The Wrath – Rise of the Warlords Read Online Gena Showalter

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 118
Estimated words: 111898 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 559(@200wpm)___ 448(@250wpm)___ 373(@300wpm)

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a new book in the tantalizing Rise of the Warlords series, featuring a brutal Hell king and the irresistible beauty who upends his world.

For centuries, Rathbone the Only, King of Agonies, has existed for one recovering the enchanted bones of his slain wife to bring her back to life. He’s never been closer to success. But a new enemy has risen. A band of deadly war gods who have thirty days to destroy her or suffer the consequences. With time running out, Rathbone hires a maddening harpy-oracle, unaware she has an agenda of her own.

Neeka the Unwanted is a fierce warrior on a stop Rathbone and the gods. She’s seen the future if either is victorious, and it’s horrifying. She’ll do whatever proves necessary to forge a new path, even seduce the ruthless royal from his purpose. What she can’t predict? How the intense male will shatter her hard-won defenses along the way.

As Rathbone battles unexpected betrayals, cunning foes and the wild temptress he craves with every fiber of his being, he knows he must hold on to a cold dream or embrace a new flame.

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Excerpted from The Book of Stars

Author unknown

Warning: Living text subject to change

They are ancient warriors, evil to the core and loyal only to one another. Known as the Astra Planeta, Wandering Stars, Warlords of the Skies—the beginning of the end—they travel from world to world, wiping out enemy armies. Drawn to war, they turn even the smallest skirmish into a bloodbath.

To glimpse these brutes is to greet your death.

Having no moral compass, they kill without mercy, steal without qualm, and destroy without guilt. Their aim is simple, their goal fixed. Earn a mystical blessing to experience victory for the next five hundred years. A necessity in their endless war with Erebus the Deathless, for without this benediction, the Astra automatically acquire a curse. Five hundred years of utter defeat.—Page 1

* * *

The time has come to renew the blessing. One after the other, each of the nine will undergo an impossible task. Three have proven successful; the fourth must now demonstrate his worth. A merciless soldier, Azar the Memory Keeper recalls everything—except his own follies.

To win his challenge, he must face Lorelei the Incomparable, a perplexing goddess of desire. The charge is this: Resurrect her, then kill her all over again. But first he must face her husband, Rathbone the Only, a treacherous king of the Underworld who will stop at nothing to protect his beloved.

What will happen when these two powerful foes lock horns over a chosen female?—Page 12,847

Eons Ago

Eons ago

Thunder boomed and lightning flashed in a storm-blackened sky. Rathbone the Only removed his helmet, uncaring as violent winds pelted icy rain in his face. His blood-soaked hair whipped, obscuring his vision. He wiped his eyes, but the image before him never altered.

Lorelei the Incomparable, goddess of desire and his beloved bride, lay on the field of slaughter, motionless atop a pile of slain demons and their assortment of severed parts. Her crystalline irises stared at nothing. Her perfect lips remained parted with a silent scream. A drenched sable mane stuck to ashen skin, molding to exquisite features able to inspire lust in all who gazed upon her. But....

Something with claws had ripped open her chest and plucked out her heart.

Rathbone couldn’t bring himself to accept...hoped... “Lore!” Though he’d fought on the front lines for twenty-one straight days and nights without wavering, there’d been no one strong enough to fell him. Here, he dropped to his knees, his armor clanking. His weapons rolled from a once iron grip.

With a shaky hand, he gently caressed Lore’s glacial cheek. “Wake up, sweetness. I need you.”

They had plans. Toast his victory with a glass of ambrosia and make love. An adored custom. But nothing changed. Lore didn’t regrow a heart, as a deity of her capability should. She didn’t smile with delight and coil her arms around him, the way he so desperately longed. Didn’t tell him not to worry because she was soon to make his dreams come true.

“Wake up!” he bellowed, his voice hollow and broken. “Your king has issued a command.” They had agreed. He would fight until achieving victory, and they would rule this Underworld kingdom together. Mere minutes ago, that victory had finally come. This was to be a time of celebration, not devastation. “I completed step one of our plan. You must wake.”

Minutes passed in silence. The storm continued to rage, but she never revived, never responded.

Tears scorched his cheeks, mixing with freezing raindrops. His precious wife couldn’t be dead. She was the mate chosen for him by fate, and he required her. He’d accepted it at their first meeting when she’d oh so sweetly requested his aid.

“Lore. Please,” he croaked. “You must return to me.”

Still nothing.

A roar brewed deep in his chest, grief attempting to tear its way free of his insides. What had happened? Why had she come to the combat zone? She might be a goddess of desire, born with incredible power, but she was a gentle soul. Afraid of blood. Terrified of blades. She should be tucked away in the safety of their hideout, awaiting his summons.

“I’m sorry, Rath.” Hades, King of the Dead, patted and squeezed his shoulder. “She’s gone.”

Rathbone didn’t spare the sovereign a glance. He loved the sovereign like a father and even owed the male his life, but Lore wasn’t a subject they could discuss without coming to blows.

“You aren’t sorry.” He gathered the beauty close, her limp body hanging in his arms. “You hate her.” His jaw clenched. Hated.

“True. But I love you.”

That, he knew. Again and again, Hades had proven the truth of his claim. Though Rathbone’s mother had considered him a great disappointment, the King of the Dead had seen something special in him. Hades took him under his smoky wing and spent centuries training him to be a soldier without equal. Today, that training had paid off. After a gruesome year-long war, Rathbone won the right to rule the kingdom neighboring Hades’s. The Realm of Agonies.