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Crimson Bound

Crimson Bound

4.2 20
by Rosamund Hodge

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An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood,” from the author of Cruel Beauty.

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village. But she was also reckless—straying from the forest path in pursuit of a way to


An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood,” from the author of Cruel Beauty.

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village. But she was also reckless—straying from the forest path in pursuit of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as they become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. Within a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA, June 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 2) - Jane Murphy
Hodge continues her magic with this followup to Cruel Beauty (HarperCollins, 2014/Voya February 2014), an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood from the perspective of the Brothers Grimm’s folktale The Maiden without Hands rather than the better-known story by Charles Perrault. Teens will enjoy this convoluted retelling along with all of its labyrinthine twists and turns. After the initial characters and mythology are established, the tale follows the adventures and courageous travails of Rachelle. She has learned from her aunt as a woodwife’s apprentice about her choice to use needles rather than pins in her quest. The long, painful, and more permanent solution is the path she accepts. Of course, there is plenty of romance along with the action to draw the reader in. The characters have French names with an alluring flair that is bound to tug at young readers’ heartstrings. With a slight nod to the vampire era in teen literature and a reminder that these kinds of stories emerged from fairy tales that were often frightening and unpleasant, this book is sure to please a wide range of readers. Reviewer: Jane Murphy; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 03/01/2015
Gr 8 Up—With this romantic mash-up of classic fairy tales that touch on elements from the familiar "Little Red Riding Hood" and the lesser-known "Girl with No Hands," Hodge has created a chilled cocktail of creep and gore shaken, stirred lightly, and poured over villains who fall in love and heroines who commit murder. Featured in this delicate and skillfully written romantic horror is Rachelle Brinon, who has been trained by her aunt to serve as a woodwife. It's her responsibility to protect the village from the dark magic of the forest. While venturing into the forest, Rachelle is eventually tricked by a humanlike wolf creature, to whom she becomes bound to it by a thin crimson thread that only she can see. The connection is filled with passion and also gives her superhuman skills with the possibility of immortality. Now one of the king's assassins, Rachelle has many responsibilities and soon realizes that there are just as many dangers and threats within the kingdom as they are without. Loyalties are stretched when she's assigned the job of protecting Prince Armand, and a romantic triangle develops among Rachelle, the prince, and the captain of the bloodbounds. Teens will gladly join this quest to find out if there's a happy ever after in this intricate web of friendship, fear, loyalty, love, and hate. VERDICT With a thoroughly developed setting and so many shadowed nods to the Brothers Grimm, this novel will captivate readers. Outstanding.—Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A high fantasy loosely based on "Little Red Riding Hood" and the less well-known "The Girl with No Hands."Hoping to save the world, 15-year-old Rachelle defiantly leaves the safe forest path to speak with a forestborn—one of those humans who gained supernatural powers by accepting the Devourer as their lord. The forestborn marks Rachelle: In three days' time she must either kill and become a bloodbound—destined to become a forestborn—or be killed. Rachelle kills, and the story of the killing is revealed as she grapples with debilitating guilt. Three years later, Rachelle is one of the king's bloodbound. When she discovers the Devourer will soon return, she redoubles her efforts to find the sword that can defeat him. However, orders to protect the king's illegitimate son, Armand, impede her search. Predictably, Rachelle falls in love with Armand, causing a love triangle to form between the pair and the rakish Erec, captain of the king's bloodbound. Though Armand is likable enough, Rachelle's love feels sudden and unfounded, and thus it's never entirely convincing. A fairy tale that's critical to understanding Rachelle's ultimate task is interspersed throughout, and in a refreshing departure from the norm, the complexity of the conclusion matches the magnitude of the foe faced. Rachelle's flaws make her an incredibly sympathetic character; though her romance is not so compelling, the unusual, intricately woven story and themes make for a worthwhile read. (Fantasy. 14 & up)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“An intoxicatingly dark story of love, lust, murder, and redemption.”
