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the assassin's prodigy the elite society of character assassins

A genre-bending tale of literary mayhem and forbidden love…

Between hearing the disembodied voices of dead people (seriously) and finding out I’ve inherited an English estate, I’ve got enough problems. Add in that I’m supposed to be writing my next book while somehow finding love, and it’s utter chaos. The last thing I need is to add another line to my resume: Zoe Albright, monster tracker.

It doesn’t help that the nightmare job comes with Gabriel Bennett, a sexy (and deadly) dimension-traveling assassin. How am I supposed to battle ‘FICtional’ villains when really I’m fighting my intense (and taboo) attraction to him? Writing was hard enough.

If all of this sounds like it’s something out of a science fiction movie or book, that’s because it is. Sort of. It’s complicated. Gabriel says it’s my destiny to protect mankind, and if I can’t stop being a ‘damnable mess’… I’ll die. Literally.


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paperback — march 2019
digital novel — march 2019  

what people are saying

Fun, fast-paced, original read!

This book lived up to the term “genre-bending”, by blending mystery, steam punk, paranormal, and romance, and doing it seamlessly. It sounds like a lot, but Ms. Ciotta makes it work, in a way that made me think and reflect on the characters, while moving forward with them and the story line. This read had me hooked from the start! –5 Stars, Deidre M, Amazon and Goodreads

Fantastical and Romantic!

It’s so different , but in the very best way. A whole new world is opened up with literary characters breaking out if their world into ours. The hero and heroine have amazing chemistry. You are rooting for them the whole way through and dying to find out what will happen next in this exciting mystery romance. I loved it. 5 Stars, Janet C, Amazon 

Brilliant, funny, and addictive.

The chemistry between our hero and heroine is off the charts! The premise is completely brand new and addicting. Absolutely love it. Take a chance you won’t be disappointed. –5 Stars, Reader Review, Barnes and Noble

Imaginative and Fast-Paced!

With quirky characters, a fantastic adventure and plenty of romantic tension, Ciotta takes us on a whirlwind ride! This book is fast-paced, and crosses several genres: romance, adventure, time-travel, steampunk and mystery. Plenty of humor to keep you smiling while you’re on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this book! Ciotta is a gifted writer. –5 Stars, Roni D, Amazon Reader Review

Social Media Buzz…

“Loved it!!!!! Reminds me of Karen Marie Monings Fever series. Can’t wait for the next book!!!!! Let me also mention I got nothing done today except reading!” –Barbara L, 

“Reading it now!! Great! Although the suspense of whether they will or whether they won’t is killing me!!!” –Robin M

I want more!!!

I was enthralled!! I love, love, love the genre bending storyline immensely. It is creative, imaginative, fanciful and adventurous with a bit of sexiness woven in. I am crossing every finger in the hope there will be at least one more book, preferably more. –5 Stars, Sherry T, Amazon



 My whispered query bounces off the rich colored walls and cool marbled floor.

Never have I been so curious, so anxious.

If I search Blackmoor, will I find personal belongings of my father? Books, journals, letters, photo albums? Something that tells of his past? Of Victoria? Of me?

Heart cramped, fists clenched, I breathe deep, hoping to catch his scent. Tobacco, liquor, cologne…

But all I smell is the familiar, soothing aroma of strong black java.

Remembering the pot of coffee graciously brewed by Watson, I head back to the parlor. Lightheaded and weirdly disconnected, I float across the threshold, toward the fragrant coffee…and stop cold at the sight of an imposing figure.

He’s standing at the window and peering out at the immaculate lawn.

My skin prickles and my heart skips. “Who are you?”

He turns a fraction of an inch, his head angled as though puzzled by the question. “You can see me, madam?”

His voice is deep, seductive, and heavily accented. British, like Penelope and Watson. “Of course, I can see you,” I say, cursing the hitch in my voice. “You’re standing right in front of me.” Actually, he’s standing on the far side of the room, in the shadows. 

He moves into a path of muted sunlight.

Handsome. Carnal.

The man oozes a lethal sensuality that pulverizes my wits. He looks to be in his thirties. Worldly. Or maybe world weary. Dark eyes that have seen too much, a chiseled jaw that hasn’t seen a razor in days, and longish, black hair that looks perpetually windblown.

His aura—if you believe in that sort of thing—is potent.

“Remarkable,” he says as I continue to stare.

You can say that again. This guy is a piece of work. Pinstriped trousers, a crisp white shirt, a crimson vest, and a black knee-length coat. He looks like he stepped out of a movie-adaption of a novel by Charles Dickens or Oscar Wilde. A Victorian rake head to toe. Except…instead of shallow charm, I sense deep conviction.

And a familiar bone-deep loneliness that seizes my lungs.

I stare. I think. I breathe.

This guy gives off the same imposing and sexy vibe as the mysterious man who invaded my recent dream. An assassin who kicked vampyric jackalope ass and then seduced me into bed. A dream prompted by Penny.  

Am I hallucinating? Is he a figment of my inebriated fancy? A concocted presence like Penelope and Balderdash?

Unsure what to make of my circumstance, I keep things light. “Okay. I’ll bite. What’s your name? Algernon Moncrieff? Lord Arthur Goring? Sir Robert Chilturn?” A sucker for period films, how like me to conjure one of Wilde’s rogues as my Dream Man.

“Gabriel Bennett.”

“Never heard of you.”

“You wound me, madam,” he mocks. “And your name?” 

“Zoe Albright.”

Real or imagined, I don’t like the way he’s looking at me. All predatory-like. I don’t like the way my body’s responding—accelerated pulse, fluttery stomach—or the erotic desires he inspires. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but far too intense.

Then again… Maybe I’m misinterpreting my reaction. Maybe this surge of adrenaline is a biochemical reaction in response to potential danger.

What’s it gonna be, Zoe? Fight or flight?  

TAP girl print book
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