Queen of Blades and Roses (Court of Scorpio #1) Read Online Ana Calin

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Court of Scorpio Series by Ana Calin
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Total pages in book: 66
Estimated words: 60178 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 301(@200wpm)___ 241(@250wpm)___ 201(@300wpm)
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A cursed beast lurks in the woods outside my village, and it wants one thing—me.

I learned to fear the Scorpio Beast many years ago. He is the most dangerous thing out there, brutal and cruel, so when he takes me captive in exchange for my brother’s freedom, I know to expect the worst.
Yet deep into the ruins of his ancient castle, I discover there’s more to Ares Amberson than his ruthless reputation. There’s a tortured soul behind his mask, and a sensual touch behind his iron fist. There’s also more to my own past than I ever knew, a secret buried in my bloodline that Ares wants to use me for. But in order to unlock my dormant powers, he needs to teach me.
Train me.
Seduce me.
Ruin me.
The pull I feel towards him is wrong on all levels, but I’m hooked on the devilish pleasures he’s giving me. I must fight against it, or die trying. The secret of our bloodlines makes it impossible for us to be anything but rivals, polar opposites, enemies. In the end, there can be only one on the throne of the kingdom that we were both born to rule.

FULL BOOK START HERE:

CHAPTER I

The Curse

The Cursed Woods looked almost romantic from the window table at the Fyre Dragon Inn and Pub. Soaked in the scents of hearth and ale and leather, this was a place where stories had been born for many, many years, and most of those stories were about the Cursed Woods.

But the truth lurking in the hilly darkness spreading out between Azoth Hollow and Doomsday Mountain was far from the romantic adventure the pub’s storytellers made it out to be. They never told things the way my brothers and I gave it to them—raw and gut-wrenching. It frustrated my brothers. As for me, I didn’t take it quite as personally. After decades of suffering under the effects of the Spades fae’s curse, people needed some fantasy to keep them sane, and I felt for them. Not so my brothers.

“Do they even see our bleeding hands when they take the gold from them?” Thornan grunted, cocking a thick black eyebrow at the loud crowd from behind his pint. Scars adorned his rough fist, and his rugged looks placed him well beyond his twenty years. Part of that were his aggressive features, but most of it was what we had been doing for a living for years.

It had turned all three of us into brutes, even if it was less obvious in me, probably because I was female. One that dealt better with swords and knives than with baking, laundry and child-rearing, but still female. I had been fighting in the Cursed Woods for over a decade to help this village survive, and I was a Scavenger before anything else.

Once every month, my brothers and I put it all on the line venturing into that forested hell, hunting for treasure—and books, which were the rarest and most valuable items. I sure lived for the occasions when we found them. We spent the rest of our time training for our incursions into the woods. It took over our lives completely, but gold, silver and gems were the only things that got the people of Azoth Hollow through the winter. It helped us buy stuff from the other human settlements that didn’t have to suffer under the Spades’ wrathful curse, the curse that had turned our home into a haunted village.

Azoth Hollow intrigued outsiders and travelers, it fascinated them, but no one in their right mind would spend a full moon night here if they had a choice. As for leaving this place to settle somewhere else—others had tried before, and failed miserably. Being born here was like a scarlet letter, as if we could carry the curse into the wider world.

And maybe we could. We didn’t know for sure, but the curse might well have affected all of us in some way.

One sure thing was that our village wasn’t safe beyond nightfall on the three full moon nights of every month. Ghosts would creep onto the streets, hungering for human flesh. Consuming it made them feel alive again, even if only for a few hours. They were spirits of dead Scorpio fae, cursed by the Spades to dwell between life and death forever, unable to resume complete physical form or to cross into the spiritual world for good.

The spirits couldn’t enter cottages uninvited, but whatever they caught outside was theirs for the taking, and they never spared a life. Their hunger for flesh was beyond themselves, almost vampiric.

It was these stories that drew travelers to Azoth Hollow like moths to a flame. It was also why the three men at the bar were here, talking to Big Reo, the inn keeper. Checking them out from the corner of my eye, I’d have said they were monks.


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