Sarah J. Maas
Praise for CRUEL BEAUTY: “A dazzling and clever retelling, Cruel Beauty is delightfully dark, lushly romantic, and utterly spellbinding. I adored it, and can’t wait to read Hodge’s next novel!”
Alex Flinn
Praise for CRUEL BEAUTY: “A completely engrossing tale.”
Sherry Thomas
Praise for CRUEL BEAUTY: “What a stunning debut. This is a book you will want to read as fast as you can for the intricate plot and as slowly as you can to savor the gorgeous world-building and the ravishing love story.”-
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Praise for CRUEL BEAUTY: “The push and pull romance between Nyx and Ignifex is pure fairy tale, but the characters themselves are complex and genuinely human as they struggle with their own culpability in a situation that forces them to choose between selfishness and selflessness.”
Praise for CRUEL BEAUTY: “[A] fast-paced romantic fantasy.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.80(d)
HL740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could get her hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She received a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in medieval English from Oxford. She now lives in Seattle, Washington, with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. She is also the author of Cruel Beauty; Gilded Ashes, a Cruel Beauty novella; and Crimson Bound. Visit her online at www.rosamundhodge.net.

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Crimson Bound 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Phoe More than 1 year ago
Praise for Rosamund Hodge!  I picked up Cruel Beauty on a gamble a while back and absolutely fell in love, so of course when I saw Crimson Bound I had to read it. I was skeptical, of course because so many times I've read a book and purchased another by the same author only to be terribly let down.  That was not the case here, Rosamund Hodge had me turning the pages constantly, and unable to put the book down! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such wonderful twists of classic stories. I sincerely love both novels and the novella. These are not the Disney stories of your childhood. They are dark, gritty stories that spun of tainted desires and questions of human nature. I think I have a new favorite author, one that I could easily compare to Anne Bishop.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge Publisher: Balzer + Bray Publication Date: May 5, 2015 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): When Rachelle was fifteen, she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night? Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption. What I Liked: Despite the rating, I actually really liked this book overall. It should have gotten at least four stars, but there some key elements to this book that I just couldn't stand. Some of them could have been easy fixes. Overall, I love Hodge's writing style, her storytelling, how she recreates a fairy tale. This book was dark and romantic, sometimes chilling and very bloody, and a very engaging read. Rachelle is bloodbound, meaning she is bound to the Forest, after been chosen by a Forestborn, and forced to murder someone. All bloodbound are murderers, and feared by humans. Bloodbound aren't quite human anymore - they have accelerated speed, healing, and other abilities. Most bloodbound hunt woodspawn and other creatures. Rachelle helps protect humans. But she blanches at the task of guarding Armand, a bastard prince who is known to be a saint. Supposedly, he's the only marked person that isn't a bloodbound or forestborn, or dead. But perhaps he is the key to helping her find a mysterious sword that will destroy the Devourer and save the world from endless knight. Right from the start, Rachelle is proven to be a kickbutt, tough-as-nails, vicious character. She's not merciless, but she isn't afraid to run someone through with a sword. She's wicked smart, calculating, a bit impulsive, irritable, and she's very good at her job. People fear her, for what she is, and her skill. She and her friend Erec are two very powerful bloodbound. Things start to get interesting when Rachelle is tasked with guarding Armand. The king is weakening and will need to name an heir, of his various make relatives. Armand wants a certain half-brother to have the throne, and will do anything for this half-brother. Armand is sweet, and not a warrior like Rachelle or Erec, but he is intelligent and shrewd nonetheless. He has no hands, as the forestborn that marked him cut them off. The book is long, but I never felt terribly bored. The