My Lady Quicksilver by Bec Mcmaster
A Woman Of Many Faces
It took months but she finally fell in love the man she married, Rosalind tells herself. He was taken away shortly after the bombing of the draining factories. Stricken with the death of her husband and the disappearance of her brother, Rosalind has to do her part and becomes the least likely to be suspected by the vampires, a masked woman she calls Mercury in Bec McMaster's My Lady Quicksilver, the third installment of her London Steampunk series.
Time had past but it had not healed the wounds of her past.
Rosalind has found out about a vampire named Jasper Lynch and needs to know about his involvement in the disappearance of her brother after several run ins in the London streets.
Masked as Mercury, Rosalind feels invincible but she will never get the answers she needs in this form nor under her own name. After careful planning with her allies, Rosalind plans to interview for Lynch's new secretary in the guise of a widow seeking employment.
Using bits of her past in the story and calling herself Rosa, she stares the vampire in the eye and convinces him to take her on.
Pulling on her gloves to disguise the cool metal of her prosthetic hand, Rosalind hopes that when Lynch sees her, there is no trace of the spy that he once kissed in the alley way a few nights before. Creating a clever story that she preferred no one to touch her hands because of an uncomfortable memory of her father and keeping her gloves on tightly, Rosalind does all she can to distract from the woman that her employer is chasing by night.
Lynch had warned her to not have a weak stomach.
Taking Rosa with to have notes documented from the scene of a murder of a a royal family, she follows along taking passive notes about the murder scene as the bodies lay sprawled around the impressive manner.
Worried about Lynch falling into blood lust and at the same time keeping her distance to keep from rousing his suspicions about her connection to Mercury and the humanists, Rosalind plays coy.
After an ambush on Lynch and the pair are attacked in the line of duty, she does her best to aid him without him finding out the secret to her identity.
The more time Lynch is spending with his secretary Rosa, he begins to feel the stirrings of passion that have been long absent from his life. There was something about the beautiful redhead that seemed so familiar to him but he just couldn't place it.
The boldness of her manner when he caught her red handed going through his papers didn't seem to be enough to have her sent away. Lynch knew he had no reason to trust this woman but something about her was calling to him and there was no way that he would prematurely end the relationship that they had.
When he dreamed of Rosa, his mind would for some reason go back to that kiss from Mercury and he found himself often comparing the two although the two women couldn't be less alike, Lynch found himself falling for both.
Being caught digging through Lynch's papers, Rosalind reminded herself she had to be more careful. This was for her brother. She had to get information on his whereabouts if she would ever be able to save him from the vampires.
As Mercury, Rosalind couldn't pull herself away from any opportunity to be near Lynch. When their paths crossed again and they shared information in the exchange for flirtation and caresses in a London alleyway, Lynch had begun to tell her that his heart belonged elsewhere to another woman.
While as Mercury she pretended to be upset at the assumption that another woman had stolen Lynch's heart instead, as Rosalind she fretted about her newest problem. She had feelings for Lynch too although it made no sense to fall for the enemy she was using to gain information.
She was losing everything she had gained from being Mercury. Her alias was flaking away as she let her feelings of jealousy get in the way.
Rosalind was jealous of herself, but not herself. This other identity that she had created to work next to Lynch. The trinity made up of bits and pieces of what motivated Rosalind the most.
The problem was the Rosa that Lynch was admittedly in love with wasn't her true self either and when he would find out that the red haired secretary that he so desired wasn't a real person either, Lynch would never want to get to know the true Rosalind.
How had she gone and messed everything up in the line of duty?
She couldn't walk away as she had come so far but she couldn't risk losing Lynch either.
Two identities both made up to gain information, one from Lynch and the other from the society that was warring with the humanists. Lynch had fell for the charms of Rosa, and felt desire for Mercury, but what would he think of Rosalind when she had to tell him the truth? Would there be any part of Lynch that believed she was lying to him to help save her brother? Would he find forgiveness or turn her away for good?
Facing The Truth
With little choice, after the events of the ball, Rosalind was forced to reveal her secret to Lynch.
She watched as his face filled with rage, his eyes darkened at her as she tried to stammer and explain exactly why she had done the things that she had. She just wanted Lynch to see it was the only way.
Feeling her deception both as her super heroine Mercury, and her mousy secretary identity Rosa, Lynch pinned knowing that the woman he loved was neither of these and he felt betrayed not knowing if any of the elements that that played into the duality of these roles was really in Rosalind.
Was there a glimmer there of someone that he was still in love with in this new, true form? Could he ever trust her again?
Before he got the chance to dwell, an attack on Lynch brought him to the brink of death where only Rosalind was brave enough to stick with him through the critical hours to make sure that he came out alive.
Seeing now that all the things that she had divided among her aliases were all part of the Rosalind that was there for him now, Lynch felt a surge in his heart.
He knew that she should be executed now that her alias of Mercury had been discovered but he could never allow such a thing to take place now that he realized that Rosalind had been the one that he loved all this time.
Putting himself in danger yet again going to court on her behalf, Lynch would do anything to guarantee her safety.
Humans In A World Of Beasts
As the third installment of the London Steampunk series takes us far from the humble beginnings in the Whitechapel district where we first met the Devil and his Beast, the universe expands to the other side of the conflict with characters introduced along side of the main characters from earlier novels.
While My Lady Quicksilver is the first book so far not to revisit characters such as Blade and Honor, the vampire of Whitechapel and his family are very much still at the center of the novel.
Working outward in the next two books, the focus will finally come back in and bring the fight back to where it all started three years before when a vampire summoned a young woman that was being blackmailed and ended up falling for her.