Publication date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Athena Harrow is about to turn twenty-one, but there will be no celebration. What is there to celebrate when the world is ruled by demons?
She hates the darkness the demons brought with them and longs for the light to return to the world—a world she only vaguely remembers. The people in her forest village blindly accept the life the demons forced upon them, even tolerating the yearly ascension ceremony where all the girls who have turned twenty-one are either sent away to serve the Master Demon or left in the village and forced to procreate.
But Paymon, the assigned village demon, selects a different role for Athena, a role that pits her against the village. While she adapts to her new life, Erebus, a younger, more powerful demon, arrives, and Athena must play a dangerous game with his emotions in return for information about the demon’s reign of darkness.
As Athena’s dreams of restoring the light begin to fade, her life with Erebus takes an unexpected turn, and this time it’s her life being put to the test.
Set in the forest around Buttercrambe in North Yorkshire, England, INIQUITY explores the frightening, darker side of romance and the uncontrolled emotions it can unleash.
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Halfway through my meal, Erebus entered the kitchen. He closed the door before catching sight of me.
“Athena?” He jerked his head back. “What are you doing in here?”
I couldn’t reply. Not only did I have a mouthful of food, but his appearance caught me completely off guard. His hair was wet, water dripping down his face. His clothes were also soaked, but even from where I was sitting I caught the bright amber of his irises. They were made even more striking by their contrast against his tanned skin tone and his dark stubble. I found myself thinking what a handsome man he was and then scolded myself for seeing him in such a way.
“Erebus,” I managed to eventually reply, grateful that it didn’t sound like a laboured breath after my shear ogling of him. “I was hungry. I made myself some breakfast.”
His nose twitched, and a slight smile pulled at his lips.
“So you’ve made yourself some breakfast, but none for your husband?”
“I didn’t think you’d want anything. Paymon never ate, well, apart from at the feast.” I cut my toast with my knife, aware of his gaze resting upon me. “Do I have to cook you something?”
He pulled his gloves off and then his wet cloak. His coat underneath wasn’t any dryer.
He removed his coat and threw it over his cloak whilst I continued eating. I tried not to look at him, but as he unfastened the tiny buttons at the top of his smock, I found myself strangely mesmerised. When he pulled the garment over his head and discarded it the same way as his other clothes, I stopped eating and stared unabashed at his naked torso.
I swallowed loudly, glad to be sitting, as I was sure I would have swooned at the sight of him. Tanned, toned and sculpted, he was more an Adonis than a demon. He had lots of intricate designs drawn in ink on his upper arms and torso, and as he turned to lock the door, I tipped my head to catch the familiar design of the pentagram and the circle etched into the skin on his back.
He perched on the corner edge of the table near the door, no concern about his half-naked body, and watched me eat. I didn’t like his scrutiny, but I was too hungry to care.
“You will need to go to the village today to speak to the old hag about providing you with food.”
“Her name’s Myrtle. And she’s not a hag.” I was about to place another forkful of eggs in my mouth, but halted my action. “Did Myrtle bring food here?”
“Someone must have done. I presume Paymon had the infernal cooking your meals. So now it isn’t here you’ll need to cook. I don’t want you to starve, you’re skinny enough. I like my women to be soft and curvy, not bony and angular.” His eyes travelled down my body. Luckily I was sitting so his inspection was limited, but I didn’t miss the curl of his lips as his gaze settled on the soft curve of my breasts.
“I can’t help what I look like. Years of hardly having enough to eat made me this way.”
“Perhaps, but you have no need to starve now, do you?”
Growing up, Melody showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced the methodical times she spends working with numbers fuel her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.
Melody Winter lives in York, North Yorkshire, England with her husband and two sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or preparing for another trip to the nearby beaches at Scarborough and Whitby. With an obsession for anything mythical, Melody revels in reading and writing about such creatures.
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