story starts cruelly and keeps going, never letting up its bloody and dark pace. There are plenty of twists and turns, some unforeseen, some cliche. There is plenty of action, plenty of mystery, plenty of lore and fairy tale. I love the fantasy world that Hodge has created. Her world-building is masterful, as is her writing. I may not have LOVED this book, but I'm glad I read it, and will keep reading Hodge's books nonetheless. Her books are so strange, and so intriguing. This book features deadly creatures, a forest that seems alive, and lore that is captivating and chilling. Hodge has a very creative and original mind, and I look forward to new ideas by this author. There IS romance in this book. I'd like to say I enjoyed the romance but... there was a dash of insta-love and a love triangle, and those are two things that I absolutely do NOT enjoy. They didn't make/break the book for me, but both elements definitely made the book less enjoyable (hence, the rating). Overall, I liked this book. I can (mostly) ignore some things and keep the positive image of this book that I have in my head. It's a great standalone, and I'll definitely be looking out for more of Hodge's books in the future. I liked Cruel Beauty more, but I'm glad I read this one. What I Did Not Like: I mentioned the bit of insta-love and a love triangle. The insta-love was somewhat minimal, but I personally found it in this book, despite the magnitude of it. If that makes sense. It's not a love-at-first-sight thing, but I thought Rachelle fell for Armand (and vice versa) pretty quickly - especially considering she hated him like five seconds ago. And there IS a love triangle. That pissed me off more than the insta-love, because the love triangle is more developed and tangible. The insta-love might not be seen as insta-love to other readers. But the love triangle is something no one will miss. We have Erec, the bloodbound best friend, representing the Shadow side. And we have Armand, the marked-but-not-bloodbound-kind-of-mostly-human bastard prince, representing the "light" side. I had a preference, and I like how this book ended, but the love triangle was so unnecessary. It's not the main focus of the book at all, but it was there, and it was annoying. If you're one of those people who don't like it when the heroine gets her hands dirty with both men (so to speak), then you might want to skip this one.  That's another thing - be careful, because this might be a bit spoiler-y. Towards the end of the book, Rachelle learns that one guy does one thing, and it feels like a betrayal. She doesn't know the facts, she doesn't even know if was a real betrayal. But what's the first thing she does? Jumps into bed with the other guy. I kid you not. Literally in seconds, it felt like. Definitely within hours of the "betrayal" happening.  I'm not sure if the author wanted this to seem "empowering" or something - I know we're all about feminism these days, I get it - but doesn't that seem a bit degrading? Beneath yourself, to be in love with one guy and then straight-up have sex with someone else, especially someone you told you would never be with. I'm sorry, but this is inconceivable to me. And on that vein... this book is filled with cliches. That bit about the sex I mentioned above is ridiculous, and there are stupid, obnoxious cliches in this book too. I distinctly remember thinking, OF COURSE THAT PERSON IS THAT PERSON. Of course he/she was doing that from the start. Of course that was a part of this other person's past. Some things were just so obvious, and it was annoying to be reading and thinking, really, Hodge? You couldn't have taken a different route? I'm not saying this book was super similar to another one, or something. I'm saying there were a lot of painful cliches in this book that could have been avoided. Would I Recommend It: Despite my dislikes, I enjoyed the book, so I would give a conditional recommendation. Honestly, it's not the best fantasy fairy-tale retelling out there, but it's good, and I liked it. But I hope Hodge stays away from love triangles and obvious plot arcs and silly decisions from now on. It would make her books so much better, in my opinion. This one could have been a rare five-star read! It certainly felt that way, for nearly half the book. Rating: 3 stars. A positive rating, and I take away a positive feeling after reading this book. But I can't say I'd go around shouting its praises or bother rereading it. I will be reading Hodge's books in the future though. This one just wasn't amazing in certain aspects. Overall though, it was okay. Good.
