The Viper – Black Dagger Brotherhood – Prison Camp Read Online J.R. Ward

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 120
Estimated words: 113936 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 570(@200wpm)___ 456(@250wpm)___ 380(@300wpm)
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In this newest Prison Camp installment, #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward pens a heart-wrenching tale of love and betrayal in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world…

Framed for the grisly murder of his shellan, Kane is condemned to the notorious prison camp—unaware of the dark truth behind his arranged mating. Centuries later, when he is horribly burned while attempting to save others, he prays he’ll finally be reunited in the Fade with his mate…not knowing what revelations await him.

Nadya is a self-taught nurse who does what she can to ease the suffering of the prisoners. When Kane comes under her care, she cannot help but empathize with his condition for very personal reasons—and as the guards take him away one last time, she fears he is facing a terrible death.

After a daring rescue, Kane is offered a treatment that will change his very nature. Choosing life, for the time being, he goes back for the female who took such good care of him—but his duty to Nadya sets him on a collision course with his own past. When long-buried secrets are exposed, his self-destruction is inevitable…unless true love can save his soul.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

PROLOGUE

1824 (Human Years)

Caldwell, New York

Kanemille, son of Ulyss the Elder, rode upon a fine steed through the moonlit forest, the shod hooves of his favorite stallion muffled by the layers of pine needles and fallen leaves. The chill of November had come unto the land, a promise of winter’s frosted embrace, and in truth, though the lower temperature complicated some manners of life and livelihood, he relished the change of season.

There was nothing he liked better than a warm hearth upon a cold night.

As he broke free of the tree line, his horse followed without direction the beaten path that skirted the meadow and approached the rear gardens of Kane’s manor house. Indeed, when he had crossed the ocean to settle here in the New World a mere year prior, he had not expected so much of the Old World to be found in his relocation. Yet from the Georgian-style home he inhabited, to its grounds and stables, to the very landscape of his property, he felt wonderfully at ease.

Then again, perhaps it was more being newly mated that gave him a glow of soul-deep comfort and an optimistic and kindly disposition to various and sundry.

Lo, his beloved leelan, Cordelhia, was a female of worth, and how lucky was he. And to think the mating had almost not occurred.

As was the proper fashion among families of the glymera, their union had been arranged, the pairing set up between her family here and what was left of his own back in the motherland. His aged aunt had functioned as his representative, and the bargain had been a right and proper one, struck with Cordelhia’s mahmen as her sire had gone unto the Fade the previous year. In exchange for Kane’s pledge to come across the ocean and proffer himself at the mating ceremony, he had been granted this grand estate, fully staffed and furnished, along with six fine carriage horses, four trotters, and a herd of dairy cows. There had also been a very sizable payment rendered in his name, one that provided an ample allowance for his new shellan and household.

When his aunt had presented the fruits of her negotiation unto him, his initial refusal had sent the elderly female into a flailing paroxysm. Part of his hard stance had been the fact that he had known aught of her plans for him. The other part had been a reticence to shackle himself into a loveless mating. Yet his aunt’s pleas from what had turned out to be her deathbed had been heart-wrenching. The last of the elder generation of the bloodline, she had feared she would not serve the vow she had made unto her sister to see Kanemille into a settled adulthood. This was the only way, she had maintained, and she was running out of time, given her declining health and very advanced age.

As if he could say no to that.

And then she had passed, going unto the Fade.

Her death had racked him with guilt, for surely the upset he had caused had hastened her departure, and after the mourning period, he had found her staff other positions, sold her assets which were now his, and come to the New World to fulfill her final wishes.

Whereupon so many blessings had found him, and all were unexpected.

From the moment the veil had been lifted from his beloved’s visage, he had fallen in love. Cordelhia was lovely as a Shakespeare rose upon the eyes, but it was her demure grace and modesty that truly struck him.

He had expected to have to endure his aunt’s last wish. Instead, he often found himself praying that she was watching down from the Fade, satisfied with her efforts and touched by his sincere gratitude for what he should have recognized all along as the right and proper course for his life.


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