Author: Kady Cross
Publication: Harlequin Teen (May 1, 2011)
Description: Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…
My Thoughts: Finley Jayne loses her job when she hits the governess who is striking one of her charges. Finley let the dark side of her character out and used some of her unusual strength. She goes home while looking for another position. She is determined to be independent. Finley finds a job as companion to Lady Phoebe, a young lady of about her age, who is engaged to a much older man. Lord Vincent lost his wife in a carriage accident and seems to have chosen Phoebe because she bears a striking resemblance to his deceased wife.
Lord Vincent is an inventor who has made a number of automatons. He has even made mechanical horses. Lady Phoebe is in love with another man. But Robert is not yet 21 and doesn't have the financial advantages that Lord Vincent has. Her father is deeply in debt and Lord Vincent is covering his bills.
Lady Phoebe's mother hires Finely because of her unusual abilities to protect Phoebe. Good thing too! Lady Phoebe is caught in a runaway carriage but Finley manages to disable the automatons. Then she, Lady Phoebe and Lady Morton are attacked on the street. This leads Finley to do some investigating in Lord Vincent's home. What she discovers is a mad plot the means great danger to Lady Phoebe.
This story was a fun introduction to Finley Jayne and a great glimpse into this steampunk world. I recommend it and also recommend following it with The Girl in the Steel Corset.
So Finley did what so many rich girls did when confronted with a situation they did not want to face. She rolled her eyes back into her head and pretended to faint.I downloaded this free short story to my Kindle. You can get it here too.