14883554 8 months ago
In my opinion, Crimson Bound was okay (meh at worst), and I don't think that it deserves the hype that is associated with it. This book had potential and the premise was appealing, but the execution…well, executed the potential and the appeal of the premise. To give you three examples of poor execution, firstly, there is a general consensus among the Goodreads reviews of fans and detractors alike that the romance could have been better written. A lot of people hated the unnecessary love triangle, spotted some insta-love, and felt that the romance was corny and forced at times. Secondly, there was also a general consensus that Crimson Bound could have been shortened because some parts of the plot were too slow-paced and other parts were confusing and difficult to follow. Worst of all, there were also a lot of face-palm-worthy tropes that could have very easily been avoided or done differently to make Crimson Bound a much better book. That being said, I hesitate to recommend Crimson Bound because it requires a certain kind of reader – the kind of reader who enjoys Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses (and its sequel), Grave Mercy (and the rest of His Fair Assassin series), and, of course, Cruel Beauty. For other readers like me, Rosamund Hodge's Crimson Bound will be a disappointment.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
Crimson Bound is a standalone, dark fantasy novel written by Rosamund Hodge. It is considered a fairytale retelling - which I'm not a fan of btw - but Ms. Hodge's style just does it for me somehow. Her willingness to keep these tales as dark and haunting as possible is a beautiful thing. In Crimson Bound, Ms. Hodge incorporates a mixture of The Grandmother's Tale (a 14th century French version of Little Red Riding Hood) and The Girl without Hands. Personally, I had never heard of either of these fairytales before researching a bit about the inspiration behind this book. Ms. Hodge really delved into the core of these stories during her retelling and the outcome is deep, complex, and brilliant. During my personal reading experience, I did find some pieces of the storyline didn't quite flow well while transitioning from time periods, places, etc. and those periods were a tad distracting for me, but I was invested in this fantasy world, I was thoroughly engaged with the characters and their struggles, and I was eager to see this story through to the end. But as Ms. Hodge notes at the very beginning of the book, "This story begins with endless night and infinite forest; with two orphaned children, and two swords made of broken bone. It has not ended yet." God, I love this author! My favorite quote: "Everyone tries to be good until it stops being convenient." Note: I so desperately wanted to share Ms. Hodge's inspiration for Crimson Bound, and show how it connects to the original fairytales, but it's just too detailed. If you do an online search for Crimson Bound Rosamund Hodge online interviews, you'll find some good ones that already have tons of that information. I found it fascinating and I hope you'll check it out! Also, if you're interested in reading the original fairytales, you can find those by doing online searches for the titles: The Grandmother's Tale and The Girl without Hands. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BoundWithWords More than 1 year ago
Okay, so I made a huge mistake when entering this book. The first one was to listen to GR saying that this was part of the same world of Cruel Beauty but the second, and bigger one, was to actually enter this specting a Cruel Beauty 2.0 - which means mythology based novel focused mostly on an epic romance, but Crimson Bound there is much more to it and in a lot of ways is much more successful than Cruel Beauty despite not having given me that much emotions. The first thing that Crimson Bound differs from Cruel Beauty is in it's world, this time around we spend a lot more time building this world on it's mythology and magical aspects but also on the politics of it, seeing how it works (since Rachelle works for the King), this came to me as a very high fantasy aspect and it did slowed the pace of the book - we need time to digest everything that has been happening to this world and understand how Rachelle wants to change it. For me this parts wasn't boring but if you're not a fan of slow paced books you may want to rethink reading this one. Rachelle is another wonderful main character that Hodge managed to create. She is a bloodbound, which means she was marked by the forest and killed to survive, working for the king on killing creatures that manage to escape of the forest (which is the magical *thing* of this world) and she does that so she feels less guilty of having killed her aunt. I love the internal struggles that Hodge manages to create with all of her characters, Rachelle is torn between guilty and wanting to be good but also wanting to stay alive, and this created a multi layered character that made me care for her story. About the romance, this is probably the weakest point of the story, I was highly anticipating a great ship but that wasn't what happened. We kind of have a love triangle, I don't know if I would call it that because it's pretty clear that Rachelle only have feelings for one of the parts, the other part is only there to cause unnecessary complication, usually I don't mind love triangles even the ones that are unnecessary but I really, really didn't enjoyed the execution of this one. On one hand we Erec, which is also a bloodbound but on the contrary of Rachelle he loves it, their relationship is made of snark remarks, lust and an obsessive love from Erec's part and I enjoyed their interactions for the most part. What really annoyed me was the main couple, Rachelle and Armand, I started out really enjoying them but they annoyed towards the end because they would kiss and swear love to each other (or close to it) and then something would happen and they would be all like "Oh my god, I thought you didn't wanted me anymore" and on repeat (I swear they "broke up" and "made out" three times during the novel, and they only get together after the halfway point so yeah). Except for that I really did enjoyed this book, it was slightly unfair my early comparisons of this with Cruel Beauty since this is completely different and a new unique story by it's own right. Oh, also I don't really know why this is a Red Riding Hood retelling (maybe Erec is the big bad wolf?) because it was really loosely their similarities. I would recommend it to lovers of fantasy and mythology, fans of great lyrical writing and strong and layered characters.
