Dark Vow

Dark Vow

4.0 2
by Shona Husk

Jaines Cord plans to kill the man who murdered her husband, even though killing a Bounty Hunter is said to be impossible. One bullet took away her livelihood, her home and her love. One bullet made by her. Fired from the gun she completed for the Arcane Bounty Hunter.

Obsidian wears the scars of disobeying the powerful Arcane Union. He barely escaped with

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Jaines Cord plans to kill the man who murdered her husband, even though killing a Bounty Hunter is said to be impossible. One bullet took away her livelihood, her home and her love. One bullet made by her. Fired from the gun she completed for the Arcane Bounty Hunter.

Obsidian wears the scars of disobeying the powerful Arcane Union. He barely escaped with his life and now lives quietly, in a town the lawmen forgot. When Jaines arrives asking too many questions, he's faced with a decision. Help her or run…again. Obsidian knows that if he flees he'll always be looking over his shoulder. His name is one of the first on the Bounty Hunter's death list.

Yet when Obsidian is offered an opportunity to stop the stone taking over his body in exchange for retrieving the gun, he asks Jaines for her help. Now Jaines must choose: a dead man's vengeance or a living man's hope?

65,000 words

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Carina Press
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Trouble is like a bastard-horse with a hunger for blood. If it wants you, it'll get you and take a bite out of your ass. On a good day that's all it'll take; on a bad day it'll take your life. The trouble with trouble is you never know if you're having a good day or a bad day until after it's happened. So when a man dressed in black and wearing the gold lightning strike of the Arcane Union Bounty Hunters stood in the doorway of my gun smithy, I knew trouble had found me.

Bounty Hunters never brought good news. Never. I had to get rid of him, politely, so I didn't end up as fodder for his bastard-horse that was quietly growling out the front. With my husband away it would be at least a day before anyone realized I was gone.

We sized each other up and I spoke first, eager to get him out of my workshop.

"I don't think it would be a good idea if I served you." I put down the revolver I'd been cleaning.

The man pulled off his black hat, took a few steps and placed it on my workbench. He nodded as if understanding my concern. "A lot of folk feel that way."

His eyes tracked around the gun smithy like he was appraising its worthiness. My back straightened as I readied to fight any snub he gave the smithy my husband and I had built from the ground up. I was sure the Bounty Hunter had seen bigger, fancier gun smiths in Cerulean. Anil was almost as far as you could get from the capital city. A small town with a small smithy. Mostly we fixed guns and made the bullets for people too lazy to make their own.

"I hear you do some engraving," the Bounty Hunter said after he'd finished his inspection.

"That'd be correct." Engraving was my specialty. I had an eye for detail and a hand steady enough to bring the lines to life. I engraved all manner of objects—belt buckles, stirrups, badges. My work brought a bit of extra coin into the house, and the Lords knew we needed it. If it were made of metal or wood, I could personalize it—for a price.

"I want the stock of my revolver engraved."

My turn to nod. It was a common enough request, but I didn't want to serve him. He was an Arcane Union Bounty Hunter, and trouble didn't come any bigger or blacker. I shifted my stance and tried to look taller. I might've reached his shoulder if he slouched. For a Bounty Hunter he didn't look real evil, just like any other man doing his job. Yet his job involved hunting down the men who refused to join the Arcane Union. Of all the trade Unions belonging to the Lords of Prasine, the Arcane was the most powerful and the only one that ruled magic. Serving this man would break Lance's one rule: Never serve the Arcane, Jaines. Don't matter if they're Union or Rogue. Getting tangled by magic never does anyone any good.

His words rattled around my skull like bearings. I wished he were here.

"Like I said, I can't really be serving you, sir."

Out front his horse growled and stamped like it could smell my blood and fancied a drink. I wondered if it was the same one who'd nearly killed me twenty years prior. No one knew how long the dark-hearted critters lived, and the Arcane Union wasn't big on sharing secrets.

"Boss in?" said the Bounty Hunter with a faint smile on his lips.

"No." There was no point in lying. I didn't know what magic he possessed; that, and anyone in town could've already told him Lance was away. I swallowed and kept the fidget in my feet.

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Dark Vow 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Magluvsya03 More than 1 year ago
I would like to thank NetGalley for letting me have a copy to read this one. It's different from what I have been reading lately. No shifters, or crazy vampires, angels.... however, there's magic, and I do love this. It's set in the back-in-the-days, and I mean, there are buggies and horses but no modern things like TVs and iPhones, etc. Rich have indoor plumbing, no phones, and you are getting it. Normally, I am a little hesitant to read a historical-type book, cuz I am too much of a big mouth to big complacent and I have big opinions so I get really mad at how things were back then... THIS IS A GREAT BOOK. It's got some of those old-worldly issues, women do not have rights, but it's got a great adventure, a totally world shattering tragedy, and a total plot twist :) Let me tell you... some things, are just good, and this is one of those. The characters are well defined, I really like Jaines. She is proper, in the fact that she knows her place, but watch it, she can shoot like you just don't know :) I had high hopes for my feelings for Lance, but ya know, some things change. And I really, really like Obsidian...you'll find out his real name later... The story is told from Jaines, but you see a glimpse of things and I like the way this feels. All in all, 4 big PAWS from me... too bad it's a stand alone, I would buy book two :)
phillipslisa More than 1 year ago
Dark Vow is a fantasy story, a short tale of a widow whose choices brought about the death of her husband. After in inappropriate proposition by the town's lawman, she burns her home and flees, vowing revenge against the bounty hunter who killed her husband. On the way, she meets Obsidian, a mysterious man who is the very thing she is fighting against. But the two of them create a tenuous alliance, agreeing to help one another get what they want. A romance develops between them, and while they are intimate it isn't relayed as a motion-by-motion account - it doesn't overtake the story. A well crafted story-world I hope this author will utilize for more and longer novels (this was a short story). I only gave it 4 because it was a short story, not a full length novel. Provided by netgalley for review.