It’s 1838, Europe is obsessed with mechanical contraptions, and the “Rajah”- a chess-playing machine- is the pinnacle of entertainment. Kit has toured with the Rajah since the age of ten and knows the secret behind the machine all too well . . . just as she knows that people would rather be fooled than have their illusions stripped away.
An eccentric Countess summons the Rajah to her manor house in Vienna for a private engagement. There, Kit meets the inquisitive Eleanor, who tests Kit’s ability to tell the difference between truth and illusion . . . Or is it all just another game of chess?
Life in a remote fishing village in the middle of a civil war is neither safe nor inspiring. So, when an opportunity comes along for village girl Lynn to be kidnapped and enslaved by a ruthless pirate queen, she takes full advantage of it. But Darren is neither as ruthless nor as piratical as she appears at first glance–and Lynn’s not exactly what she seems to be, either. In between encounters with old girlfriends, a slow death involving marmalade, and bounty hunters with no sense of humour, Lynn and her new mistress attempt to work out exactly what they are to each other–and who’s in charge.