The Girl in the Steel Corset: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady CrossThe Girl in the Steel Corset: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset: The Girl in the Steel Corset

byKady Cross

Paperback | April 17, 2012

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In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no oneexcept the "thing" inside her

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch.

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets, against the wishes of his band of misfits. And Finley thinks she might finally be a part of something, finally fit in—until a criminal mastermind known as the Machinist threatens to tear the group apart.

Included for the first time in print, meet Finley in her first adventure The Strange Case of Finley Jayne the novella prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset!

In her other life, Kady Cross is a USA TODAY bestselling author of over 20 books. She lives with her husband who shares her love for the slightly twisted and all things geek, and a houseful of cats with whom she shares all her secrets. When not writing, she\u2019s either trying to create the perfect lip gloss or teaching herself to sol...
Title:The Girl in the Steel Corset: The Girl in the Steel CorsetFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 8.25 × 5.38 × 1.3 inPublished:April 17, 2012Publisher:HarlequinLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373210701

ISBN - 13:9780373210701

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Good! Really good! I love the plot and the way it ends! I'm so happy there are more books! If you enjoy steampunk and romance you should give this book a try!
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Read I liked this book. It has steampunk and romance and victorian esthetic. Seeing Finley and Griffin dance circles around one another is adorable.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not worth your time The Girl in the Steel Corset was a disappointment. This novel seemed like it would have everything in it to make it an enjoyable, even great read. Unfortunately, everything falls flat and that has to be the greatest disappointment about the whole thing. The story had potential, but it was just badly planned and badly executed. The characters were dull, forgettable and lacked uniqueness. There personalities were inconsistent. And the relationships between the characters were often unclear, switching so much that I had a hard time figuring out who liked who, who wanted to kill who, etc. The setting was badly done. I've read so many great books that have taken place in the Victorian era and utilized the elements of it so well, but the author, Kady Cross, seemed to barely take advantage of things she could do with it. Sometimes I even forgot that the book took place in the past and not in the present day setting. The plot was confusing, lacked important details and was remarkably boring and predictable. There were so many times that an element was brought up or a character said something and then after that it was never mentioned again. Barely anything, I found, was explained or if explained, was done so that you were even more confused then before. All in all, The Girl in the Steel Corset is not worth your time.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this book Really enjoyed it. It felt a little like the clockwork series by Cassandra Clare, but still it was a fun ride. I look forward for the next book.
Date published: 2014-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice This dragged in just a few spots and had some redundancy but I'm happy with my purchase and can't wait to read part two!!
Date published: 2014-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun first novel in the series My first foray into steampunk... really enjoyed it
Date published: 2014-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adventurous This was a fun, action-packed read with a hint of sexual tension.
Date published: 2014-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Adventurous My first steampunk book, and I loved it! Read this in a few days, very cool.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Adventurous I found the mix of historical and science fiction to be really interesting and I got drawn in by the fascinating characters and great use of imagery. However, I was disappointed by a lack of complexity in the plot and felt the "climax" to be rather anti-climactic and there were noticeable discontinuities in the prequel. I think preteens and younger teenagers would probably enjoy this book, but a young adult reader may be wishing for a little more story instead of just vivid descriptions of what everyone was wearing....
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun Can't wait to read the next one.
Date published: 2013-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun Loved this book for beginning to end! Had to read book 2 right away to continue. Makes you think of what the world could be!
Date published: 2013-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun An excellent read! I found the time era and the mystery refreshing! Take a look if you're interested in cool gadgets and in depth characters!
