Thursday, September 19, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway for Promise of Darkness (Dark Court Rising #1) by Bec McMasters

I'm so excited to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book! It's the start to a brand new series by the talented Bec McMasters and it delivers big time! I have an excerpt, review, and giveaway to share with you!

Title: Promise of Darkness
Author: Bec McMasters
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy


Princess. Tribute. Sacrifice. Is she the one prophesied to unite two warring Fae courts? Or the one bound to destroy them?
In a realm ruled by magic, the ruthless Queen of Thorns is determined to destroy her nemesis, the cursed Prince of Evernight. With war brewing between the bitter enemies, the prince forces Queen Adaia to uphold an ancient treaty: she will send one of her daughters to his court as a political hostage for three months. The queen insists it’s the perfect opportunity for Princess Iskvien to end the war before it begins. But one look into Thiago’s smoldering eyes and Vi knows she’s no assassin. The more secrets she uncovers about the prince and his court, the more she begins to question her mother’s motives. Who is the true enemy? The dark prince who threatens her heart? Or the ruthless queen who will stop at nothing to destroy him? And when the curse threatens to shatter both courts, is her heart strong enough to break it? A fairytale twist inspired by the Hades and Persephone myth.     

I turn.  
Shadows melt together, forming into a tall, masked figure that stalks through the crowd as if it doesn’t exist. It’s as if Kato, the god of death, walks among us. But this is no god, slumbering now in the memories of the fae. This male is carved out of hard, heated flesh and practically poured into black leather. Despite my anxiety, I can’t help noticing the breadth of those shoulders and the powerful flex of his thighs.   
The fae of mother’s court flee before him like deer scattering before an approaching predator. 
Because that’s exactly what he is.  
Even I feel it.  
Piercing eyes meet mine through the eyeholes of the mask he wears; a feathered raven’s beak cascading over his brow. Though no crown graces his temples, power drips from him, leaving me with no doubt of whom I face.   
Thiago, Prince of Evernight. 
Lord of Whispers and Lies. Master of Darkness.  
Our gazes lock, and I force my spine to straightenTo become steel.  
You are an Asturian princess, and you will not yield to the Prince of Evernight 
“Princess,” he says, searching my face with a heated gaze that shivers over my skin like a caress. “I’ve been waiting for you.” 
All night, I’m sure. 
It’s time to play the game of crowns and prove I can survive anything my mother or the Seelie Alliance can throw at me.   
I tip my chin up. “Prince Thiago, you honor us with your presence.” 
His gaze drops, the faintest flicker of—is it disappointment?—marring those dangerous eyes. “The pleasure is mine.”  
Why, then, do I feel as if I’ve somehow failed some test? 
Perhaps he thought I’d be more welcoming.  
If so, then he’s a fool.  
“I don’t believe pleasure has anything to do with it.” 
His eyes sparkle as he lifts my hand to his mouth, his lips ghosting over the back of it. “Yet.” 
Oh, so that’s the way he means to play. 
I tear my hand free. “Ever.” 
“Did your mother not warn you?” I’ve clearly amused him. “I’ve never met a challenge I’ve failed to surmount.” 
“But you’ve never met me before.” 
“Haven’t I?” Another mysterious smile. “We’re to spend the next three months together. Be careful with your challenges. I always play to win.” 
“Ah, but what precisely are we playing for?”  
“Hearts, perhaps.” 
It steals a laugh from me. Oh, he’s so polished, he’s practically gleaming. “You think to steal my heart?” 
“I don’t think that at all. I think you’ll give it to me.” 
“Never in a thousand years.” 
The prince leans closer. “There you go again, Princess. Opposing me. Daring me. I think I’m going to enjoy the next three months. Very much so.” 
Of course, he will. He’s the one with the power. “Perhaps. You might regret them instead.” 
“Regret meeting you? Never. Dance with me.”  
My temper boils. Time to prove I’m no mere pushover. I press my hand to his chest. “But you didn’t say please.” 
“I never say please.” 
I’ve heard that about him too—I can see it in the flex of his jaw, as if a part of him yearns to reach out and take my arm. He’s not the sort of male you deny. A warlord, a conqueror, a prince who stole his kingdom from its rightful heirs. 
“Sorry. You don’t own me just yet.” 
And then I whirl away into the watching crowd, leaving him staring after me. 


Paranormal fantasy romance is a genre I'm relatively new to. I've probably read less than a hundred books total, which may not seem like a lot, but when you read upwards of 300+ books a year and have been doing so for the last 25 years, it's minuscule portion of my reading repertoire. What I've found is an entire genre I've missed out on and am happy to correct my error. Bec McMaster is quickly becoming a favorite author in this genre for me. When I first learned she was starting a new series and it was going to be a fae retelling of Hades & Persephone, one of my favorite myths of all time, I couldn't have been more excited!

Promise of Darkness is enchanting! I could not put this book down. The world building Bec McMasters done is superb. She does it brilliantly, introducing you to Iskvien "Vi" first and then growing the cast of characters slowly. The story is multi-faceted and the way the conflicts emerge and evolve are brilliant. It's like watching a rosebud unfurl its petals, one by one, until you  have this glorious full bloom. 

Iskvien and Thiago set fire to the page. Their chemistry is evident from the moment they meet and I could almost feel their palpable longing for each other. I loved the way Thiago was with Vi; patient, understanding, loving. I also loved the way he was with those who chose to follow him and him as a terror of nightmares,  when those he loved and cared for were threatened. Vi fought her attraction to Thiago, as anyone who had been told from a young age the person in front of them was an enemy and a terrible being would. I could not fault her for her fears, but only admire as she took in what was in front of her and weighed reality with stories.  

Their love story is epic and it's not the only highlight of the book. There's a complicated history of the land- of those who rule now, those who do not, and those locked away-that also plays out. There is fighting, betrayal, conquest, victory, and bargains made that will both thrill and chill you. The only downside is having to wait for the next book. As a lover of fantasy romance, I could not have asked for a better story. As a lover of the Hades & Persephone myth, this was a beautiful tribute, one that plays homage but is truly it's own story. 

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About Bec McMasters
I'm a writer. Dreamer. Travel Addict. And enthusiastic-if-not-perfect baker. I'll honestly admit that I don't always follow the recipe, be it cooking, or writing romances. If I'm not sitting in front of the computer, I'm probably plotting my next world trip. Or eating chocolate. Sometimes I run. Because...chocolate. I grew up on a steady diet of 80's fantasy movies like Ladyhawke, Labyrinth and The Princess Bride, and love creating epic, fantasy-based worlds with heroes and heroines who must defeat all the odds to have their HEA. I live in a country town in Australia, with my very own beta hero, Byron; Kobe, a dog who will eat anything (even used teabags); and demanding chickens, Siggy and Lagertha.    
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*Thank you to the author & InkSlinger for providing a copy of the book to review. I was not compensated or enticed in any manner to write a review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.*

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