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Tales of the Crimson Court Book 2
BY JESSICA ASPEN
An enslaved princess, a charming thief, and a power-hungry step-mother out for revenge…
ASHES: a twisted Cinderella tale of romance and magic
Princess Ellasin has been living a life of drudgery in her own castle working for her step-mother, the Crimson Queen. When sexy, devil-may-care Finn Aduain breaks in and invites her to take a walk on the wild side, instead of danger—Ella sees opportunity.
Disgraced prince turned charming thief— Finn has his own secrets. But when he meets the charmingly innocent ash-girl, he’s intrigued. Seducing Ella into leaving the life she’s always known becomes his new mission.
Desperate to for power, the queen has decreed a ball for Ella’s step-sisters to find husbands and Ella decides—this is the perfect night to escape. With the assistance of Finn, the castle ghost, and her own surprisingly strong magic, Ella finally discovers freedom. But freedom comes at a price. Ella learns that her step-mother drained Ella’s father of his life and his magic—and now intends to drain her too. Ella vows to take back her throne and put an end to her step-mother, once and for all.
Dare to discover Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in her brand new twisted fairy tale series: Tales of the Crimson Court
Tales of the Crimson Court Book 2
BY JESSICA ASPEN
She left the rose garden, heading further away from the castle walls and into the orchard. The apples had been ripening all month. Most of them had been picked, but she knew a few trees where the late ones would be just about ripe. A little nudge from her and she’d have one dropping into her hand for lunch.
But something was wrong. The apple trees’ branches were stiff and held away from her. Tension ran through the orchard. Even the grasses whispered anxiously. She sent her Gift into the roots, asking the trees for more information.
Ella glanced around. She didn’t see anyone, but just in case, she went into the shed and grabbed a pitchfork. The head gardener kept his tools sharp and the tines gleamed in the sun. She asked the trees again. The leaves waved as if a breeze flowed through them, pointing her to the back of the orchard, near the outer wall. Someone was here.
This might not be her castle anymore, but it was her orchard. She’d snuck out here year after year and babied these trees. She knew them as intimately as if they were her children. She’d helped the head gardener plant every new tree and mourned the dead. She wasn’t about to let anyone threaten them. As quietly as possible she slipped from tree to tree, using the movement of the leaves to guide her to the tree where she’d been planning on going anyway, the one with the last few apples. She still couldn’t see anyone, but the trees said someone was there.
She aimed her pitchfork at the lowest Y. “Get out, thief.”
A man appeared, perched in the branches, his dark blue crystal eyes wide with surprise. “You can see me?” He took a big audacious bite of a luscious red apple.
He was elvatian with the slender but muscular build of a Tuathan Lord. His hair was a dark, almost black, but the sun shining on the thick locks revealed lush blue highlights. And his eyes were the cobalt blue of the midnight sky painted on the night nursery ceiling.
She tried to keep the surprise of seeing him out of her face. “What are you doing here? This is a private garden.”
He tilted his head and swallowed. “Really? I thought the very high walls were an invitation to come in and feast on apples.”
“Ah, a jester. Well you don’t belong out here, that’s for sure. You’d best be gone before the gardener catches you.”
“I’ve already seen the gardener and he didn’t see me.” He dropped out of the tree, twisting his body neatly around and avoiding the sharp tines. “So, how is it, you—a dusty maid—can?”
Before Ella could move, he grabbed the pitchfork where the handle met the metal tines, and stepped in close. His body was right against hers and his eyes gleamed.
Adrenaline shot through her system and she gasped, her skin tingling. “How dare you.” She’d never been this close to a man. No one in the castle would touch her, she was a pariah, thanks to Ronatta’s spells. The lowest of the low.
He grinned. “How dare I?” He glanced around the garden. “In case you haven’t noticed, little maid, the gardeners are all gone home and we’re too far away from the guards stationed on the walls.” He moved in even closer, his body nearly touching hers. “We’re all alone, you and I. Completely…alone.”
Ella’s mouth dried up. He was right. They were all alone and she only had a useless pitchfork. What could she possibly do?
Jessica Aspen always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing spicy paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. To get your exclusive Jessica Aspen Starter Library please go to: https://jessicaaspen.com/free-book-offer/
Links to Jessica’s website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your book with us!
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