A Ruin of Roses By K.F. Breene PDF Summary
A Ruin Of Roses (Deliciously Dark Fairytales book 1) low growl rumbled through the Forbidden Wood. My heart jumped into my throat.
I darted behind the nearest tree and flattened my back against the rough bark. My tweed bag hung across my torso, filled with the precious cargo I’d stolen from the everlass field. If the beast found me with this—if it found me in the Forbidden Wood at all—I was done for. It would kill me as it had done countless others, regardless of the fact I was only fourteen.
It didn’t matter that I was too young to shift, if shifting were still possible for us after the curse. If I was old enough to steal, I was old enough to die for my sins.
A tree branch cracked. What sounded like a large foot crunched brittle grass. Another touched down, the creature slowing. It either sensed someone close or had caught my scent.
This is a dark and sexy Beauty and the Beast retelling featuring a strong heroine, a dangerous anti-hero, and a humorous supporting cast. It is a full length novel at 80k words and suitable for 18+. This is the beginning of a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger.
About the Author of A Ruin of Roses By K.F. Breene PDF
K.F. Breene is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy novels. With over four million books sold, when she’s not penning stories about magic and what goes bump in the night, she’s sipping wine and planning shenanigans. She lives in Northern California with her husband, two children and out of work treadmill.
A Ruin of Roses By K.F. Breene PDF Introduction
Glowing golden eyes tore me out of sleep. I sucked in a terrified breath and sat up in a rush. My hair was plastered to my face with sweat. My shirt clung to my back. A nightmare.
No, worse than a nightmare. A memory.
I still remembered busting through that tree line at fourteen and catching my foot on a rock. Falling and skidding on my face. When I’d stopped rolling, I lay sprawled out, facing the wood.
Those glowing golden eyes had glared at me through the darkness. The beast’s head had been impossibly high, among the tree branches. I’d never seen its body. The night had consumed it.
That image still played on a loop in my nightmares all these long years later. Nine years of replays.
A ragged, wet cough brought me out of my panic. I pulled in a deep breath to ground myself in the moment. The hack sounded again. Father. He was getting worse.
I sighed wearily, pushing back my hair and then the covers.
My sister, Sable, jerked awake in the narrow bed beside mine in our tiny room. We didn’t have much, but at least we had a roof over our heads. For now, anyway.
Muted moonlight filtered through the threadbare curtains, and I could just make out her face turning to me, her eyes large with fear. She knew what that cough meant.
“It’s okay,” I told her, swinging my legs over the edge of the bed. “It’s fine. I have more of the nulling elixir. We haven’t run out yet.”
She nodded, sitting up and bunching the sheets near her chest.
She was just fourteen, the age I’d been when I narrowly survived the beast only to lose Nana anyway.
It was different now, though. Since then, I’d worked diligently with the special everlass elixir I devised. It still didn’t cure the curse’s sickness, but it drastically slowed it down and nulled most of the effects. Because of it, and because I’d given the recipe to the village and helped them learn to make it, we’d only lost one person so far this year. If the winter would just let up already, spring would help us revitalize our gardens. The plants mostly went dormant in the winter, not growing many new leaves. The gardens in our small yards weren’t big enough to sustain us if we had someone on the brink. There were many on the brink.
My older brother, Hannon, pushed open the door and stuck his head in the room. His red hair swirled around his head like a tornado. A splash of freckles darkened his pale face. Unlike me, the guy didn’t tan for nothing. He came in two colors: white and red.
“Finley,” he said before realizing I was already up. He left the door open but stepped out, waiting for me.
“He’s deteriorating,” Hannon said softly when I was in the hall. “He doesn’t have long.”
“He’s lasted longer with the sickness than anyone else. And he’ll continue to last. I’ve made some recent improvements. It’ll be okay.”
I took a step toward Father’s room, just next to mine, but my brother stopped me with a hand to my arm. “He’s on borrowed time, Finley. How long can this go on? He’s suffering. The kids are watching him suffer.”
