s own workshop was not. Beakers, test tubes, and glass decanters, each in their proper place on mahogany workbenches, gleamed in the bright autumn light. All neat and tidy and pleasingly arranged, not unlike the scientist who worked there.

All the more so as he suspected the effect was completely accidental.

And then there was her scent. That light swirl of violets. Even in the midst of the acrid, metallic odors emanating from every beaker and box in the crowded room, it stirred him.

Delightful perfume aside, the woman’s obstinance was beginning to grate. Badly.

Edison rubbed a hand over his eyes. “I can’t keep your device safe if you don’t tell me where it is.”

She raised a beaker to eye level, frowning as she measured dry plaster of Paris to her liking. “It’s well hidden. Have no worry about that.”

“Have no worry? Are you addled?” He threw his hands up. “What do you think those men were looking for last night? What about the men before that? They weren’t after your excessive hoard of plaster.”

She continued with her measuring. “You’ll have to trust me, Mr. Sweet…Edison. The device is secure. What I do need your assistance with—and I am fully willing to admit it—is protection for my family.”

“Yes, yes. Of course. We’ll keep you all safe. That’s the easy part. I sent the stable boy to gather the rest of the League before I came down to breakfast. My reinforcements will be here before lunch, I’m sure. But I can’t protect your device, unless—”

She slammed the jar of powder down onto the counter. “You’re already taking a risk to protect us. I won’t add to that. The device is safe. Even if it were not, I won’t have you endanger yourself to save it.”

Unlike most women, she didn’t resort to coquetry. She met him head to head. Any other time, he would have found that profoundly appealing. Under the current conditions, however, it was unduly aggravating.

He closed his eyes, wishing he were contending with the sort of woman who liked to be cosseted and protected. He understood those women—how they thought, what they desired.

How to get what he wanted in return.

Habit made him lean close so his breath would caress her ear. He’d been told more than once it made women shiver delightfully. “I’ll find it eventually, you know.”

Instead of melting, softening, shivering, or sighing, she jerked away as if he reeked like a fishmonger.

“Search all you like.” She measured chloride into the beakers. “You won’t find it.”

Edison ground his teeth. Dear God, he’d seen granite cliffs less stubborn. If charm had no effect, intimidation might.

He lifted the chloride from her hand and set it on the bench.

She glared fiercely. “I beg your pardon?”

He ignored her and closed in, backing her up against a filing cabinet. When she could go no farther, he spread his arms wide, his palms flat against the cabinet front, pinning her in.

He’d planned to frighten her, to scare her into letting him have the device. But that sweet scent wrapped around him again, obscuring his train of thought in a sensual mist. All he could think of were her lips, slightly parted and begging to be kissed.

She squinted up at him. “What are your intentions?”

The words did not match her tone, which was soft and sweet and—dare he hoped—welcoming.

He smiled. “What would you like them to be?”

Her mouth opened wider. Her chest rose and fell as her breath deepened and her eyes dilated. “I believe I should like you to kiss me,” she said finally.

About the Author

Riley Cole writes sexy, sassy historical romances set in the innovative, energetic Victorian Era.

If you enjoy high adventure with your historical romance, delve into Riley’s version of late Victorian London. Thieves, rogues, and love await.

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1 Comment

  1. What a terrific concept, Riley. Thank you very much for sharing this book with us. I know what my next read will be.

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