The Scarlett Mark

A MedEvil Romantasy

Book Cover: The Scarlett Mark
Part of the The Odin Saga series:

A Lord cursed.

A Princess cast aside.

A Mark that could change everything!

Seeking justice, Princess Scarlett challenges her stepbrother by way of a serpent test, unaware that her treasonous act will endanger her father the king, threaten her two royal sisters, and play into the premeditated plans of her stepmother—the queen. Known as a witch, the evil queen has an agenda to steal the throne and rid the castle of her stepchildren. Soon condemned to death, a risk saves the princess from execution, forcing the queen to banish her from the kingdom.

Cursed by the same spiteful witch, Lord Nicolai is most dangerous when transformed. Feared by everyone, he can’t see an end to his phantom life, until the princess arrives at his door. When a chase ensues to break the curse, the princess risks everything to save Lord Nicolai. Will a remedy be found in time, and how might the solution challenge the evil queen, should the Scarlett Mark prevail?

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PROLOGUE


Cynara

A black storm blew in from the ocean, a malicious tempest with gale force winds that threatened to topple the oak trees, as if their brine-soaked trunks were no more than thin sticks. Lightning flashed white as it rippled between gray clouds. Thunder roared and crackled, as if an enchanted force attempted to tear a hole in the twilight sky. Mother Nature brewed a warning of evil entering the forest, but Cynara Musadora’s wrath could not be stilled, and the witch kept coming.

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Cynara had conjured the storm, and she welcomed the breeze as she walked headlong into the wind, shrouded in a black cloak with silver lining that swirled around her legs; the fabric itself seemed to breathe an insidious life. She did not pause in her pursuit, even though cold air spat against her face, nipped at her hands, and whipped long jet-black strands of hair into her mint-green eyes. She parted the air with a wave of her hand and continued her mad quest through the woodland.

Walking beneath the oak trees, she swept branches away from her eyes, as if their woody limbs were her web and she the vengeful spider running across the silk tapestry to catch her prey. Lord Nicolai, unaware of her pursuit, already struggled in her web. She sensed the thrum of his heartbeat further along the silken thread. Soon she would wrap the reprehensible man within her black curse and punish him for his crime, a crime that drove her closer to his home to carry out her angry purpose.

Vengeance dangled in her field of vision, held like a stone in the palm of her hand, and she had no issue with seeing her plan through to completion. No man or woman would deter her revenge. She stepped around a tree, her hand pulsing into a fist, and found the pathway that led to the mansion and the man who fueled her anger.

“Soon, Nicolai,” she cackled, as the lightning flashed its warning a second time and the thunder boomed an equally dire threat. “Very soon, your heart will be mine.”

Cynara knew nothing could change her plan. When Nicolai rejected their relationship, the lost love had torn her heart into two bloody pieces. It still felt that way. Where a heart should beat strong, now only sorrow, silent rage, and two black stones lay lodged within her chest.

My precious heart is dead because of you, Nicolai, she thought. It’s not unreasonable that you should cry for death, too.

After all, Nicolai’s ignorance of her emotional well-being had pushed her patience to the limit since the betrothal announcement to his new paramour. Despite his excuses, his deception and his promise to another woman had caused her indescribable pain, provoking a hell-storm beyond herself that she couldn’t calm. In response, Cynara had a gift for him, a black curse she had conjured to teach him a lesson and end his fornicating ways forever.

If she could not have the man she loved—or rather, had once loved—if Nicolai could not see that she was his other half, his better half, then damn the man to hell. She would ensure that no other woman wore his ring or shared his impassioned bed.

As the forest gave way to a clearing, she walked across tall grasses swishing with the strong breeze to the ridge, whose rocky embankment traversed the path between the land and the sea. Not even the crash of the waves beneath the cliff edge stilled her purpose. Drum Manor was just beyond. She saw the lights of the manor house flickering in the windows like a beacon in the distance, drawing her closer. And she knew where the lord mindlessly waited. Lord Nicolai would be in the hall celebrating with his bride-to-be.

“But not for long,” Cynara snickered.

She’d soon find the betrothal partners and douse their damnable flames forever.

COLLAPSE

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