Asher's Dilemma

Asher's Dilemma

by Coleen Kwan

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Ever since he awoke one day on the floor of his workshop with a brain-splitting headache, Asher Quigley has been haunted by fleeting visions of a beautiful woman everywhere he looks—a woman he's sure he knows, but can't recall. In spite of this he has finished his most wondrous invention yet, one that will literally make history: a time machine. But before he can complete his exacting calculations a bizarre accident causes the device to be activated, with him inside! He awakes to find himself in his lab, eight months in the past, and suddenly he remembers her…

Asher knows that something in the near future causes Minerva Lambkin, the woman who turned down his marriage proposal, to be erased from existence. And he's sure it has something to do with his device. Alone in a familiar world where he doesn't belong, he'll have to find a way to destroy the time machine to save the woman he loves from extinction. Even if that means erasing his own future.

33,000 words

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426894886
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 01/07/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 147,739
File size: 382 KB

Read an Excerpt

England, 1870s

In the witching hour of the night Asher Quigley fell out of bed, sweating profusely, his head thrumming from a thousand drumbeats. The treacly August heat pressed down on his heaving chest. He'd fallen asleep fully clothed, and now his shirt and britches were soaked through and clinging to his skin. Groaning, he pulled himself to his feet and kneaded his forehead.

God's teeth! It wasn't just his head that ached. His entire body felt as if he'd gone thirty rounds with a bare-knuckled pugilist. Staggering to the wash stand, he emptied the pitcher over himself, but the tepid water did little to revive him. He shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs of the dream he'd just started awake from. A week ago he'd collapsed in his workshop and woken up with the most debilitating migraine he'd ever experienced. Since then his every night had been dogged by the same fevered dreams of oppression and pain.

Lifting his head from the basin, he caught sight of his pallid reflection in the mirror above...and a glimpse of someone else, a young woman with fair hair and eyes of cerulean blue, drifting through the shadows behind him.

He whipped round, but she was gone. As always.

For the past week it seemed he'd seen her everywhere—walking down a crowded street, riding by in an omnibus, sailing down the Thames on a ferry, and now even in his own bedchamber. Everywhere out of nowhere he caught glimpses of her slender figure and oval face, causing him to start in surprise and pleasure. And every time he saw her, he opened his mouth to call out her name. He knew he knew her name. It was on the tip of his tongue but somehow he couldn't form the sound. And every time she disappeared before he could get any closer, leaving him inexplicably bereft.

Now she had begun to invade his dreams too, like tonight, when she had beamed a smile at him which had flooded him with sunshine. In his dream he'd run towards her, lured by her mermaid hair and dimpled smile, but she had disappeared into a thick mist. And then she reappeared. Only it wasn't her this time. This woman was fair-haired and blue-eyed too, but it wasn't her. This was someone serpentine and sinister, someone who made him back away, his skin crawling with animosity.

That was when he'd jerked awake to find himself a tangled mess, punching at his pillows.

Who was this enticing young woman who tormented him day and night? In his bones he knew she was of vital importance to him, so why the devil couldn't he remember her?

Zounds! If he didn't take more care, he'd start sounding like an addle-pated mystic. That would never do. He was Asher Quigley, the renowned inventor who revered science and technology above religion, much to his clergyman father's continued disapproval. He did not put stock in visions and dreams, even if these nightly visitations were more disturbing than any opium-fuelled delirium. He must be coming down with an ague. That would explain the headaches, the muscular pains, the nocturnal sweats. He was just working too hard, that was all.

Frustrated, he flung open his bedroom window and sucked the thick night air deep into his lungs. From his window he could see the bulky outline of his workshop at the bottom of his garden. On the horizon, sheet lightning flickered like distant explosions. Bruised, swollen clouds all but obscured the waning moon. All was sullenly quiet down below, the padlocks on the doors of the workshop undisturbed.

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Asher's Dilemma 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept reminding me of two time travel books I have read BACK IN TIME and one I can't remember the name of. No matter how I tryed I could not get into this book. It did not catch my interest. L.M.A.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Asher Quigley is being haunted by a mysterious vision of a beautiful woman. This woman keeps appearing in his dreams. He can’t recall where he knows her from but he knows she has left a void in his life.  Asher is an inventor and he discovers he has his “stalking” compass and it seems to be leading him toward his time machine. Before he realizes what is happening, his time machine activates and transports Asher back in time, he is now 8 months into the past.  He also immediately remembers the woman, his love, his life, Minerva Lambkin. Instantly he realizes that something with his time machine has gone terribly wrong, because 8 months in the future Minerva is wiped from existence.  He will do anything to save Minerva, the only problem is his current self is bent on finishing the time machine that will rob him of his one true love. Asher’s Dilemma was a fabulous steampunk historical romance. Although this is a short novella length story, I was immediately captivated. I am a huge steampunk fan so this book and I where a perfect match. Exciting mystery, lots of gadgets and gismos, adventure and heart touching emotion made this a ideal read for me.  This copy of Asher's Dilemma was given to me by Carina Press in exchange for a honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They pad in. Sparklestar leaps onto the highlog/rock/ledge and adresses the clan. "I'm sure we all miss Icestar." She mews. "But I will try to lead Ashclan as well as I can. Now, I need to appoint a deputy." She looks around. "Foxpower, you will be the new deputy of Ashclan." She pauses for some cheering. " We also have a new apprentice. Weatherkit, please step forward. From this moment until you earn your warrior name, you will be known as Weatherpaw. Fallenscar will be your mentor." She steps back while the cats cheer, and then leaps down to join the clan. Eagletalon, Willowdusk, Pebblewind and Spiritfern cheer. "Weatherpaw! Weatherpaw!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Riverpaw! Riverpaw!" He yowled wih his clanmates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cloudbeauty smiled, and cheered for the new apprentice and the new deputy. She curled her tail around her son and mewed, "congradulations Foxpower!" <p> Fawnstep sat outside of the nursery and cheered, "Weatherpaw! FOXPOWER!", being extra loud for her brother <p> Foxpower dipped his head gratefully
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She cheered. "Foxpower, weatherpaw, foxpower, weatherpaw!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Next res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
~Anniuncements, Ceremonies, and Neetings are held here!~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She cheered for the new warriors. "NIGHTWARTH!!! JADESTONE!!! BRIGHTWING!!!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you. I will work supah hard
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Echoes from woods res 2. It sounded like Spurrstar's voice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She smiles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So late seeing this...) watched silently
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SpotStar bounced onto HighLog, His stride proud. &quot;AshClan! As You all know, My Nook is broken, the App doesn't support reviewing on iPhone, and I might not get My Nook replaced! On that note, I'll be using the web to Rp! I might even create a WebSite for the Pact Clans, If LilyWolf allows! On that, I'd like to announce Dragon as perm. Deputy, as IceDancer has been to inactive for the needed role. NightPaw and BrookePaw, please step forth!&quot; He called His Younger Siblings foreward, smiling proudly down at His Clan. &quot;You two have shown unwilting loyalty, and are both ready to become Warriors. NightPaw, You are a Cat of pure gold. Your kind-heart and simple-minded personality shows that of a true Warrior. You are now NightWrath. BrookePaw, Your gentle aura and warm persona brings you great loyalty. You are now BrookeWing.&quot; SpotStar paused, facing JadeStone. &quot;JadeStone, You've requested to give up the easy life as a Medicine cat, to take on Warrior duties. I shall allow your request. You are now a Warrior.&quot;