The Bitter Ashes Collection: Acts 1-5
Truth or Death: "We laughed together, covered in blood and surrounded by corpses, and I knew my life would never be the same again."
In the middle of the night, Madeline is snatched from her life of chosen solitude into a world where she might actually belong. Due to her empathy and other "gifts", Madeline is a danger to humans, and finds solace with others like her, despite the fact that they're also her kidnappers. Still, she knows she should escape, but something about dark, but oddly comforting Alaric has her debating her choices, and questioning her moral fiber.
Blind Man's Bluff: In this installment, Madeline learns more about the Vaettir than she bargained for, and while a romance with Alaric might seem like a terrible idea, she's not sure she can resist. He and his sister, Sophie, are the only two among the Vaettir who care to interact with her. They make her feel like she might actually belong, despite the side-long glances and hushed conversations of the other Vaettir. Yet, belonging comes at a price, and it may be one too large for Madeline to pay.
Collide and Seek: "Betrayal is a funny thing. The sting of it often sticks with us longer than the thrill of love, the fire of hatred, or the emptiness of loss. Betrayal eats at us when we know we should be happy, and it overwhelms us when we're already sad."
Madeline had hoped to call the Salr home, but hope can be a cruel thing. Now on the run from the very people who introduced her to her new world, she'll struggle not only with her view of those around her, but with her view of herself.
"I could avoid thinking about the monster at the door as long as I wanted. The monster in the mirror was another story entirely."
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