• Nauti Intentions (Nauti #4) Yvette's Haven (Scanguards Vampires #4)

    The ancient lake was that way. Blocked by hundreds of feet of limestone and darkness and tunnel, perhaps, but it was down there all the same. Dread unspooled in Vivia’s veins. Jana had always insisted the lake remain secret. No one could know of it. Ever.

    Jack bounced around on one side of the room, rolling his neck, like he thought he was Muhammad Ali. Milo smiled and went about pushing all the furniture to the side of the room so they’d been less likely to damage things if they tussled.Bobby, you should probably move, I said, flipping a page in the law book that I was only half-reading.

    The Taking

    Bobby did what he was told, climbing up on the couch next to me. I’m not sure exactly why Milo and Jack were fighting, since they’d never been the kind of boys that even play fought. It probably had something to do with the fact that Jack was all riled up from video games, and both of them were bored.They both eyed each other up, grinning like idiots, and neither of them really knew how to start a fight. Any time they fought, somebody else had started it.You ready? Milo asked, suppressing laughter.

    Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles #2)

    I was born ready! Jack declared.Milo rushed Jack half-heartedly, but Jack responded with as much intensity as he could muster. He sidestepped Milo and tripped him, but Milo caught his balance before he even stumbled. He turned on Jack, swinging his leg around, so he knocked Jack’s feet out from under him.

    Jack fell to the floor with a bit of a bang, smiling up at Milo and looking surprised. Matilda barked and wagged her tail. I didn’t want her getting hurt in the fray, so I got up and let her out the back patio.

    On my way back, I heard a horrible crashing sound, and I ran to the living room. Jack lay sprawled out in a pile of a broken chair, with a broken picture shattered on the floor behind him. Milo stood on the other side of the room, looking rather proud of himself.Six of the vizers saluted at her as she stalked by; seven did not.

    Resistance. That was all Vivia ever met these days, and her brother had been the worst of them. He had argued her every command and questioned her every move.Well, at least he was no longer a problem. Now, if only the High Council would join him.

    The Innocent

    Will she become her mother, the vizers all wondered, the queen by blood but with madness in her head? Or will she become her father, the Nihar vizer who now rules as regent and for whom command comes as easily as breath?Vivia already knew the answer. She knew it because she’d decided long ago to be a Nihar through and through. She would never become her mother. She would never let madness and darkness claim her. She would be the ruler the High Council expected.

    She just had to keep acting. Keep moving. A little bit longer, and with no looking back. No regrets. For even if the High Council finally handed over the title she was born to, they could always snatch it back—just as they had done to her mother in those final days thirteen years ago.Vivia reached the end of the table, with its worn finish and chipped corners. Thick vellum maps covered the time-pocked surface. Nubrevna, the Sirmayans, the Hundred Isles—all of the Witchlands could be examined at the stretch of an arm.

    Right now, maps of the city lay open with fat rocks weighing down the curling edges. Curse them. The bastards had started the meeting without her.From war to waste removal, nothing happened without the High Council’s input. Yet all final decisions fell to the King Regent.

    Or now, since Serafin rarely left his bed, the final decisions fell to Vivia.Princess, Serrit Linday crooned, leaning onto the table. Even though he was only a few months older than Vivia’s twenty-three years, he wore old-fashioned robes. The kind Marstoki scholars and ancient spinsters favored, and like all Lindays, he wore the Witchmark of a Plantwitch on the back of his hand—a hand he was currently flexing as he rapped impatiently at the table.