Monster or hero?
My name is Larkspur and I was born in the Colony, a labyrinth of tunnels and caves miles beneath the surface designed for prisoners. Being born among the criminals isn't an easy childhood. But I have a secret, my nails turn into sharp claws. I learned early how to fight dirty, hide well and never trust. All too soon, our world changes. Something happens to the prospering world above. The criminals desiring freedom and revenge push toward the surface. Me among them.
Humanity needs a hero, now more than ever, but all they get is me, a monster from the darkness.
He had surprised her with his questions. When she’d first met him at the portal, he looked like nothing but a cyborg with ice cubes in his head. He didn’t seem so cold now. There was a human behind that façade, one with an inquiring mind.
She studied the area looking for any signs the insurgents may have passed this way. The sand had given way to plants and greenery, and there was a large expanse of tall grasses, some of the stalks bent and broken. They made their way through, following the path that had been cut through the vegetation until finally, they came to a forest. The brush and trees were so thick it made it hard to see where the radicals may have entered.
“There is no sign of them. No tracks, broken branches… Nothing.” Ninety-one sounded frustrated. “The fact that it is dark isn’t helping. My vision is enhanced but it sure as hell isn’t x-ray. I can’t see through the trees.”
“Maybe that is a good thing.” She gave him a sidelong glance. The look on his face made her breath hitch and her skin prickle—hiseyes weren’t chips of ice, but molten blue fire. Nudity didn’t bother her, but the very idea that he could possibly see through her suit made her skin heat in a very intriguing way. Focus on the mission, girl. Hell, I don’t even like the man. “You take the right, and I’ll go left. Look for signs of broken or trampled foliage. We’ll meet back here.”
She ordered the bot to stay put.
She trudged through the grass, following the tree line, searching for any sign of their targets. She had gone quite a way but had no luck finding anything. She hurried back to find Ninety-one already waiting for her.
He motioned for her to follow him. “This way. I found evidence of them entering the forest further down.”
“Good. We need to make as much headway as we can before daylight.”
Ninety-one led her along the edge of the forest. When they reached their destination, she could see that the resistance group had left a clear path of disturbed foliage and broken branches. They followed it until they came to a vast, open veld of mainly dirt. There was little or no shrubbery and only a few small patches of grass.
“If we cross this, they’ll be able to spot us.” Ninety-one’s gaze was trained on the field.
Twenty-four studied the veld noting a definite path of bushes large enough to hide them. “Not necessarily. It’s still quite dark, andthere are shrubs here and there that will give us some cover. Unless they have cybernetic vision, they wouldn’t see us that easily. We’ll leave the bot here.”
She darted to the first bush, then turned to Ninety-one, motioning for him to follow, when he drew up beside her, the heat radiating from his body made her skin prickle and her pulse kick up a notch. What in the hell was wrong with her? Was she attracted to him? Surely not!
He peered around the bush and gestured to the ground that had been disturbed. “Why were the rebels this careless? A child could track them. A trained militia wouldn’t leave such an obvious trail.”
Twenty-four nodded. “Yes. I have a feeling it’s a ploy to throw off those in pursuit. It could possibly be a trap, but not for us. No one knows about the portal. They couldn’t know about our arrival.” She turned and pushed against his chest. “Back up.”
He inched backward. “What do you have in mind?”
“I think we should backtrack. No sense in us getting caught in their trap. As of now, we have the edge.”
“Then let’s do this. We will have better cover in the forest.” He gestured to the tree line.
She backtracked and hid among the trees where the bot was hidden, then turned to watch Ninety-one make one last leap into the cover of the trees beside her. After scanning the brush and branches a moment, she motioned for him to follow.
They walked in silence, making their way through the thick brush being careful to hide their tracks. Twenty-four thanked her lucky stars that the rust bucket of a bot had been lubricated. Its squeaky joints would have alerted any insurgents or guards of their location. They had gone quite a distance when the cracking of branches and footsteps echoed through the silence of the forest. They quickly hid behind the trunk of a huge tree, keeping the bot between them.
