Alright everyone, the moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived! We’re here with a portion of chapter two to help whet your tastebuds! Because we know you just can’t get enough…
Note: you can read chapter one here!
From Chapter 2 of Kingdom of the Feared
Domenico stepped forward, wrapping a hand around my twin’s upper arm, and tugged her near. “Time to go. He’s breached the Shadow’s wards.”
My heart thrummed. I knew exactly who he was. Wrath had come for my soul, charging across the barrier of the spirit realm, his namesake sin powerful enough to make even the ground here tremble at his approach. I palpably felt his fury, and it did something peculiar to me in this realm. I suddenly wasn’t thinking of my twin’s betrayal or feeling hurt. Heat crept over me where the cold had previously sunk its teeth. Wrath’s sin made me feel alive, buzzing. It also made me want to shed civility and become an elemental force fueled by baser instincts.
Vittoria’s lips lifted in a half smirk. “Remember, sister. Enjoy the sausage all you like, but don’t purchase the pig. It’s the only warning I can offer.”
“Why should I listen to you?”
“I’m your blood.” Domenico half-dragged her across the chamber, then waved his hand until a glittering portal opened before them. Vittoria paused, glancing back at me. “Some bonds can never be broken, Emilia. And some choices have consequences akin to death, take it from someone who knows all too well what that’s like.”
Chills danced down my spine from the first part of her warning. Wrath had once said something similar to me on the night I discovered the truth of why he’d given me his royal Mark.
My fingers absently brushed against the nearly invisible S on my neck, the magic causing a slight, pleasant tingle that traveled down my nonbody.
“What does that mean?” I demanded. “No more games, Vittoria.”
“Choose him and you’ll give up part of yourself,” she said, offering an answer that only raised more questions. “See you tomorrow. Don’t be late.”
“Stop! Why must we meet on the Shifting Isles?” I asked. “Why not tell me what you need here?”
“You’ll just have to wait and see.” Vittoria blew me a kiss, then stepped through the portal with the werewolf on her heels. Apparently, Domenico, an alpha in his own right, knew a bigger threat had entered his territory. Retreat was the smart option. Or perhaps he’d only choked on his pride to save my twin. I wasn’t sure how I felt after our encounter; too many emotions were warring against each other, but I was grateful she had a loyal ally. She needed one.
Wrath strode into the chamber a moment later, his body humming with the threat of an impending war. A battle he was bringing to our enemies. He glared at the closing portal, the swept his attention over me, sharp as the blade in his fist and promising the same level of violence on anyone who’d hurt me. I glanced down, noticing the shadow robe had also abandoned its post at his arrival. Once again I stood nude, but not cowed.
“Did they harm you?” His voice was clipped, as if he was saving all his energy for the fight. Domenico might have escaped, but Wrath would hunt him down. The cold, unforgiving look on his face promised nothing but pain and torment.
I shook my head, not trusting myself to speak the partial lie. Harm wasn’t always inflicted physically. “It was my sister. She wanted to make sure I received her message about tomorrow. Where are the Shifting Isles?”
“Just outside the mainland.” The demon’s gaze methodically took in each inch of the chamber before coming to rest on the manacles. In a flash, his blade was gone and he was in front of me, gently bringing my wrists up for closer inspection. Red splotches that would turn into nasty bruises had Wrath’s anger flaring impossibly higher. His voice was now laced with deadly promise, and the air turned so frigid my teeth began to chatter. “If anyone chains you again, I will become every nightmare mortals have ever had of me and then some.”
Ice shot up the walls and coated the ceiling as the temperature continued to plummet. Chunks of stone cracked and fell to the ground. If he didn’t rein in his temper soon, we’d both be encapsulated in ice or buried under stone.
“What if I ask you to tie me up?”
The harsh expression on Wrath’s face faltered as he blinked down at me. He hadn’t expected that. Good. Perhaps we’d make it out of this realm before we turned into ice sculptures. I disentangled myself from his light grasp and wrapped my arms around his middle, listening to his heart beat faster from the embrace. Almost immediately, I felt warmer.
“Simply saying ‘I love you; I’m pleased you’re all right’ would have sufficed, too.”
A beat of silence passed, and I could practically feel Wrath straining to leash himself. Only his iron will would cage the immense power struggling to break out, to attack. I couldn’t imagine the discipline, the absolute control he had over his namesake sin, to finally wrangle his wrath into submission. The air warmed a fraction, though it was still deathly frigid.
He held me a little closer, as if comforting himself that I was safe and secure. “Torturing and disemboweling your enemies would be an act of love.”
“No one can deny you are a demon of action.” I snorted and drew back enough to see mirth entering his eyes in place of the icy rage, though there was still something haunted in his expression that wasn’t as quick to disappear. “Take me home, please. It’s been a long night. I need a warm bath and an entire bottle of demonberry wine.”
And, no matter what had just happened or the warning Vittoria tried imparting, I still wanted to claim my king in the flesh. That more than anything else, would soothe me, mind, body, and cursed soul.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes the steamy conclusion to Kingdom of the Wicked trilogy.
A reckoning all have feared.
And a love more powerful than fate. All hail the king and queen of Hell.
Emilia is reeling from a shocking discovery about her sister, Vittoria. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. She doesn’t just desire his body; she wants his heart and soul—but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.
When a high-ranking member of House Greed is assassinated, damning evidence somehow points to Vittoria as the murderer. Now, Emilia will do anything to get to the bottom of these accusations against the sister she thought she knew.
Together, Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception to solve the murder and stop the unrest that’s brewing between witches, demons, shape-shifters, and the most treacherous foes of all: the Feared. Emilia was warned that when it came to the Wicked, nothing was as it seemed. But have the true villains been much closer all along?
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco delivers sizzling romance, sexy secrets, and unexpected twists in this unforgettable conclusion to the Kingdom of the Wicked series!
Suggested for ages 16 and up.