Date published: 2013-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Good book. Keeps you engaged.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't Like it As Much As I Hoped I Would More reviews at Finley Jayne is not your average girl. Finley has a dark side - a side that enables her to throw grown men like a mere sack of potatoes. And quite frankly, I liked that about her. Finley's dark side intrigued me a hell of a lot more than her other side. The darker side to Miss Jayne was extremely bad-ass, and I have to admit, I love that in my characters. But it was really awesome how completely different the two sides of Finley were. However, I kept forgetting that Finley was supposed to have blonde hair in brown hair. The girl on the cover kept confusing me. I really wish that when the publisher, or author or whoever decides the cover art for the book that if they were going to show the characters, they at least resemble the description given to them in the book. Is that so hard to do? Throughout the book, there were plenty of references to Dr. Jekyll and My. Hyde references, which I totally understand from Finley's personality. It kind of makes me wonder if this book was inspired by the old classic. I also got a strong reminder of a CSI episode during this book, and I was oddly reminded of Scooby-Doo during the ending. I can't really say that I liked these resemblances, though. In fact, they kind of annoyed me and felt out of place considering the time frame the book is set in. It's supposed to be the 1800s, I don't want to be reminded of current-day things. And the love triangles! UGH! Okay. So I understand the one between Jack and Griff and Finely, but the one between what's-his-face, Sam and Emily? Totally not necessary. Not every main character in the book has to be in love with somebody. It's really not necessary. Anyways. Other than Finley's bad-ass self, I couldn't really bring myself to really care for anyone, and I didn't really find the plot all that engaging. It was very predictable for me. In fact, it was so predictable that I can say that I could have easily stopped reading this book and I would have known what happened in the end without needing to read it. The pace of the book was moderate. I wasn't bored with it, but I wasn't exactly on the edge of my seat either. This might have been due to the fact that the book was predictable and I wasn't really invested in it's characters. Which brings me to my disappointment in this book. Trust me when I say that I wanted to like it. I really did. But I just couldn't do it. I mean, it was an okay read, but definitely not something that I would consider picking up and reading again. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Now. If you haven't read this book and plan on it, I wouldn't suggest reading this next little bit unless you want to know the ending. So scram! You have been warned! First, I would like to pose a question. WHY THE HELL DID SAM GO AND CONFRONT LEON ON HIS OWN?!?! That was such a stupid thing to do. You have no idea how much it annoyed me. When they finally figured out Leon was The Mechanist was, I remember repeating over and over in my head, "Sam better not go and confront him on his own. He better not. DON'T DO IT SAM." But what does he do? Exactly what he shouldn't have. *sigh* I'm sorry. I know characters have there faults and whatever, but this really annoyed me, you have no idea. Also! At the end when they took what's-his-face away (I can't even remember his name anymore)! What the hell was that?! I understand that there was build up towards that, but barely. I mean, the guy didn't even seem like a killer. Not in the, he-hid-it-so-well kind of way, but in the he's-not-capable-of-doing-something-like-that-EVER kind of way. And honestly? When they took him away I can't say I really cared at all. And have you read the description for the second book?! Who the heck is this new chick? I thought he liked Emily. This also erked me. I can't say why, it just really did. Butyeah. That's my rant and I'm sorry you had to hear it, but I just needed to get that out of my system.
Date published: 2012-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So much fun. A strong female character who kicks butt and wears dresses! I recently read the short story ‘The Strange Case of Finley Jayne’ which I recommend you read before reading the companion novel ‘The Girl in the Steel Corset’ because you get some backstory (not exactly necessary, but good nonetheless) Luckily the copy that I bought had both included. How beautiful is this cover? In these stories you meet this wonderfully badass main character Finley Jayne who has sort of split personality. There is the good version and the bad version (think super strength, hearing and vision) just like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This dark side often overcomes her and causes problems like hitting people and getting fired. I think that Finley Jayne is kickass and still wears gowns and dresses how awesome is that? I didn’t really know anything about steampunk before I read this novel. I actually had to Google it to see what it was all about. I guess I had seen examples of it without knowing it at the times since I have read the infernal devices which I guess fits into the category. So I found this entire community online. The idea is bringing a bunch of different genres (including but not limited to sci-fi, fantasy, horror etc) started in the 80-90s. It’s like this alternate history which often happens in the Victorian era where steam power is widely used. It’s kind of like imagining how people in that era would envision these technological advances. In this book it comes in forms of androids, robotic creatures (horses), velocycles etc. I did find a few things in this novel a little farfetched like homing devices, and portable communication devices, but any author that uses words like Harridan which means ‘A woman regarded as scolding and vicious’ has my attention! The story focuses on a group of misfit teenagers. Finley ends up literally running into the Duke of Greythorne aka Griffin King, who takes her in so that she ends up staying a part of his motley crew. The main plot revolves around an evil machinist going around London stealing things from museums, and the group wants to figure out why and stop him from hurting someone. I actually really liked the story, and surprising I also like Jack Dandy. Normally I’m all for the good guy in a love triangle, but this time I actually really like both of the guys Finley fancies. I want to know more about Jack and even though I’m sure Griffin is the best choice I’m still torn. I think that reading the follow up books will allow us to learn more about the characters and I look forward to that. I hate that the book left off with a cliffhanger, but luckily the sequel ‘Girl in the Clockwork Collar already came out. I need to know what happens next. Allison Add me on Goodreads for more book reviews or to see what I’m reading now
Date published: 2012-06-05

