Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)
by Kaitlyn Davis
Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?
Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.
Jade was only a little girl when the earthquake struck. Before her eyes, half of New York City disappeared, replaced by a village that seemed torn out of a storybook. Horses and carriages. Cobblestone streets. A towering castle. And, above all, a queen with the magical ability to strip emotions away.
Ten years later and Jade has forgotten what it is to feel, to care...even to love. Working as a member of the queen's guard, she spends most of her time on the city wall staring at the crumbling skyscrapers of old New York. But everything changes when the queen's runaway son, Prince Asher, returns. Jade is tasked with an unusual mission--to let the Prince capture her, to make him trust her, and then to betray his secrets to the crown. In return, she'll earn her freedom. But life outside the queen's realm is more than Jade bargained for. Under Asher's relentless taunts, her blood begins to boil. Under his piercing gaze, her heart begins to flutter. And the more her icy soul begins to thaw, the more Jade comes to question everything she's ever known--and, more importantly, whose side she's really on.
There are no sounds outside of the fire, no moans of pain, and instantly I am on edge. The commander would say it was nothing—that part of a building slipped free and happened to fall on our mine. Nothing more.
But the back of my neck tingles.
Then it is cold.
Metal presses against my skin, the shape of a circle. I recognize the barrel of a gun when I feel one.
"Don't move," a voice whispers, close to my ear. A voice meant to menace, but the ugly tone sounds unnatural, unconvincing.
I should be afraid. I should feel my insides tighten. But they are cool, calm. So hard that I wonder if a bullet would even break my skin.
A second passes and he does nothing. No hand grabs for my shirt. The gun does not press deeper into my skin. I wait for pain, but his touch is gentle. Too gentle for this world.
I react swiftly, throwing my head to the side and reaching my arm back to catch his. I twist my elbow, bending his arm unnaturally until his fingers open and the gun clangs uselessly against the floor. Blindly, I reach down, feeling the tile as I flip myself over. My grip tightens on the handle.
One swing of my arm and we have changed places.
"Don't move," I say, unable to stop my smirk. The gun is aimed at his chest, but I doubt I will use it. Bullets are too precious to waste.
My eyes travel higher, up his neck, past his square jaw, until I meet his eyes. His face holds shock, a little awe. I've seen that look before, during training rounds with the guard. I'm much tougher than I look.
But there is something else.
The fire behind me floods through the window, illuminating his features and I swear that I've seen them before.
"Are you going to shoot me?" His voice holds a musical quality. It captures me, makes me lose myself for a moment. And suddenly I remember. In a burst, recognition shocks my brain.
The ice-blond hair. The perfect pale skin. The only difference is his eyes, which seem dark as midnight in this light.
It's Queen Deirdre's son. Prince Asher.
"No," I say quickly.
I've always been a writer. I grew up duct taping my novels together, started writing complete manuscripts in high school and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduating, I decided it was finally time to actually give my dream career a chance. So, of course, I started writing a young adult paranormal romance series -- and no, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. I've been a true paranormal supporter for my entire life! I blame my obsession almost completely on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my all-time favorite television show. And, before you ask: Yes, I own every season... even the post WB ones! I especially challenge anyone to watch the first three seasons and not fall in love with Angel, securing a lifelong love of vampires! Other culprits of my paranormal obsession are some of my favorite authors: JK Rowling, Raymond Feist, Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Lynne Ewing and Tamora Pierce.
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