Twenty-four peered around the tree, her gaze locking on a group of soldiers emerging from behind a thicket of large bushes. Their boots crunched in the leaves while they moved down the path she and Ninety-one had just come, toward the veld.
“I think they’re the king’s soldiers.” She kept her voice low as to not alert the soldiers of their presence.
“Yes. They have the king’s insignia on their uniforms. They are headed straight for the trap,” he whispered.
She shook her head. With the noise the troop made trudging through the forest, they deserved to succumb to the trap. “They are on their own. Besides, we can’t reveal ourselves to warn them.”
They watched from behind their tree until the soldiers disappeared into the brush and trees. They waited until the forest was silent again. The only sounds Twenty-four could hear was the rustling of leaves in the wind.
“I can’t see or hear them anymore.” Even with her enhanced vision, it was difficult to see more than a few feet beyond the path. The thick canopy of branches and leaves kept the moon from illuminating the forest.
“We need to get moving.” Ninety-one placed his hand on her shoulder.
His touch felt like a jolt of lighting throughout her body. Every nerve in her body tingled. When his fingers slipped up her neck and teased her hair, she turned to look at him.
“I have never felt anything so soft.” His gaze locked on hers, his fingers still toying with the mauve strands near her cheek. “The colors are beautiful.”
Her breath hitched, and her heart pounded hard in her chest. The tingling sensation became an ache deep within. She wanted—no needed to touch him, too. She hesitantly reached out to trace her fingers along the hard lines of his jaw. Gunfire sounded in the distance causing her to yank her hand away.
She took a deep breath and rubbed her face with her hands. What in the hell was she thinking? She had a mission to complete. “We need to get the hell out of here.”
She moved forward, sure that Ninety-one and the bot would follow her. Shouts filled the silence, as well as the sound of hand to hand combat and the rapid burst of shots fired. The soldiers had to have fallen into the trap. The sounds of the battle faded as they moved deeper into the forest.
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The king, Biryn, has been poisoned. It’s now a race to find a cure and save him. All the while they battle an angry god who only wants to destroy them.
I haven’t read this series in a while and I did have a hard time catching up. Biryn is going crazy with this poison. Erica and her lifemate Laro must work together to save him but they don’t know who to trust. Can anyone really be trusted? There are a lot of characters and I had a hard time keeping track. I think reading this series in order would be a good idea. The action is always skillfully written and edge of your seat intense. As the king’s life dwindles away, Lohmes is only more determined to kill them. There’s also great fantasy world building. The authors really painted a great picture of this world. The romance is a sweet kind of sexy that I enjoyed!
Erica has joined the fight to against the Gods. There she meets Laro who says she is his life mate. She’s got enough on her plate, she doesn’t need a mate when she’s trying to fight the Gods…
I haven’t read this series in a while so it is a little hard to keep everything straight, magic, shifters, kings, gods, ect. Erica is easy to like. She’s a captain, a badass, and a sexy woman. She doesn’t have time for mates but Laro is determined to change her mind. The story has a nice balance of action and romance. Some scenes are a bit slow moving, such as the beginning, which didn’t pull me in as much as I hoped. As the fight heats up so does the feelings between Erica and Laro. This is an interesting read and enjoyed Sword of Betrayal.
This is the second book in the Crimson Realm series. This is not a standalone and I read the previous book a while ago so it is a bit hard getting back into the series. I highly recommending reading them closer together. Defeating Cewrick is their goal. A crew goes searching for answer including Ciara and Brenn. Can the find the answers? Will they survive the journey?
This is all about adventure and action. The diverse crew is in for a lot of danger and some romance. The journey is really what kept the story moving. I really like Brenn and Ciara’s romance. The sex is detailed but more sweet than hot. This has been an interesting series so far. I feel like each book is getting better, more complex, more action, more romance. I enjoyed The Dragon’s Lion and I’m looking forward to the next book!
considered family, and Four, a trainee from the male division. Sometimes you had to take what you could get, and a life outside the Institute was worth it, no matter the cost.