“That’s only because we’re down to the weak everlass leaves. As soon as the spring comes it’ll be better, Hannon, you’ll see. I’ll find a cure for him. He won’t join Nana and Mommy in the beyond. He won’t. I will find a cure. It must exist.”
“The only cure is breaking the curse, and no one knows how to do that.”
“Someone knows,” I said softly, opening Father’s door. “Someone in this goddess-ruined kingdom knows how to break that curse. I will find that person, and I will wring the truth out of them.”
A candle in a holder flickered on the table by the door. I picked it up and shielded the flame from the air as I hurried to Father’s side. Two chairs bracketed each side of the bed, always present. Sometimes we used them to gather around him when he was lucid. Lately, though, they were used for vigils, so we could watch with trepidation as he clung to life.
My father’s lined face was ashen within the candlelight. His eyelids trembled as though he were trapped in a nightmare.
He was, I supposed. We all were. The whole kingdom. Our mad king had used the demon king’s sly magic to settle a personal grudge, and we were all suffering the consequences. Actually, he wasn’t. He’d died and left us to rot. What a peach. They hadn’t said what he’d died from, but I hoped it was gangrene of the dick.
I set the candle on the bedside table before checking the fireplace at the other end of the room. The coals throbbed crimson then black, giving off enough heat to warm the kettle of water above it. We never knew when we’d need hot water. Given the curse had wiped out modern-day conveniences like electricity and running water, almost plunging us back into the Dark Ages, we needed to make do with what we had.
“Dash says we hardly have any usable leaves left, and the crop you planted isn’t ready yet,” Hannon said.
“I didn’t plant— Never mind.” I didn’t bother explaining that the everlass would spring up naturally every year if you coaxed it with good soil and rigorous maintenance. Hannon wasn’t much of a gardener. “Dash shouldn’t be telling stories.”
Dash was the youngest, a boy of eleven who moved more than he listened…except when he was listening to me mutter to myself, it seemed. I hadn’t realized he’d overheard me.
“I’m good with plants and gardening, but I’m not a stem witch, Hannon. It’s a hobby, not magic. It might not get ball-chillingly cold here, but it’s cold enough to stunt plant growth. I just need a little sun. I keep asking the goddess, but she clearly does not give a crap about us. Divine, my arse. Maybe we should go back to the old ways of our ancestors. They worshipped a bunch of gods sitting on a mountain or whatever. Maybe one of them would listen.”
“You read too much.”
“Is there such a thing?”
“You daydream too much, then.”
I shrugged. “That is probably true.”
My medicinal station waited in the corner, herbs and a mortar and pestle set on a wooden tray. The two measly leaves in the ceramic bowl had already been dried in the dying light of the evening sun.
Very poetic, this particular healing recipe. Bone-chillingly poetic. It had taken a lot of reading and trial and error to figure out what worked best, and I wasn’t finished. I was sure the demon king was laughing at me somewhere. At all of us. He was the bastard who’d taken the king’s gold and worked up the bullshit curse that currently plagued our land, after all. His minions had been stationed in the kingdom to watch us struggle. Too bad they weren’t rotting beneath the ground with the late king. They deserved to be, dickfaced rat fuckers.
“What was that?” Hannon asked, his temperament far sweeter than mine, though that wasn’t much of an accomplishment. I’d set the bar pretty low.
“Nothing,” I murmured. It wasn’t ladylike to swear, or so the people of our antiquated village always reminded me. It was equally unladylike to flip them off after they scowled at me. Very uptight, this village, and without two coppers to rub together, the lot of us.
My father convulsed, spasming with each wet cough.
Hands shaking, fighting to remain calm, I crushed the leaves with the pestle. A pungent aroma, like ripe cheese mixed with garlic, blasted my senses. They might be small leaves, but they were full of healing magic.
My father lunged toward the side of the bed.
Hannon was there in a moment, sitting beside him and bringing up the bucket from the floor. He helped Father lean over the lip and retch. There’d be blood in that throw-up, I well knew.
“Focus,” I told myself softly, shaking two drops of rainwater off my fingertip and onto the crushed leaves. I’d collected those in the dead of night. That seemed to work best.