Read from the Book

London, 1897The moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she'd be unemployed before the sun rose. Her third dismissal in as many months.She tensed and slowed her steps, but she did not stop. She kept her head down, but was smart enough not to take her gaze off him. Perhaps he would walk right by her, as though she were as invisible as servants were supposed to be.Felix August-Raynes was the son of her employer. At one and twenty years of age, he was tall and lean with curly blond hair and bright blue eyes. Every woman who saw him called him an angel. Most who knew him thought him the very devil.The other maids in service had warned her about Lord Felix her first day in the house. A mere fortnight ago. He belonged to a gang of privileged ruffians known for their facial piercings and lack of respect for anyone else, especially females. She had been hired to replace the previous girl hurt by the young lord. Rumor had it that the maid had required serious medical attention.Finley didn't court trouble, but part of her—that part that was going to keep her safe, yet get her fired—hoped he'd try something. It was horribly delighted at the prospect of the violence to come.The rest of her was terrified. Were it not for the steel boning of her leather work-corset, she fancied her heart might slam through her ribs it was pounding so hard.Lord Felix smiled, teeth flashing in the dim light as he stopped just a few feet in front of her, blocking the only route to the servants' quarters where she slept. The tiny brass bar that bisected his left eyebrow—and proclaimed him a member of the Dandies—glinted. "Hello, my lovely. I had hoped to run into you."Finley hesitated. Maybe he'd move out of her way and let her pass.Or, a voice in her head whispered—her voice—you could kick his teeth in. She lowered her gaze, not wanting him to see the bloodlust there. Silently, she willed him to let her pass. For his own safety.Instead, he closed the scant distance between them."You're new, aren't you?" he inquired, moving closer. He was already much too close for propriety and there was no one around to make sure he didn't overstep his bounds. The light on the wall above them flickered as though attuned to the fluttering in Finley's chest. This close, she could smell stale ale, cologne and the undeniable oily scent of mech-boxing on his fine suit. Lord Felix was a great patron of the sport.Though why anyone would want to watch automatons pound the gears out of each other was beyond her."Please, my lord," she said softly, wincing at the pleading in her tone. Please don't make me hurt you. "I wish to retire. It's late."It was after three in the morning, to be exact. She would have been in bed hours ago were it not for the fact that the darling debutante of the house had demanded her pink riding habit be laundered for the morning. As Lady Alyss's maid, it was Finley's job to take the ensemble down to the laundry where the air was thick with hot steam and the smell of overheated gears. She had washed the clothing and set it to dry. Right now her blouse and short skirts were damp, and her feet were sweating inside her high, thick-soled boots. She wanted nothing more than to unfasten the many buckles and take them off, along with her corset. She was going to be up early to collect the habit for Lady Alyss to wear.And now this annoying twit stood in her way. Finley didn't like it. The thing inside her truly didn't like it. She used to think of it as an imp on her shoulder, urging her to be naughty, but lately she'd come to think of it as less mischievous and more dangerous.Dangerous to whoever threatened her.Lord Felix propped a palm against the plaster by her head, turning so that he pinned her against the wall with his own body. "What's the hurry?" he asked, beer breath hot on her face. "Don't you like me?"Finley held her tongue. If she opened her mouth she'd tell him exactly what she thought of him, and she needed to keep this employment. She needed to get out of this situation without either of them getting hurt.He slid his other hand behind her, down her back to her backside and squeezed. "Don't you want to make me happy? Smart little girls want to make me happy."Finley turned her head as his face came down toward hers, and narrowly escaped being kissed. His wet mouth landed on her ear instead. She shuddered. "Please, my lord. Let me go." For your own sake.His lips fastened on her neck instead. Nausea rolled through her stomach and then suddenly stopped as she felt his palm against the striped stockings that covered her thigh. He wasn't going to cease. He wasn't going to let her go. He was going to take what he wanted, because that's what rich young men did to girls under their control.But she wasn't under anybody's control. Not even her own. She could feel it fracturing as something deep inside fought to get out.Finley brought both hands up and pushed hard against his chest. He flew backward, hitting the opposite wall with enough force to crack the plaster.Lord Felix stared at her, in both shock and outrage. "You nasty tart," he snarled as he brushed dust from his sleeves. "Like a bit of the rough, do you?""You've no idea," Finley heard herself reply coolly. "But make no mistake, my lord, I do not like you, so keep those damn hands of yours to yourself."The young man's face reddened and his eyes shone with anger. "Bitch. No guttersnipe servant talks to me that way." He straightened and took a step toward her, shrugging out of his purple velvet frock-coat. "Someone needs to teach you a lesson."She didn't see the blow coming, but she certainly felt it when it hit. Her head jolted back under the force of his fist, striking the wall. Lights danced in the darkness of her eyes as pain shot through her skull. But she did not pass out.It would have been so much better for Lord Felix if she had.She could feel blood trickling from her mouth and she wiped at it with the back of her