The last thing they need is the undeniable passion between them.
A Light in the Flame, the addictive and unputdownable fantasy romance and book two in the bestselling Flesh and Fire series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout is now available!
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes book two in her Flesh and Fire series…
The only one who can save Sera now is the one she spent her life planning to kill.
The truth about Sera’s plan is out, shattering the fragile trust forged between her and Nyktos. Surrounded by those distrustful of her, all Sera has is her duty. She will do anything to end Kolis, the false King of Gods, and his tyrannical rule of Iliseeum, thus stopping the threat he poses to the mortal realm.
Nyktos has a plan, though, and as they work together, the last thing they need is the undeniable, scorching passion that continues to ignite between them. Sera cannot afford to fall for the tortured Primal, not when a life no longer bound to a destiny she never wanted is more attainable than ever. But memories of their shared pleasure and unrivaled desire are a siren’s call impossible to resist.
And as Sera begins to realize that she wants to be more than a Consort in name only, the danger surrounding them intensifies. The attacks on the Shadowlands are increasing, and when Kolis summons them to Court, a whole new risk becomes apparent. The Primal power of Life is growing inside her, pushing her closer to the end of her Culling. And without Nyktos’s love—an emotion he’s incapable of feeling—she won’t survive her Ascension. That is if she even makes it to her Ascension and Kolis doesn’t get to her first. Because time is running out. For both her and the realms.
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“You are the heir to the lands and seas, skies and realms. A Queen instead of a King. You are the Primal of Life,” Nyktos—the Asher, the One who is Blessed, the Guardian of Souls and the Primal God of Common Men and Endings—rasped. Those lips of his that had whispered heated words against my skin and had also spoken cold, brutal truths were now parted. Wide, silver eyes churning with streams of luminous eather—the essence of the gods—fixed on mine. A sort of awe and wonder softened the cold lines of his high, broad cheekbones, his blade-straight nose, and cut jaw.
Wavy, reddish-brown hair fell against golden-bronze cheeks as he lowered himself to one knee, placing his left hand flat on the throne room floor and his right palm over his chest.
Nyktos was bowing to me.
I recoiled from him. “What are you doing?”
“The Primal of Life is the most powerful being in all the realms, usurping all other Primals and gods,” Sir Holland said. Except he was no longer the man I once knew as a knight of the Royal Guard of Lasania, or a mere mortal. He was one of the Arae—an actual, godsforsaken Fate, neither god nor mortal. Able to see the past, present, and future of all, the Arae weren’t beholden to any Primal Court.
Fates were as terrifying as any Primal, and I couldn’t even begin to count how many times I’d kicked him.
“He is showing you the respect you are owed, Sera,” Holland added as I continued staring at Nyktos.
“But I’m not the Primal of Life.” I stated the obvious.
“You carry the only true embers of life inside you,” Nyktos said, and that deep, softly spoken voice sent a myriad of shivers over my skin. “For all intents and purposes, you are the Primal of Life.”
“He speaks the truth.” The goddess Penellaphe drew closer, coming to stand beneath the open ceiling. The star-strewn sky cast a soft glow over her warm, light brown skin. “Denying it isn’t a luxury which can be afforded.”
“But I’m just a mortal—” My lungs felt as if they’d been filled with tiny holes, and Nyktos was still bowing to me. “Can you please stand or sit? Anything other than kneel? It’s really weirding me out.”
Nyktos’s head tilted, sending several strands of hair against his cheek. “You are the true Primal of Life, just as my father was. As Holland said, it’s a show of respect.”
“But I don’t des—” I cut myself off, my heart thumping and chest squeezing. The eather in his eyes stilled. “Can you just not do that? Please.”
The Primal rose quickly, the wisps of essence in his eyes brightening so vividly they were almost painful to look upon. He towered over me, his stare seeming to peel away the layers of my very being, seeing…sensing what I felt.
I stiffened, my skin becoming hot and prickly. “You’d better not be reading my emotions.”
Nyktos arched a dark brow. “Your accusatory tone is unnecessary.”
“And your response wasn’t a declaration of innocence,” I retorted. Penellaphe’s eyes flared wide.
“No.” His voice had dropped, but it still somehow thundered through me. “It was not.” “Then don’t do it,” I snapped. “It’s rude.”
Nyktos’s mouth opened, likely to point out that I was the last person who should speak on rude behavior.
“You have never been just a mortal, Seraphena.” Holland stepped in smoothly, just as he’d done dozens of times in the past whenever I’d descended into a rant spiral. “You are the possibility of a future for all.”
He’d said a version of that before during training, but it took on a whole different meaning now. “But I haven’t completed any Culling, and you just said that I would…” Closing my eyes, I didn’t finish the sentence.
Everyone here knew what had been said.
Breathe in. My mortal body and mind wouldn’t be able to handle the power of the embers once I began the Ascension. The only chance I had of surviving wasn’t even a hope. Hold. Because it required the blood of the Primal that one of the embers of life belonged to—that and sheer will powered by love.
The love of the Primal I’d spent the entirety of my life planning to kill. It didn’t matter that I’d believed it was the only way to save my kingdom.
The irony of it all made me want to laugh, except I was going to die. Likely in less than five months and before I turned twenty-one, taking the last true embers of life with me. The mortal realm would be hit first and the hardest. Eventually, the Rot would spread beyond the Shadowlands to all of Iliseeum.
I exhaled long and slow, just like Holland had taught me many years ago, when everything became too heavy, too much, and the weight of it all choked the air from me. My impending death wasn’t something new. I’d always known. Whether I failed or succeeded when it came to fulfilling my destiny, I knew I would die in the process.
But it felt different now.
I’d finally had a taste of being something other than a means to an end, a weapon to be used and then discarded. I’d had a taste of realness. I’d finally felt like a fully formed person, not a specter soaked in blood. Not a liar and a monster who could kill without all that much remorse.
But that was who I was underneath it all, and Nyktos now knew that, too. There was no more hiding that truth—or any truths.
My lungs started to burn as tiny bursts of light danced across my vision. The breathing exercises weren’t working. A tremor hit my hands, and panic unfurled in my chest. There was no air—
Fingertips touched my cheek. Warm fingertips. My eyes flew open, locking on features so finely pieced together I should’ve known the first time I saw him that he was more than a god. His touch startled me, not only because it was warm instead of shockingly cold as it had been before he took my blood into him, but because I still wasn’t used to touching. I wasn’t sure I ever would be when it had always been so rare that anyone allowed their skin to contact mine.
But he touched me. After everything, Nyktos touched me.
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About Jennifer L. Armentrout
#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was an Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.
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