Title: Gilded Hearts (The Shadow Guild #1)
Author: Christine D'Abo
Publication: January 7, 2014
Genre: Historical Steampunk Romance
Samuel Hawkins, Sergeant in the King's Sentry, has been called in to investigate a murder case. As he awaits the Archivists to arrive—the team who will use a special device to extract the memories of the dead man to help find clues to his murder—he never expects to come face to face with the woman he'd left behind when he'd fled the Archives five years earlier.
Piper Smith has grown from the girl Samuel remembered into a strong woman and full-fledged archivist. Shadowed by her mentor, Master Ryerson, Piper will be performing her first extraction. When she sees Samuel, she must push aside her childhood crush, else risk her standing within the Guild.
As the two begin working together to find the killer, Samuel and Piper explore their intense attraction to each other. But "Jack the Ripper" proves to be harder to catch than the two originally thought. What's worse, they discover he may very well work for the Archives. Now, Samuel and Piper must battle internal and external threats as they try to foil a plot against the Crown and stop Jack the Ripper from taking his next victim.
Piper let her mind wander to Samuel. After some time to get used to the idea of seeing him again, she wasn’t surprised he’d been assigned to investigate the murder. He’d flown through the ranks from Bow Street runner to constable to sergeant in a matter of a few years. Samuel, with his brilliant mind and easy manner, his ability to know what a person was feeling. It had been like a gift, a sign, to see him at that moment. Without question she knew he would help her.
Samuel and his duty. Samuel, who’d already been at the Archives for years when she had arrived. Who’d been there since his infancy. The same Samuel who’d wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her to his side that first night when she’d cried for her mother. She was stronger now, and yet knowing he would come to help buoyed her resolve.
They could do this. They would discover who the killer was and—
Staggering, she caught herself against the wall as a wave of pain and lust slammed into her. Laughter echoed through her head as her body responded, nipples hardening and desire flaring through her core.
“Piper?” Jones was by her side. He put his hand out, offering support, but didn’t touch.
“Effects from the extraction. I’ll be fine.” Please, let her be fine. Taking Jones by the arm, she took a deep breath. “Let’s get this over with.” They crossed the threshold to the infirmary.