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Poison or Protect

Preshea's Book in A Delightfully Deadly Story

A scotsman with a heart of glass woos an assassin with no heart at all. 

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger brings you a charming story of love, lobsters, and espionage set in her popular Parasolverse.


Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment.


It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn’t anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven – massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and… working for the enemy.

In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart – a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.

May contain plaid, dainty sandwiches, and the strategic application of leather gloves. Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Outlander in this charming story from the author of the Parasol Protectorate books. Perfect for fans of Ilona Andrews, Lindsay Buroker, or Diana Gabaldon.

From the author of the Finishing School series, featuring deadly ladies of quality, this story stands alone but you can find out what happened to the next generation in Reticence.

Delicate Sensibilities?

Contains men pleasing women, and ladies who know what they want and ask for it, sometimes in detail. If you like that kind of thing, you’ll also enjoy How to Marry a Werewolf.

Want to know what Preshea was like as a child? Try the Finishing School series.


Audible US | Audible UK | Audible FR | Audible DE | Apple


Poison or Protect was an Amazon and Locus bestseller.

Looking for content & trigger warnings for this book? Please check StoryGraph




Praise for Poison or Protect

“Alternate title for Poison or Protect - Much Ado About Lobsters”

@UndeadTealeaves on Twitter

“It’s probably going to end up being one of my favorite books that I read this year and I’m excited to see future novellas from Carriger.”

Felicia Sue Lynn Reviews Books and Whatnot

“I adored this novella. There are lots of old favorites and familiar faces peppered throughout, but Preshea and Gavin’s romance is entirety fresh and fabulous.”

Alpha Reader

“Add in several delightful female friendships, a bit of drama and this is another delightful story from this world. All in all a rollicking fun time!”

For What It's Worth

“Overall, this standalone novella is a quick read, but packed with great characters, relationship depth, a bit of adventure, and a sweet and sexy romance. I loved Gavin and Preshea.”

Book Sojourner

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