THE HUNTED, a dark fairy tale retelling
Publication Date: January 6, 2020
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal Elements, Fairy Tale, The Little Mermaid
Let the hunt begin …
After witnessing the murder of his mother by a mermaid, Prince Eryx Bloodhurst of Atlas makes a deal to sedate his need for vengeance: they’ll catch the mermaid who did the deed, but he’ll pay for it with his crown.
Arelle, third princess of the Blu Sea, has never known the true cruelty of the forbidden lands firsthand, but she will soon. The halfling prince with murder in his eyes and the sea’s songs in his blood will make sure of that.
He should kill her.
Perhaps, keeping her might be worse.
Two kingdoms are falling. One king is losing it all and another threatens to ruin everything. The rules of the land and sea are changing. Secrets of the past are spilling.
And all because of a prince and his little mermaid—whether they live or die—nothing in the realm will ever be the same.
In The Hunted, Bethany-Kris opens a new world—the 9INE REALMS—for readers with a dark fairy tale retelling, and pulls inspiration from the cult classic favorite and the Hans Christian Andersen original to redefine what it means to be The Little Mermaid.
EXCLUSIVE REVEAL EXCERPT
He found she was still standing at the far end of the room and Gods … what a sight she was. Wrapped in silk, with fire-red curls that sprung out in every direction, and something haunted in her beautiful face.
A treat, really.
It took every ounce of willpower he had to stay right where he was and not cross the room to go to her. Despite how the last while had been meant to force her into coming to him, it hadn’t been particularly easy or kind for him, either. Not that he’d expected it to be, but he certainly hadn’t thought it would be this hard. For one, because he suspected none of this would end the way he wanted it to. And for two, because he was determined to get his answers tonight.
He couldn’t do that if he were fucking her.
However, it simply confirmed things he believed.
Something was different with them.
She would tell him what it was.
“What would happen,” he started, tilting his head toward the doors that led to the stairs currently kissing the sea with every wave that rushed up to touch the marble. “If I opened those doors?”
Arelle’s gaze darted from his to the rain-drenched glass. “The rain and wind would get in, wouldn’t it?”
“And make a mess.” He chuckled. “But that isn’t what I mean. What would you do?”
“I …” Her pretty bow-shaped lips turned down at the edges. “I don’t understand.”
“If I opened these doors, stepped back, and said go … what would happen?”
Her sharp inhale rattled through the room.
The following silence echoed.
At her sides, the shaking hands she balled into small fists hid the truth of her nerves. Not that it mattered because he had already seen them. He wondered if she might lie again … would she make him chase circles that answered nothing and leave him with more questions?
She surprised him.
She was always doing that.
More so than she should.
“I would go home because it’s the only place I know.”
“And?” he pressed.
Her audible swallow had him taking three steps closer to her. He still had quite a way to go to reach her spot, but this gave him room to still breathe.
The sting in her tone had him grinning. A defense of hers, he’d noticed, just happened to be that she got a little nasty. It meant he was hitting a raw nerve and she wanted him to stop. Except he couldn’t—not on this.
“And what would happen after you went home?” he asked.
Arelle’s jaw worked with the words she tried to hold back, but she still spit them out at him, anyway. Like they were dirt she wanted out of her mouth. A truth she wished she could hide. He saw and heard it all.
“I would be forced into a mating with a man who isn’t mine, and who I cannot be mated to. And when the bond didn’t take like they all know it should—”
“They’ll know the truth,” he interrupted, his tone saying calm.
Although how, he didn’t know.
Her chin quivered. “They’ll know it’s already been done. I’ve already mated.”
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD
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