That done, I sprinkled in the other herbs, which were much easier to come by—a sprig of rosemary, one leaf of dill, a splash of cinnamon. And, finally, the ingredient that was almost as important as the everlass—the full, healthy petal of one red rose.
It had to be red, too. The others didn’t work nearly so well. I had no idea what red roses had to do with this curse or the demons, but the effects of that ingredient increased the potency of the elixir tenfold. It made me think there were one or two more ingredients out there that I hadn’t tried yet that would act as a cure. A long-term cure where we didn’t need more and more draught just to see the same effects. Something that would null the sickness altogether. If it was out there, I’d find it. Hopefully in time to save Father.
Father’s groan spurred me on. A rattled breath struggled through his tightened throat. At least he had a strong heart. A heart attack had taken Mother a year ago. Her body had been under too much pressure, and her heart gave up the fight. I hadn’t been as good at the nulling elixir then. Father had more time.
He has to have more time.
“Honestly, Dash is right. We need more supplies,” I said, working the pestle. “Our plants aren’t enough.”
“I thought you said yesterday that no one else had any left either?”
“Not that they are willing to spare, no.”
Everyone had ailing parents and maybe one or two ailing grandparents, if they were lucky. Our resources were tapped.
“Well then, where are you…” He let the words drift away. “No.”
“I don’t have much choice, Hannon. Besides, I’ve been in and out of that field a bunch of times over the last few years with no problems. At night, even. The beast probably doesn’t patrol the Forbidden Wood anymore.”
My hands started to shake, and I stopped for a moment and took a deep breath. Lying to Hannon was one thing—he was a trusting soul and wanted to believe me—but I wasn’t foolish enough to believe my own lies. Just because I hadn’t seen the beast in any visits since the first, that did not mean he’d given up hunting trespassers. Our village was at the edge of the kingdom, and I was sneaky. I took great pains to ensure I wasn’t seen. I heard the roars, though. He was out there, waiting. Watching. The ultimate predator.
The beast wasn’t the only danger in the wood, either. Terrible creatures had been set loose by the curse, and unlike the beast, they didn’t seem to be hindered by the tree line. They used to burst out of the Forbidden Wood and eat any villagers out after dark. Occasionally they’d barge through a front door as well, and eat villagers out of their homes.
It hadn’t happened in a long time. None of us understood why they’d left us be, but they were still in the wood. I’d heard their roars, too. That place was a clusterfuck of danger.
“It’s fine,” I reaffirmed, even though he hadn’t rebuffed me vocally. “The everlass field is close. I’ll just nip in really quickly, grab what I need, and get out. I have a great sense of direction in that place. In and out.”
“Except it is two days until the full moon.”
“That’ll just help me see better.”
“It’ll also increase the beast’s power. He’ll smell better. Run faster. Chomp harder.”
“I don’t think a soft chomp would be any better than a hard one, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll be quick. I know the way.”
“You shouldn’t know the way.”
But from the way he said it, I knew Hannon was giving up the fight. He didn’t have any more steam to talk me out of going. I kind of hoped he’d try harder.
I grimaced when I’d meant to smile, and my stomach started to churn. I did need to go. And I had gone a bunch these last few years and come back safely.
I’d hated it every time.
“When?” Hannon asked somberly.
“The leaves are the most potent when harvested at night,” I said, “and we are on borrowed time, like you said. No time like the present.”
“Are you absolutely sure you need to go?”
I let my shoulders sag for a moment. “Yes.”
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Download A Ruin of Roses By K.F. Breene PDF
A Ruin Of Roses PDF (Deliciously Dark Fairytales)
|Name Of Book||A Ruin of Roses|
|Publication date||October 10, 2021|
|Page Count||326 pages|
A Ruin of Roses By K.F. Breene PDF Free Download - HUB PDF
A Ruin Of Roses (Deliciously Dark Fairytales book 1) low growl rumbled through the Forbidden Wood. My heart jumped into my throat.
Author: K.F. Breene