The Man with the Violet Eyes (Crown of Lies #1) Read Online H.P. Mallory, J.R. Rain

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors: , Series: Crown of Lies Series by H.P. Mallory

Total pages in book: 68
Estimated words: 63182 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 316(@200wpm)___ 253(@250wpm)___ 211(@300wpm)

Master Nicolo, a man also known as ‘The Terrible,’ lives up to his title and then some.
As confidante, closest friend and protector to Prince Balduin, a man who would be king of the large and estimable Woodfall Gath, Nicolo is nearly untouchable.
Throw in the fact that the man can fight like no other and seems to have a preternatural knowledge for detecting those who want to kill him, he’s a formidable foe and then some.
But Nicolo didn’t always live such a favored life.
Born the only son to a poor mother, his otherworldly violet eyes separated him from his peasant brethren, singling him out as someone or something to be feared and shunned.
With no friends or money, Nicolo’s young life was a difficult one.
Then came the day the queen and her entourage passed through his remote town. The ailing Prince Balduin who was struck with a strange sickness that was certainly killing him, played with Nicolo and…
Prince Balduin’s health improved.
And so began Nicolo and Balduin’s strange friendship—Balduin raising a would-be peasant to a station well out of his range, and in return, Nicolo’s constant presence healed Prince Balduin.
Now the time has come for me to join the ranks of the kingdom’s servants, acting as maid during the day, all the while awaiting the cover of darkness in order to find Master Nicolo alone.
So I can assassinate him.
This newest entry in the world of Historical Fantasy Romance will grip you with plenty of intrigue, sexual tension, a kick-ass heroine, mystery and danger.


Chapter One

The Master

The first time I saw Master Nicolo, he was striding down the corridor that led from the Prince’s Tower to the Great Hall.

I had, of course, already heard of him. It was impossible not to have heard of him. Not with a reputation such as he had.

Regardless, I remained focused on my work, dusting the frame of one of the royal portraits that lined the corridor. A maidservant who was caught doing anything but working was asking for trouble from Mistress Rosana, who governed the maids with an iron hand (and a bamboo stick), but I allowed my eyes to drift in Nicolo’s direction anyway. Truth be told, I couldn’t help it.

My gaze lingered on him as he passed.

Nicolo was very tall, broad and muscular, with unruly dark hair that curled around his ears, ending at the point where his neck met his shoulders. It was almost but not quite black and in the right light, could almost look as though streaked with blue. In general, he always had the appearance of not having shaved for at least a few days, his strong jaw rough with stubble. His clothes were always black—darkness seemed to be the image he wanted to project.

He wore a soft leather jerkin, black, that terminated mid-thigh, a silk shirt buttoned up to his throat, also black, and stretched hose that clung to the contours of his strong legs. Those, too, were black as were the high leather boots that hugged his calves. He strode with an easy confidence, not as if he owned the place, but as if it didn’t matter that he didn’t.

His eyes, which remained focused straight out ahead of him (though I got the sense he noticed everything happening around him), were violet. I’d heard about his violet eyes before, as rumors have a way of persisting, but I never really believed it until I saw them for myself. And truly, they appeared as two gems inserted into his face, glistening and sparkling amethyst.

Yes, Master Nicolo was an arresting sight.

But my first impression of the man was based more on how everyone else reacted to him. When in his presence, maids, like myself, suddenly became deeply focused on whatever task they were doing; soldiers standing guard found a point in middle distance and stared blankly at it. No one wanted to meet that violet gaze, afraid if they did, he might notice them. And that was exactly what you didn’t want—Master Nicolo noticing you.

Members of the nobility deferred to him, got out of his way and bowed as he passed, as afraid to meet Nicolo’s eye as were the servants, because who knew what the consequences might be? Technically Nicolo was their social inferior, but that didn’t matter because he was still and always would be: Master Nicolo.

Still more fascinating was how everyone reacted after Nicolo passed, when they all wore their relief to be out of his gaze—no doubt pleased to be less liable to cause unintended offence. Every eye surreptitiously followed him, of course. They all feared Nicolo, so that made sense. But their interest went beyond mere fear—people couldn’t help but be drawn to him, as they are drawn to power and to danger.

To his face they called him ‘Master Nicolo’, but in the whispers behind his back, he was known as ‘The Terrible’.