hand. Vision finally clear, she saw that Lord Felix had also removed his waistcoat and was now rolling up his sleeves. The excited glint in his eye told Finley exactly what kind of lesson he intended her to "learn."Something inside her stretched and pulled—still fighting to get out. There was no point in denying it anymore. She had been raised in a loving home with her mother and stepfather—a kind and honest man who doted on them both. He would never dream of such violence—no good man would.But Lord Felix August-Raynes was not a good man. And it was time someone taught him a lesson.The warm rush of familiar power brought a slight smile to her battered lips. She gave up all attempts to keep it reined in. It was the only way she'd survive this night with her virtue and bones intact. It was as though she was watching herself from a perch on the ceiling—all she could do was observe as her other self took over. Her boots shifted on the bare floor, right foot forward, left foot back and pointed out. She raised her fists."Coming back for more, eh?" Felix grinned at her. "I like a little fight in my girls."She grinned at him, causing blood to dribble down her chin. "Then you're going to love me." The voice was hers, but deeper and throatier than she'd ever heard before. It was a dangerous voice, and even Felix paused at the sound of it.Finley, however, did not pause. She drove her fist right into her attacker's throat. He staggered backward, eyes wide with shock as he coughed and choked and struggled for breath.She bounced on her feet, waiting for him to recover. She should run and hide. She should be gasping in fear, lungs constrained by the tight lacing of her corset. But she wasn't afraid anymore and she wasn't about to run. She was going toBut first, a little fun. She hadn't hit the bully as hard as she could have. She was going to let him think he stood a chance first.When Felix recovered enough to come at her again, she was ready for him. He swung and she ducked, landing another punch to his kidneys. When he doubled over, she grabbed his head and brought her knee up fast. Unfortunately, the layers of skirts she wore softened the blow. He struck her in the stomach, knocking the breath from her, and then hit her in the face again. She fell to the floor, rolling just in time to avoid being kicked by one of his boots.She'd never been struck before—not like this. She'd never felt as though someone meant to kill her—or didn't care if they did. She gasped for breath against the polished wood floor, rolling again when he struck out with his foot once more. She moved faster than she should have, the pain from his blows already easing.He called her all kinds of horrible names—guttural and nasty sounding. But instead of making her feel awful or frightening her, they only made her want to hit him all the harder.She pulled herself to her feet. Her stomach and face ached, but not like it should have. It never hurt like it should.Her hands grabbed Lord Felix by the front of his shirt. She pulled him toward her, hard, and smashed her forehead against the bridge of his nose. There was a snapping sound just before he screamed. Finley thrust him backward, satisfaction tickling her when she saw the blood coursing down his face.He was good and mad now. He raised a hand to his nose, and when he saw the blood on his fingers, he made a growling sound in his throat. She'd ruined his pretty face and now he was going to make her pay for it. She smiled. Or rather, he was going to try to make her pay for it.He came at her again, like a bull. Finley didn't think, she simply reacted and took two quick steps forward. With that slight momentum, she lifted her right boot to the wall and pushed up, grabbing the scrolled brass of the wall sconce for support and whipped her left leg out.She kicked him in the face.He keeled over like a milk bottle knocked off a step, hitting the floor with a solid thump. He lay there, motionless, an imprint of the heel of her boot smack in the middle of his forehead, blood trickling from his already swelling nose.She hopped down from the wall and went to stand over him, victorious and self-satisfied. Adrenaline rushed through her veins, making her practically dance in her boots. Lord Felix had promised to teach her a lesson, but he was the one who had been schooled. He'd think twice before laying a hand on another girl.But Finley's satisfaction was short-lived. In fact, it was over at almost the precise moment when she looked at Lord Felix's face. He was so still, so pale except for the blood. What if he was dead? All the fight whooshed out of her, leaving her trembling and cold in its wake."What have I done?" she whispered.What you had to.She felt his neck for a pulse, relief engulfing her as she found it. She hadn't killed him. At least she wouldn't hang. But she had still attacked the son of a peer of the realm and there would be consequences.Three jobs in three months and they'd all ended with an experience like this one, although this was by far the worst.She'd been let go from each position because of her behavior, something that had released this thing inside her. Urges to act in a way that was far from civilized, far beyond what she as a young woman should be capable of.They'd bring the law down on her for this. They'd lock her up. Or worse, use her for scientific experiments in New Bethlehem Asylum—Bedlam. And they would experiment on her once they realized she was abnormal.Run, the voice inside her whispered. Run away.Listening to the voice had gotten her into this mess, perhaps this time it would get her out. There was no way Lord Felix wouldn't exact retribution upon her for harming him—either by finishing what he'd started or by bringing the authorities down upon her. There was no way she was going to let him do what he wanted to her. No way she'd risk having her brain dissected for giving him less than what he really deserved.So Finley listened to the voice and ran.