These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows #1) Read Online Lexi Ryan

Categories Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult Tags Authors: Series: These Hollow Vows Series by Lexi Ryan

Total pages in book: 136
Estimated words: 128374 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 642(@200wpm)___ 513(@250wpm)___ 428(@300wpm)

Read Online Books/Novels:

(These Hollow Vows #1) These Hollow Vows

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Lexi Ryan

Book Information:

From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie's only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.
Books in Series:

These Hollow Vows Series by Lexi Ryan

Books by Author:

Lexi Ryan

For Brian—

they’re all for you.

Chapter One

COOL SHADOWS WASH over my sweaty skin, welcoming me, disguising me. I could revel in the darkness—happily lie under the stars and let the night air unravel my knotted, overworked muscles—but I won’t waste tonight on rest or fleeting pleasure. These are the hours of spies and thieves. They’re my hours.

I slide two hairpins into the lock, my chapped fingers dancing over them like the strings of a viola. This is a song I’ve rehearsed a thousand times, a hymn I’ve played in my most desperate moments. Better to pray to deft fingers, to shadows and camouflage, than to the old gods. Better to steal than to starve.

Frogs sing in the distance, and their chorus nearly covers the satisfying click of the lock releasing. The servant door into Creighton Gorst’s manor house swings open.

Gorst has business elsewhere tonight. I made sure of it. Nevertheless, I scan my surroundings for any sign of him or his staff. Most of the wealthy keep guards on duty, but a few—like Gorst—are so paranoid that they don’t even trust those in their inner circle to be unaccompanied near their vaults. I’ve been waiting for a night like this for months.

I pad down the stone stairwell into the cellar. The temperature drops with each step, but my skin is flushed from adrenaline and the climb over his property walls, and I welcome the chill that skates across my skin.

At the base of the stairs, a glowstone senses my movements and kicks on, dimly illuminating the floor. I disable it with a gash of my knife along its soft center, blanketing the room in a darkness so complete that I can hardly make out my own hand in front of my face. Good. I’m more comfortable moving in the dark, anyway.

Following the walls around the periphery of the cellar with my hands, I reach the cool steel of the vault door. I blindly examine it with my fingertips—three locks, but none too complex. They yield to my blade and pins. In less than five minutes I have the door open and can already feel relief loosening my muscles. We’ll make this month’s payment. Madame Vivias won’t be able to enforce more penalties this time.

My smile of triumph is short-lived as I catch sight of the symbols etched on the threshold. That quickly, the rush from my success ebbs.

Gorst’s vault is protected by wards.

Of course it is.

A rich man paranoid enough to forgo sentries would be a poor man very quickly if he didn’t employ a little magic to guard his wealth.

Tonight’s mission is dangerous, and I can’t risk forgetting that for even a moment. I only steal from those who have more than they need, but with wealth comes power—the power to have thieves like me executed if we’re caught.

I sidestep the markings and pull a starworm from my satchel. Its silky-wet skin is slippery between my fingers, but I lead it to my wrist, wincing when it latches on. As it slowly draws a trickle of blood from my veins, its skin glows, lighting the ground before me. I hate losing the darkness, but I need to see the symbols. Sinking to my haunches, I trace every line and curve, confirming their shape and intent. Clever magic, indeed.

These runes wouldn’t keep me out of the vault. They’d let me in and lock me there, make me a prisoner until the master of the manor could deal with me. A common thief schooled only in protection runes might make the mistake of thinking the wards were faulty when he passed them. A common thief would find himself locked inside. Good thing I’m anything but common.

I scour my mind for an appropriate counterspell. I’m no mage. I might like to be, if my fate had been different and my days weren’t so full of scrubbing floors and cleaning up after my spoiled cousins. I don’t have the time or the coin to spare on training, so I’ll never be able to carry magic at my fingertips with spells, potions, and rituals. I’m lucky to have a friend who’s taught me what he can. Lucky to know just how to get out of this vault when I’ve taken what I need.

I slide my knife from my belt and bite my cheek as I drag the blade across the palm opposite the starworm. The sharp pain makes my head spin and pushes every thought from my head. For too many moments I teeter, my body begging to give in to the reprieve of unconsciousness.

Breathe, Abriella. You have to breathe. You can’t trade oxygen for courage.

The memory of my mother’s voice has me dragging air into my lungs. What is wrong with me tonight? I’m normally not so squeamish about blood or pain. But I’m exhausted and hungry after working all day with no break. I’m dehydrated.