Description from Goodreads:
Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a stand-alone romance novella set in her popular steampunk universe full of manners, spies, and dainty sandwiches.
Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment.
It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn’t anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven – massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and… working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart – a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.
Buy Poison or Protect today to find out whether it’s heartbreak or haggis at this high tea.
The dedication to this book is “For everyone one of my fans who reached out and said, “If Gail Carriger writes it, I will read it….”” Well, I’ve not reached out, but I find I have become one of those fans. Poison or Protect is a novella set in the same world as the Finishing School, Parasol Protectorate, and Custard Protocol series. You see one or two familiar faces, but it stands separate from each; perhaps only tentatively alone, as you still need to know some of the world details—what a drone is, why vampires are so geographically limited, werewolf hierarchies—but it isn’t actually part of any of Carriger’s bigger series.
I adored both Preshea and Gavin. Both were characters I wanted to gather to me. Their dynamic is one that just pushes all my buttons. I won’t include a spoiler, but just say I found them very sexy. And the book is more sexually explicit that I’ve seen in the bigger series. Not overly so at all, but this is not a YA book.
The writing is tight and gloriously proper, as always, and Lavington did an amazing job narrating it. All in all, a winner for me.