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Authors: Kresley Cole

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #General, #Fantasy, #Paranormal

Sweet Ruin

sweet

ruin

BOOKS BY KRESLEY COLE

The Immortals After Dark Series

The Warlord Wants Forever

A Hunger Like No Other

No Rest for the Wicked

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge

Dark Desires After Dusk

Kiss of a Demon King

Deep Kiss of Winter

Pleasure of a Dark Prince

Demon from the Dark

Dreams of a Dark Warrior

Lothaire

Shadow’s Claim

MacRieve

Dark Skye

The Game Maker Series

The Professional

The Master

The Arcana Chronicles

Poison Princess

Endless Knight

Dead of Winter

The MacCarrick Brothers Series

If You Dare

If You Desire

If You Deceive

The Sutherland Series

The Captain of All Pleasures

The Price of Pleasure

First published in the USA by Gallery, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2015

First published in Great Britain by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., 2015

A CBS COMPANY

Copyright © Kresley Cole, 2015

This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.

No reproduction without permission.

® and © 1997 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

The right of Kresley Cole to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

Simon & Schuster UK Ltd

1st Floor

222 Gray’s Inn Road

London WC1X 8HB

www.simonandschuster.co.uk

Simon & Schuster Australia, Sydney

Simon & Schuster India, New Delhi

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4711-1367-3

Export Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4711-4987-0

eBook ISBN: 978-1-4711-1369-7

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

Simon & Schuster UK Ltd are committed to sourcing paper that is made from wood grown in sustainable forests and supports the Forest Stewardship Council, the leading international forest certification organisation. Our books displaying the FSC logo are printed on FSC certified paper.

Dedicated with much gratitude to Nancy Tonik, production genius.

You always help me build a better book.

EXCERPTED FROM

THE LIVING BOOK OF LORE . . .

The Lore

“. . . and those sentient creatures that are not human shall be united in one stratum, coexisting with, yet secret from, man’s.”

•   Most are immortal and can regenerate from injuries, killed only by mystical fire or beheading.

Primordial

“The mightiest of them all; filled with power, magicks, and majesty.”

•   The firstborn—or the oldest generation—of a species.

The Møriør

“In the tongue of the Elserealms, Møriør can mean both ‘The Dozen’ and ‘Soul’s Doom.’ ”

•   An alliance of otherworldly beings led by Orion the Undoing.

•   Have seized control of most planes of existence.

The Noble Fey of Grimm Dominion

“A warrior nobility who ruled over all the demon serfs in their realm.”

•   Were
féodals
, an ancient term for feudal overlords, which became shortened to
fey
.

•   Their source dimension is Draiksulia, their empire the Grimm Dominion.

The Dark Fey

“Offspring between darkness and light. Cursed banes on the fey.”

•   Halflings born of a fey and a demon.

•   Their black blood is poisonous, known as baneblood.

The Demonarchies

“The demons are as varied as the bands of man. . . .”

•   A collection of demon dynasties.

•   Most demon breeds can teleport or trace to places they’ve previously been.

•   A demon must have intercourse with a potential mate to ascertain if she’s truly his—a process known as
attempting
.

The Accession

“And a time shall come to pass when all immortal beings in the Lore, from the Valkyries, vampire, Lykae, and demon factions to the witches, shifters, fey, and sirens . . . must fight and destroy each other.”

•   A kind of mystical checks-and-balances system for an ever-growing population of immortals.

•   Occurs every five hundred years. Or right now . . .

Those who oppose us will know their doom.

—R
UNE
D
ARKLIGHT
(
A
.
K
.
A
. R
UNE THE
B
ANEBLOOD AND
R
UNE THE
I
NSATIABLE
),

ASSASSIN AND SECRETS MASTER OF THE
M
ØRIØR

When in doubt, squeeze till something breaks.

—J
OSEPHINE
D
OE
(
A
.
K
.
A
. L
ADY
S
HADY
)

CONTENTS

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

SIXTEEN

SEVENTEEN

EIGHTEEN

NINETEEN

TWENTY

TWENTY-ONE

TWENTY-TWO

TWENTY-THREE

TWENTY-FOUR

TWENTY-FIVE

TWENTY-SIX

TWENTY-SEVEN

TWENTY-EIGHT

TWENTY-NINE

THIRTY

THIRTY-ONE

THIRTY-TWO

THIRTY-THREE

THIRTY-FOUR

THIRTY-FIVE

THIRTY-SIX

THIRTY-SEVEN

THIRTY-EIGHT

THIRTY-NINE

FORTY

FORTY-ONE

FORTY-TWO

FORTY-THREE

FORTY-FOUR

FORTY-FIVE

FORTY-SIX

FORTY-SEVEN

FORTY-EIGHT

FORTY-NINE

FIFTY

FIFTY-ONE

FIFTY-TWO

FIFTY-THREE

FIFTY-FOUR

FIFTY-FIVE

FIFTY-SIX

FIFTY-SEVEN

FIFTY-EIGHT

FIFTY-NINE

SIXTY

SIXTY-ONE

SIXTY-TWO

SIXTY-THREE

SIXTY-FOUR

SIXTY-FIVE

SIXTY-SIX

SIXTY-SEVEN

SIXTY-EIGHT

SIXTY-NINE

SEVENTY

SEVENTY-ONE

SEVENTY-TWO

SEVENTY-THREE

EPILOGUE

ONE

Houston County, Texas

F
OURTEEN YEARS AGO

J
o woke to the taste of copper.

She smacked her lips, moving her tongue.
Something’s in my mouth?

Her eyes flashed open. She bolted upright, and spat two pieces of crumpled metal.
What the hell are those?

Clutching her aching head, she gazed around, wrinkling her nose at the antiseptic smell.
Where am I?
Her vision was blurry, the light dim. She thought the room was tiled.

Shit, was she in a hospital? No good. That’d mean she and Thaddie were back in the foster system and off the streets. Which meant she’d be breaking him out yet again.

Where was he? Why couldn’t she remember what happened?

Think, Jo. THINK! What’s the last thing you remember?

Slowly images of the day began to surface. . . .

It’s getting too hot to stay here.

Closing in on the library, Jo scanned the streets for the gang lord’s Monte Carlo. She thought she heard its newly replaced engine rumbling a couple of blocks over.

The streets of this hood were a maze, the Monte Carlo a dragon. She was a plucky superhero, carrying her trusty sidekick on her back.

But last night hadn’t been a game.

She craned her head around to ask Thaddie, “What do you think?” His little body was secured in the Thadpack—the stolen backpack she’d modified, cutting out holes for his legs. “We lost ’em, didn’t we?”

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