|The Blood Burns in My Veins
The House of Ferro has dominated the city-state of Verona since its creation, made mighty by their magia del ferro, financial acumen, and ties to the imperial throne. The House of Ishikawa arrived on Verona’s shores a few years later, made powerful and wealthy by way of their rare, priceless magia d’acqua. A short time later, murder and vengeance exploded into a feud that has lasted for generations—and by decree of Hardegin-principe, will end now or else.
Royal decrees cannot so easily quell generations of hate and bloodshed, but ancient feuds cannot stop love. Determined to be together, young Ferro Carac and Ishikawa Arata decide to run away and leave their families behind. But on the night they depart, Arata is murdered, and Carac is wrongfully blamed for it, betrayed by everyone he trusted.
Fifteen years later, Carac is long dead of disease while in prison, and Verona is abuzz with nervous excitement over the betrothal of Ferro Selinah to Ishikawa Naoki. Unhappy with the pending marriage, Naoki spends most of his time drinking and sleeping. On the way home from a bar one night, accompanied by the sister come to drag him home, they are attacked by a bandit—and saved by an intriguing man who goes by the name of Dante…
Lazzaro has a talent for catching criminals, a talent that has gained him as much trouble as it has acclaim in the years since he arrived at the royal palace to attend his mother, infamous concubine to the King.
Increasingly frustrated that the man who murdered his mother continues to elude him, Lazzaro takes the advice of his half-brother and goes to obtain information from the notorious Crown Jewel—the most successful courtesan in the city.
But the man he encounters is nothing like what he expected, and Lazzaro finds himself coveting a Jewel that vows never to belong to just one man.
Four strangers. A shared moment long forgotten. A bond forged in desperation.
On the first day of the Festival of Counting, the beginning of the royal census that takes place every ten years, the royal city is filled to overflowing. Everyone is happy, excited, and proud to be counted amongst those who live in the glorious kingdom of Orhanis.
Then a demon strikes, killing thousands in mere seconds and leveling the city. As the royal castle burns, only four men remain to drive the demon away—and in their desperation, accidentally bind themselves together in a legendary Oath, unable to part ways until they find and kill the demon once and for all.
Mahzan, the King’s Jester, an orphan who clawed his way to the top and hides a fearsome magic… Sule, the notorious North Captain, who sacrificed everything to live as a strong, capable, highly respected man… Cemal, a priest who traveled the continent bent on revenge and now lives lost… and Binhadi, the mercurial shadow mage with a dark history and bloody ties to the throne…
Four men used to standing apart, standing alone, who must learn to stand together if they hope to save themselves and all of Orhanis.
Centuries ago, humans and vampires lived alongside one another, sometimes hostile, sometimes peaceful—but always tense. Eventually, that tension tipped too far, and now vampires are few in number and known only as Pets, kept by the wealthy as intimate companions, most of their history lost, the rest shrouded in mystery.
Aubrey has returned home after spending many years away, though he is reluctant to live once more with his estranged father, his mercurial cousin, and the memories of his murdered mother.
The very last thing he wants is the Pet given to him as a welcome home gift, a practice he has long despised and wants no part of. But Ruthven is like no Pet he’s ever encountered, and only the beginning of the secrets Aubrey slowly begins to uncover…
Tallant is an elf astray—he’s been disowned by his family, has dared to battle bond with a human, and has no desire to ever see his homeland again. He is, in fact, vastly more excited to finally be seeing the home his battle-bonded, Milton, is finally returning to after twelve years of exile.
But instead of the joyful place Milton spoke endlessly of, they find a land rife with deadly dragons, where fifteen women have gone missing, including Irene, the woman Milton loves.
Even Milton’s brother, Cecil, is not what he used to be. Instead of the scholar Milton talked about, Cecil is a hardened soldier who keeps company with thieves. He is also beautiful and intriguing—but contemptuous of Milton and Tallant. Worse, he’s also married to Irene, making it clear that Milton and Tallant have arrived far too late to matter.
Alcor has it all: wealth, popularity, power. Whatever he wants, he has only to snap his fingers. He spends his days doped on dragonweed and enjoying the latest person seduced into his bed. He is cold, selfish, and cruel.
Then a dark faerie shows up at his birthday party, and a night of drugs and debauchery turns into a nightmare of fire and blood, killing everyone—except Alcor.
Instead of death, Alcor is left disfigured and cursed, unable to die, forced into a life of solitude, and his only hope for salvation is that someone can learn to love a beast…
Upon the request of Queen Marianna, Joss has traveled home with her to analyze the small group of men who are her closest friends. The men immediately resent the presence of a stranger intent upon asking personal questions, especially as Joss bears the title of Matchmaker and they are all quite available for matching…