I'm a dark artifacts hunter, but now I'm the one being hunted.
After I slip into Faerie, darkness begins to follow, killing those around me.
There's no way out, that isn't through the monsters, a terrifying scenario that the charming and handsome ruler of the kingdom can't seem to fix. Actually, he seems more inclined to throw dinners, attend balls, and flirt, rather than figure out how to defeat the monsters at the gates.
But when I catch him in a moment of weakness I discover I might be wrong about him. The prince does care, and he feels like he's to blame. His curse is the cause of this madness. And in a shocking turn of events, I might be the only one to get the Spring Court out of this mess.
"Curse of the Fae Prince pulled me in with the title. Once I read that first word I was lost as I just had to know. Once I was in the title was not the only thing that kept me hanging on every word. The battle scenes with the monsters were very intense. The writing was so brilliantly written to the point that I could see each and every scene as it took place playing out in my head as if it was real and I was a part of it."– Reader review
"Ashley McLeo's Curse of the Fae Prince is a well written story that draws you in from the beginning as we meet Kora a fire witch and her journey to Faerie to save her mother."– Reader review
I stood in a forest, much different from the hills of Ireland. Snow hung heavy on tree limbs, swirled in the air. It didn't reach where I was, but still, it seemed that I was in the middle of a blizzard.
I'd walked through a portal.
"What the actual hell?" I whispered, heart thundering. "I did not sign up for this." I turned to leave . . . and ran right into an invisible wall.
"Owwww!" I rubbed at my forehead.
With my other hand, I swiped through the area. Where a portal had been, nothing but air remained. I glared at the area, trying to work out what had happened. Before I reached a conclusion, a growl rolled through the forest, sending my blood racing.
I spun, and immediately located three pairs of eyes, red as blood, and locked on me through the swirling snow. Another low growl rumbled forth.
My spine straightened. It was too dark and snowy for me to know what those creatures were, but from the crimson eyes I knew they weren't natural. And they acted like predators.
I took off, throwing a glance back and noting the way the trees looked; how one leaned far to the side, right over where the portal had been. I hoped I could find my way back when it was safe. And once I found help. I didn't have warding magic, or the skill of spellweaving. To force it open, I needed assistance.
As I hiked, I kept my eyes and ears open for danger. The idea that the predator was a ghost-wolf entered my mind. But the wolf I'd seen had silver eyes, not red. Then again, maybe they were all different? I didn't know what that thing really was, nor did I want to find out what the three creatures behind me were. Not now, not like this.
My foot landed on the ground and fell through a crust of snow, halting me. I yanked it out and scanned the woods, my throat tightening. I wasn't moving fast, and that made me much too vulnerable.
Keep your head and find help and shelter.
With each step, the snow became deeper, the cold more frigid. Shivers ran across my skin as I searched for any sign of life. With each passing second, my pulse pounded harder.
Why had I gotten caught up in Aiden in the bar? I could have found that amulet hours ago, and I certainly would not have followed him here. Wherever here was.
It wasn't Ireland, that was for damn sure. Earlier, the Emerald Isle might have been chilly, but the season for snow was long over. Plus, there was something different in the air here. Something off, beyond the wind and cold. Something menacing—almost as if the cold followed me, like it was alive.
My gaze darted around the woods, searching for the red eyes through the falling white. I exhaled, because although my vision was admittedly obscured, I didn't see any predators.
I reassured myself I'd left them in the dust, when I caught sight of a figure walking in the distance. I squinted. The figure looked like a man, not an animal.
There was way too much snow for me to be sure it was Aiden, and yet, hoping it was so I could both lay into him and insist that he show me the way home. I dashed forward, determined to catch him.
But after a few steps, it became clear the cold had affected me more intensely than I thought. My legs shook and buckled as the freeze seeped in deeper, slowing me with terrifying rapidity. Not only that, but a faint sense of euphoria was making me giddy.
A knot formed in my stomach. Was I going hypothermic?
How?! I've only been here a few minutes.
Even as the thought popped into my frozen skull, I knew I must be wrong. With each second, the happy feeling grew stronger, and my pace slowed until I was no longer running after the person in the distance, but standing in the middle of a blizzard, smiling.
"It's beautiful here," I cooed as the snow swirled, beautiful and haunting.
To my right, a tree glowed, beckoning me. I complied, shuffling toward it until my fingers lay upon the rough bark. It felt strangely warm, like it too had magic.
Where I was from, most trees didn't have magic. That was reserved for largely unknown forests, often swimming with shifters.
Was that where I was?
Mesmerized, I pressed my hand against the bark.
Stop. Relax a bit. We'll watch out for you, sang a voice that seemed to come from inside the tree, lulling me.
"Great idea!" I beamed at the tree and turned, pressing my back to it.
In the distance, red eyes glowed brightly, but this time, I couldn't muster any fear. Only elation that I'd found a magical tree and that I was here . . . wherever here was.
"Hey! What are you doing?!" a voice yelled behind me.
I blinked heavily and tried to turn, but the tree blocked my view. Maneuvering myself so I might be able to see who was calling, I leaned a bit too far and tripped over my own feet.
I face-planted in the snow, a beatific grin sliding over my face. The world swam, the trees swayed and bowed inward in a strange sort of dance.
"Beautiful, just beautiful," I whispered, hands cupping the snow as my heart rate slowed to a crawl.