bookharpy More than 1 year ago
I wasn't particularly thrilled with this book. For one, it felt a little rushed as though the author had a lot to say about the story, but wanted to keep it in one novel. The idea and plot were interesting, it was simply the way it played out that was a little lacking. Still, I'm sure there are plenty others that will love the book, it just didn't do it for me. Rachelle seems a little bland in her depth. She falls for Armand too quickly and easily to really seem believable, and yet she still seems to have a thing for Erec. I don't know but I just was not crazy for this book, despite my love for other books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Solid story, a little slow at times, but good overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it cant get enouf
AsDreamsAreMade More than 1 year ago
Original Review Link: http://asdreamsaremade.com/2015/05/book-tuesday-release-day-crimson-bound/ I’m slowly but surely making my way through my “Can’t Wait Books of 2015” list. This was one of them! Loosely based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood (and you all know how I love my fairytale retellings!), this story had plenty of action, plot twists, and scary creatures to satisfy. Rachelle made a poor choice when she was younger and became a Bloodbound, one who has murdered and is destined to become one of the forestborn. To delay her execution, she starts to work for the King, fighting the ever-growing Great Forest and its creatures that threaten to take over her world. She is assigned as the body guard to Armand, the illegitimate son of the King and favorite of the people, a task she abhors. Time is running out before the Devourer awakens and plunges the world into ever lasting darkness. As much as she detests Armand, she realizes he may be her weapon to defeat the Devourer once and for all. You had me at fairytale retelling. I love it when there’s a preconceived notion of a plot and then it’s twisted upside down so you don’t know where it’s going. This was a satisfying story, albeit with a few reservations, but overall, I really enjoyed it. The world building is excellent. I think that was the best part of this novel. The descriptions of the Great Forest and the forestborn were done extremely well. I’m still a bit confused as to the whole premise of the Bloodbound and how they work for the King. From the story, it made it seem as if any Bloodbound who didn’t, would be executed, but I don’t see how since they have superhuman strength and ability. I guess the King’s Bloodhounds would find them out? That whole premise was a bit confusing to me. Rachelle was an MC who was flawed, damaged, and who cared for humans even though she was the last to admit it. She annoyed me at times with her struggle to accept what she had done, but those instances led to her making the right decision by the end of the story. Armand was a decent love interest for her. At times, I thought their relationship happened rather abruptly (and it’s mentioned towards the end of the novel), so I had trouble believing it at times. Her relationship with Erec was even more confusing, which I think was the point, but at times you just wanted to be like, “Girl make a decision already!” I don’t want to mislead you thinking there is a love triangle because it’s pretty clear who she favors throughout the book, but at times it could be annoying. You could see the nods toward the original Little Red Riding Hood tale, but it definitely spins off into a much darker retelling. The mythology and history is very well detailed and much darker than you would think. The main issue I had with the plot was it seemed a bit disjointed at times; very episodic. Each time you think some major occurrence would happen, it was only one little thing of many. It definitely kept you on your toes, that’s for sure. The ending seemed a bit abrupt. It’s a standalone novel so everything gets wrapped up by the end of the book, but you get to the last page thinking that’s it? I just would have liked a bit more of an epilogue. The world building and mythology sold me on this one. The characters were a bit predictable, but still engaging. There aren’t many Little Red Riding Hood retellings out there and I thought Rosamund Hodge did an admirable job in making this her own.
