Coming soon from USA TODAY Bestselling Author Jessica Wayne
There are Fates Worse Than Death...
A life on the verge of death isn’t living.
When the doctors mention hospice, I know it’s time to take my life—or death—into my own hands. Stumbling through a portal into the fae realm wasn’t part of the plan.
But then I see him–the man who claimed my dreams with glimpses of his piercing golden gaze and sculpted body slick with sweat as he fought bloody battles. Seeing him once gave me strength; now, he gives me hope.
The creatures here claim he’s a rebel. A murderer. A traitor to their crown–a crown they say I’m tied to in irrevocable ways. I say he might be my only path to salvation.
I refuse to waste another life waiting for answers to secrets no one dares speak. It’s time for me to break free of my prison and claim the life that was always meant to be mine. My warrior has been broken by circumstance, though, and if I can’t give him a reason to fight, it could mean the end for both of us.
Fans of Jessica Wayne's bestselling Vampire Huntress Chronicles will recognize more than one familiar face in this series!
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My pride is all I have left.
I lost my sister to a murderer.
My parents to a plague.
My soul to the darkness.
My king to a monster.
And now I must defeat my own brother or watch Faerie burn.
Read an unedited excerpt
“Please, let me go.” I squirm against his hold as he drags me up marble steps and into a foyer so crisp I can see my reflection. And what a reflection it is. Hair wild, one strap of my tank top torn, I look like I spent more than an hour in the woods.
I don’t even know why I’m fighting, to be honest. It’s not like this is reality. We flew here. As in, the guy stretched two huge, massive, wings and flew us here like he’s some kind of man-bird. I’d say Angel, if he weren’t a murderer.
Angels aren’t evil, and I watched this man slaughter a handful of men less than ten minutes ago.
“You aren’t going anywhere, pet. The king will be the one who decides what to do with you.” His accent is thick, Irish, which only adds to the illusion that I’m probably still passed out in my hotel bed.
The only reason I have to doubt that particular explanation, though, is the pain radiating through my arm from where his large hand wraps around me. But I’m trying my damndest to not pay any attention to that development. Instead, I commend my imagination for making this so incredibly real.
Boots padding softly on the floor, he carries me down a corridor, then shoves open two massive golden doors and tosses me inside. My knees hit the floor with a slam, pain shooting up into my thighs. I try to stand, but stumble down again, my body still sore from my traipse in the woods and the sickness that I honestly believed would be what killed me.
Now, I’m not so sure. Present company considered.
“What is this?”
I glance up as a new man speaks. Orange hair blocking part of my view, I apprise the new member of what is quickly turning into the strangest nightmare I’ve ever had. His long, golden hair falls down his back, a golden crown encircling his head. Emeralds are embedded in ridged gold, the rich color matching his eyes.
I wish I could laugh, but the terrifying way he’s watching me has me swallowing hard and looking back down.
“I found it lurking in the woods.”
“Near Mossy River. It was hiding just out of view, tucked back into some trees, a serpent wrapped around its wrist.”
A woman who I didn’t notice until now, clears her throat and steps up to the kings side. Her hair is dark—nearly black—her nose crooked as though it’s been broken more than a few times. She whispers something in his ear, and his gaze flies back to my face.
“Come here,” he orders me, but I don’t move.
“The king gave you an order, thing,” the man kicks my side and I wince, biting down on a sob.
“You will not touch her again,” the king orders and I spare a glance to see the man's face pale.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
The king’s golden eyes shift back to mine. “Come here, woman. You will suffer no more at his hand.”
Nothing about yours, though. Still, not seeing much of a choice given that I really, really do not want to get kicked again, I stagger to my feet and cross the distance to him. To my dismay, he stands, coming down the steps to greet me at the bottom. Slender fingers grip my chin and he tilts my face up. His eyes are kinder now, and he holds my face gently.
I don’t look away. If I’m going to meet death, it will be head-on. After all, I’m already expecting it to come for me, aren’t I?
“You are exquisite,” he whispers, voice calm. Releasing my face, he brushes strands of my thick hair from my face.
“Who are you?” I manage, my voice barely audible.
He smiles softly. “I am Taranus. King of Faerie. And I have been waiting for you.”