A DECOY recruited to be a spy.
A PRINCE compelled to become an assassin.
A SERJAH pressured by an unwanted crown.
A WORLD covered in shadows.
Mere months ago, Clare was just a kitchen maid. Now, she is a decoy for Princess Serene and a novice spy, caught in the royal family's web of secrets. While journeying to Mortise to finalize the princess’s betrothal to Serjah Desfan, Clare lives for the stolen moments she has with Bennick, the bodyguard who is quickly claiming her heart. But when a notorious assassin is hired to kill her, Clare’s life and the alliance hang in the balance.
In Ryden, Grayson prepares to leave for Mortise with his brother, Liam. Their orders are to ignite a war between their enemies, and Grayson has been tasked with assassinating Princess Serene. It may cost his soul, but he is ready to comply, as long as he gets something in return: freedom for Mia, the girl he loves. But the more time he spends with his brother, the more he begins to wonder if Liam is what Grayson wishes he had the courage to be . . . a traitor.
Desfan feels trapped. By his disapproving council, his impending marriage to a stranger, and the imminent arrival of enemy princes who may not want the peace they profess. When a dangerous drug threatens his people, Desfan jumps at the chance to rely on his swords instead of politics. But his investigation uncovers more than he bargained for—a plot that may destroy Mortise from within.
Eyrinthia hovers on the edge of war. Spies. Rebels. Traitors. All must choose a side.
PRE-ORDER GIFT: THE DECOY AND THE BODYGUARDPre-order Royal Spy and get an EXCLUSIVE short story from Bennick's POV! Pre-order Gift Form: https://forms.gle/uQtyD4SboRAeNBtYA
Oh my. I don't even know where to start! Oh, maybe with this: Happy release day to Royal Spy! This is a book I have been anticipating since finishing the last book and I've been looking forward to this book since the ARC landed in my email. Man, I am loving this series.
It took me a quick minute to get back into the world of Eyrinthia and remember how I knew and loved all the characters. There are a LOT of characters. It's several different stories in one but they all are converging into one place. I could feel the beginnings of this in the last book and with this book, all the players are almost in the same place, coming together in this climactic, intense march. Aaaaahhhhh! This is one of those books that leaves you hanging, with longing and impatience for the next book. I love these characters. I'm so attached to them. The tortured hero thing is addictive.
This book is a bit violent and a bit dark. It will sometimes crush your heart. But it's SO good. Honestly. SO GOOD. I'm hooked. I need the next book right now. I need to know what happens. So much is going on!!! Okay, okay. I'll settle down. Maybe. Actually, probably not. I'm pretty spun up. Hahahahaha
This is most definitely a series you must read in order! It's on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.
Content: peril, violence (some graphic in nature), kissing
- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Enjoy the following excerpt below!
Excerpt from Royal Spy
“I don’t understand.” Clare looked to Bennick. “Who is the Rose?”
He exhaled slowly, not quite meeting her gaze. “He’s an assassin. Perhaps the most well-known assassin in all Eyrinthia.”
Clare frowned. “I’ve never heard of him.”
“Well,” Venn said, “you are pretty new to this world.”
He had a point. She turned back to Bennick. “So, this assassin—he targets royals?”
“No.” Bennick’s expression was guarded, and that alone made Clare tense. Because if he was trying to hide his alarm, she probably wasn’t as scared as she should be. “I don’t think the Rose has ever targeted a royal.”
“He killed a distant cousin in the Buhari royal family,” Wilf offered, shutting a closet door on the other side of the room. “That was a few years ago. King Zaire nearly tore Zennor apart looking for the Rose, but he was never found.”
“Royal targets aside,” Venn said, “the Rose is known for killing influential figures, like wealthy merchants, prominent nobles, or even ambassadors. But sometimes it’s just someone who crossed someone important.” His eyes narrowed. “He killed a captain of the city guard a couple years ago. A Captain Olsen. The Rose left notes for him, too.”
“They are part of the Rose’s signature.” Wilf double-checked the lock on a window before turning to face them. “He’s not a typical assassin. He isn’t hired just to kill, he’s hired to taunt, spread fear and panic, and then kill. You hire the Rose when you want to send a message—and he never fails. Anyone stalked by the Rose ends up dead. And he always leaves a rose.”