AllisonMM More than 1 year ago
The cover art is what made me pick up this book and the first paragraph made me want to keep reading. It was not a disappointment. I finished it in about 3 days. I enjoyed the writing, the diversity of the characters, and slight love story that wasn't overwhelming, and the awesome imagery of the Great Forest. Overall a great fairytale/legend/fantasy novel. A+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, this is a great read for you.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
I love re-tellings if they are done well.  This particular one was done very well.  It is the most interesting take on Little Red Riding Hood I have read in a long time.   This is my first novel by Hodge.  I have wanted to read Cruel Beauty, but have yet to pick it up.  When this one came out and I read all the wonderful reviews I knew I had to get my hands on it.  I am so glad I did.  Now, I am even more excited to read Cruel Beauty.  Hodge's writing is beautiful. Rachelle is forced to make a choice between living and dying.  When deciding to live she had to commit a horrible act that has bound her to dark magic for life.  She is forced to guard the kings son Armand, who claims to be a saint.  While doing so she finds out more about herself and Armand, and realizes she does not want to be bound to dark magic for ever.  She and Armand search for a way to free her from the curse and while doing so find something more in each other. There are so many great characters in this book.  Not only the MC, but all the surrounding characters play such a vital part in this book.  I love it when an author does that.  There are always more characters in a book, but when an author finds a way to make each one seem important it just makes the book so much better for me.  It makes it come more to life for me as well.   I was captivated from the moment I started the book.  I love how Hodge put me right in the book with her beautiful writing.  I couldn't help feel like I was sitting in the forest while reading.  Although my forest might not have been as dark as this one was ;).   There are some wonderful villains in this book as well.  They were awesome characters, and I loved to hate them.  hehe.  I know that sounds silly, but it's true.  There is always that one character in a book or a movie that I cannot seem to stand, yet cannot get enough of them.  Erec was just that character.  Wonderfully, and deliciously mean and deceitful.   I am glad I picked this book up.  I loved Hodge's writing and the way she transformed this book to life for me.  If you like re-tellings you should pick this one up!  It's so great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I follow the path of needles, not the path of pins". AH! It's simply amazing, and I love it. Bless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
However is a chick fic little debbie not a twinkie and cost about the same so if you have the taste for the genre combo read on
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived in a world of danger. I had been raised to fight it. One pf this world's dangers was my beauty. I'm not ashamed to say that i am stunning. I have full pouty lips, glossy black curls that fall down my back and curve at my waist, emerald eyes that flicker with anger and passion, breasts that every woman wished they had, finely sculpted into plump round circles and large tips, high cheekbones with a natural glow, long dark flirty eyelashes, and soft white skin that needed no powder or paint to color. And around my neck, i always wore a thin silver chain with a small heart charm the color of my eyes that my mother gave me when i was still her daughter and she was still my mother before i was a disgrace and a nightmare come true. Mother had always told me to be proud of my beauty instead of shy and stay true to who i was. People now whisper about the constant anger, fear, lust, passion and wildness that i struggle to hold in but a part of it always came free. Now i was close to crying my eyes out while someone who i had considered friend not foe held a blade sharper than barbed wire to my throat. "Darling, i don't want to do this but i will if it's neccsary. Be a good girl and i won't kill you." Erec threatned sweetly. The man who made me his mistress then forced me to be a surrogate to give The Forest a full fledged forestborn and bloodbound child to raise as a weapon. I grit my teeth and stare him down. The knife cuts into my throat. I feel a line of blood trickling down my neck. I still refuse to tell him. Another nick to my throat opens up a second wound. Blood starts to drip down into my dress. I wipe it up, not caring if it smears.