The Assassin’s Bride Read Online Beth Alvarez

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 92
Estimated words: 83313 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 417(@200wpm)___ 333(@250wpm)___ 278(@300wpm)
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A meeting with the king was supposed to fix the trouble Thea’s family left behind.
Instead, she witnessed his death.
As the one person granted entry to the throne room, she’s now implicated in his murder. The assassin who killed him can help her escape the gallows… for a price.
After all, Thea’s no simple seamstress. As a Threadmancer, she can sew power into garments—including forbidden illusory magic that could allow the king’s alarmingly charming killer to escape forever.
In return for his aid, Gil asks for nothing but these illusions. But as they flee under the guise of being newlyweds, Thea realizes the motives behind his actions may be darker than anything she ever imagined, and two problems come to light: No matter how dangerous the truth is, she’s not afraid of him… and she might be falling in love.

FULL BOOK START HERE:

CHAPTER ONE

Of the five kings who had ruled in the past three years, Gaius Rothalan was said to be the worst. Not because he was a bad ruler, but because he was merciless.

When Thea had petitioned for an audience with the crown, the third king of those five had still been the man wearing it. Now she stood outside the palace with her letter of audience crumpled in her hands, unsure if it was worth setting foot inside the throne room.

“In or out,” the guard at the gate said, as if her tiny moment of hesitation were a burden. “You're the last one today. The gate shuts after you.”

Flustered, Thea gripped her paper and hurried into the courtyard. Afternoon sun dappled the cobblestones, casting everything in shades of gold. The manicured maples that lined the walkway fluttered their orange and yellow leaves in the wind, promising more color in the coming days. Autumn had arrived a bit early this year. Everyone swore it meant winter would be hard. All the more reason to ensure her business was settled now, she reminded herself. The harder the winter, the riskier the travel. Should the winter prove as cold as the sugarmakers claimed, being turned out of her home due to a clerical error no one had been able to resolve could end with an icy death.

“You're late,” called another guard as she approached the palace doors.

Thea was never late. She was also in no position to argue with any of the king's guards, so she kept her jaw clamped tight as she turned the letter of audience for his inspection. He waved her on like it didn't matter. She supposed it didn't. The first guard wouldn't have allowed her through the gate without that letter.

“Won't be anyone left in the sitting hall this time of day,” the guard said. “Go on down the hall and straight to the throne room. Don't knock, he's waiting. Best pray he's not annoyed.”

“Thank you.” She glanced to the door, half expecting the man might open it for her, but he remained at the foot of the shallow stairs. She continued on her own, letting herself into the palace.

Though the rich red granite of the palace exterior led her to expect it would be dark inside, high, narrow windows let in enough warm light that it didn't take long for her vision to adjust. The notion of a sitting hall left her anticipating a waiting room, but instead, a long corridor ran straight to the next set of doors. Benches lined the walls.

“Sitting hall indeed,” Thea murmured to herself as she made for the doors at the far end. All she had to do was go in. The letter granting her audience was all she held, but notes filled the pockets of her skirt. With fortune, the king would be willing to let her read them. Knowing his reputation, she might be allowed two sentences.

She paused outside the doors, drew a deep breath, and willed her hands not to shake. A stray thread on her sleeve caught her attention, a small reminder of the dozen or so garments she still had to stitch magic into, and she plucked it off with a wince. She'd done her best to be presentable and professional. Now all she could do was hope.

Thea squeezed her eyes shut and pushed into the throne room.

A gurgle greeted her and her eyes flew open.

Before the throne, a man in black jerked a blade from the king's chest. Two guards lay beside Thea's feet, slow-spreading pools of crimson beneath their bodies. The crown fell from the king's head and rolled lazily across the room. She watched, frozen, as it tipped over right in front of her and wobbled circles against the floor.

Her chest grew tighter, until she couldn't breathe. A low throb echoed in her ears, the sound of her own pulse drowning out the rattle of the crown and the sick saw-smack of the knife.

The crown stopped and the air rushed back into her lungs.


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