A chill rippled down Clare’s spine, and her fingers dug more tightly into her crossed arms. Bennick’s eyes flashed, noting the movement. His jaw tightened.
“No one knows which kingdom he hails from.” Venn rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand. “He seems to kill indiscriminately.”
“I heard a rumor that he was from Ryden,” Vera said quietly.
Ivonne huffed. “He’s probably one of those demon Kaelin princes.”
Venn looked to Bennick. “What are the chances this is an imposter, just trying to scare us?”
“I’m not sure, but we’re going to treat the threat as real.” Bennick nodded to the note on the table. “I’ll send that to Iden. My father investigated Captain Olsen’s murder two years ago; he should still have the messages the Rose left, and he can compare the handwriting.”
“Hiring the Rose to kill the princess while on her royal tour would have cost a great deal,” Wilf mused. “She’s a high-profile target on a highly publicized tour, well-guarded, with locations changing frequently. Not many could afford him. Especially if a request came to kill multiple people.”
Venn snorted a short laugh. “Maybe the rebels took up a collection and pinched their coins.”
“No,” Bennick said, shaking his head. “They would want to make the kill themselves, not let an assassin claim the victory. If they used the Rose, they’d lose the power of their message.”
“Agreed.” Wilf stepped closer, finally abandoning his search of the room and joining them. “The fact he sent the note at the beginning of the tour is no coincidence. He’s making it clear this is about the betrothal.”
Bennick turned to Venn. “Check in with the house guards, see if they managed to find anything new. And send someone to Camden’s city guard headquarters for their fastest messenger. I want that note in the commander’s hands as soon as possible.” Venn dipped his head and left, and Bennick turned to Wilf. “How long has he been active? Do you know?”
“Not exactly, but several years. Maybe a decade. Long enough to establish a pattern and earn a reputation.” He lifted his gaze and met Bennick’s. “I don’t think anyone in the business of professional killing would have the nerve to pretend to be him.”
Bennick nodded, then gestured to the suite’s door. “Let the guards know what happened and see if they know anything about the Rose. I’ll take rumors and hearsay at this point.”
Wilf nodded and moved for the door, obeying without question. Sometimes, Clare almost forgot that Bennick was the captain of the princess’s guard. Not because he didn’t take charge, but he was so much younger than the others; Dirk was in his fifties, Wilf in his forties, and even Cardon was thirty. But even though he was only twenty years old, Bennick had earned their respect.
Bennick turned to Ivonne and Vera. “May I have a private word with Clare?”
The sisters nodded, quickly moving for the bedroom and closing the door.
The moment they were alone in the sitting room, Bennick moved to stand in front of Clare, blocking her view of the bloody note. “Are you all right?” he asked, his voice low and intent.
She choked on a weak laugh. “Can I be honest?”
A muscle in his cheek tightened. “I’m sorry you had to see that.”
She blinked slowly, knowing she would never get the images out of her mind. Lady Firth’s sightless eyes. The dagger in her heart. The rose in her mouth.
She didn’t realize she was shaking until Bennick set his hands on her shoulders, steadying her with his grounding touch. His words were quietly fierce as he said, “Lady Firth’s death is not your fault.”
Tears pricked her eyes. She supposed she should be surprised that he had read her so clearly, and yet, she wasn’t. Her throat swelled with emotion she’d been trying to force down. “I feel like it’s my fault. If I hadn’t talked with her, then maybe . . .”
Bennick’s fingers curled into her shoulders with gentle pressure. “You did nothing wrong, Clare. He’s the one who murdered an innocent woman.”
“He was watching me.” She peeked up at Bennick. “He was watching me, and I didn’t even notice.”
The skin around his eyes tightened. “We’ll catch him. He won’t touch you.”
Her stomach rolled. “He’s never failed.”
“Everyone fails. The Rose is only human.”
“He sounds more like a nightmare,” she whispered.
Heather Frost writes mostly YA fiction and has a soft spot for tortured characters, breath-stealing romance, and happy endings. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and ghost stories and call it homework. When she's not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and hold Lord of the Rings movie marathons. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in the wilds of Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: www.HeatherFrost.com
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