Ship to Nowhere
A Sinbad and the Seven Seas Retelling
The Clockwork FaerieTale Novellas Book 4
by Jes Drew
Genre: Steampunk Romantic Fairytale Retelling
inauguration year of Queen Victoria sees a world where the seven seas
are yet un-mapped and filled with mystery . . .
Sindbad had room in his heart for one love: the sea. Unlike women, the sea would never betray him, and it was never hard to determine the ocean's mood. The sea kept things simple; just him and his men traveling the globe and discovering new territory for Her Majesty the Queen. But his newest cabin boy is hiding a secret that could derail Sindbad's carefully charted course . . .
Dunyazad is running out of time to rescue her sister from the murderous tyrant she has fallen into the clutches of. With the well of stories keeping Scheherazade alive going dry, Dunyazad decides to have an adventure of her own to be spun into a tale long enough to last until she find a powerful ally that will rescue her sister once and for all. But her tenuous plan depends on her keeping her true identity— and gender— a secret from the misogynistic captain or else risk being stranded on a deserted island. If only the man weren't so infuriating, or handsome . . .
Falling in love may be the most dangerous adventure of all to be found on the Seven Seas.
The Clockwork Faerie Tale Novella series can be read as standalones or together, for whenever you want your steampunk happily ever after.
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Something seems to have uncorked in Sindbad, because he straightens up and then steps toward her with so much menace, that Dahra stumbles backward to get away.
Sindbad’s arms shoot out to grab her. Steady her. Keep her from escaping.
“Since you think you know me so well,” Sindbad adds hotly, “let me tell you a few things about you.”
Dahra glances down at his hands on her elbows and then back up at him. “I don’t understand why you’re upset.”
“I’m upset because you are so naïve of the ways of this world, yet think you have some knowledge on me, a seasoned sailor. Don’t think it isn’t obvious to me that this expedition is your first time outside your family home.”
“Well, y-yes.” Dahra glances at Luna for support, but she’s busy turning off the water. “But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have eyes to see or ears to hear. Or a heart that can barely understand all you’ve done for me, a stranger, already. But it does know it wants to return that help in some small way.”
“By almost getting us all killed by your bad behavior toward Queen Nefriti? So that I had to kiss her to secure us safe passage?”
Dahra stares at him, wordless.
Suddenly, Sindbad releases her, and she almost falls backward. Then one of Sindbad’s arms shoots out to snake around her waist and steady her in a way that brings her closer to him.
His other hand takes hold of her chin and raises it to meet his. “I need you to understand this and understand it well. I’m only helping you because you’re on my ship and I take care of my own. You don’t own me, and I don’t owe you anything.”
“I never said you did!”
Sindbad’s eyes flash, and Dahra wonders if he even heard her. “I don’t trust you. I don’t love you. I don’t anything, understand?”
To Dahra’s great disgust, she feels tears pricking her eyes as she mumbles something she hopes Sindbad finds affirmative. Her Abba was only ever this upset once, and that was when Scheherazade said she was going to marry the cruel raja.
Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Luna step forward nervously, looking like she wants to help but isn’t sure how to.
Just like Dahra did when Shahra gave that announcement. Only, it was her Abba that she sided with then.
“I don’t care,” Sindbad is repeating like a mantra. “I will never care. Caring is how people get hurt. And I’ve already been hurt so deep, my wounds will only bleed all over you.”
“I’m not afraid of blood,” Dahra whispers.
Sindbad’s eyes narrow into slits, and Dahra once again wonders if she’s said the wrong thing.
Then all thought leaves her mind when Sindbad bends down and presses his rough lips onto hers.
Her eyes widen with the sheer shock of it. But then the roughness dissolves in a tender movement from her mouth, and she feels her eyes drift shut.
Sindbad’s arms tighten around her, making her feel safe and steady. Even as his mouth makes her feel dangerous and dizzy. And even dressed like a boy, she feels like a woman.
Wait, she’s dressed like a boy.
Dahra pushes away from Sindbad, who immediately releases her. Which is unfortunate, because she keeps falling backward, until she hits the bed with her tailbone.
Clutching the mattress, she turns to Sindbad, who is rubbing his face earnestly, as though a terrible rash just broke out across it.
And behind him is Luna, her mouth partially open.
Of the three of them, Luna composes herself first. “Is that why you do not find me desirable, captain?”
Sindbad rubs his face a moment more before realizing what she said. Then he whirls toward her like she might have the healing aloe for his invisible rash. “What? No! That’s just . . . the culture of my people. We stop sassy mouths with a kiss. It’s more humane than slapping them.”
“Oh.” Luna blinks.
And Dahra wonders if this is the tradition of the Englishman he was raised to be or of the Arabian blood flowing through in him. She’s never seen either culture do such a thing.
Sindbad rubs his face again, this time glancing over his fingers, his gaze catching on hers.
And she sees in that moment that what he just said to Luna is a lie. There are smoldering flames of attraction in his eyes.
Dahra gulps. Does he . . . know? “You said you’ve kissed two women in your life . . .”
She waits without breathing to see how he will take his sentence.
Sindbad shrugs one shoulder. “And apparently a boy who needed his sassing mouth stopped. Let that be a lesson to you.”
Dropping his hands to his sides in an awkwardly stiff manner, he nods to the room in general. “I’ll see you both shortly.”
With that, he turns and strides out of the room with exactly two steps.
Jes Drew is the author of the Ninja and Hunter trilogy, the Howling Twenty trilogy, the Kristian Clark saga, the Castaways trilogy, The Dystopian Takeover trilogy, The Clockwork Faerie Tale Novellas, The Summers of Yesteryear series, Legends of the Master Spy, The New ESE Files, Tales from Parallel Worlds, Genie and Serena, PIs, Accidentally on the Run, and This Side of Heaven. Her true love is Captain Steve Rogers, and there is a possibility that she may or may not be a superhuman, but she hasn't discovered her powers. Yet. Also, she might be a spy, but that's classified.
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Signed Copy of Ship To Nowhere with exclusive pins of the previous three books (US Only),
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