June 10, 2020

#BookTour: Royal Decoy (Fate of Eyrinthia, #1) by Heather Frost @HeatherFrost






Synopsis: A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.
A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.

A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.
A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.

A WORLD on the brink of war.

In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess's perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson's silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.


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Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★
My Review: WOW this story grabbed me from the very first page.  I could not put it down.  This one had everything that I could ask for.  Romance, betrayal, political intrigue, and even blackmail.  I swear this author put everything in this one and I could not put it down!! I read this one in a few hours and I need the second one like yesterday.  I fell in love with the characters and the story this was just so wroth the read and absolutely fantastic!! 







Exclusive Chapter Reveal: Meet Prince Grayson in his first chapter in Royal Decoy!

The stink of Lenzen’s slums lay heavy on the afternoon air. Manure, rotten food, and too many unwashed bodies. Despite the stench, Prince Grayson Kaelin’s expression was neutral as he dragged his horse to a halt in the center of the street. He gripped the reins in a black-gloved fist, viewing the wood and stone fa├žade of the inn. He noted the sagging shutters, the warped roof, the bursts of laughter coming from inside, and then he jerked his chin.
The squad of soldiers behind him followed the silent command to march on the inn. 
Grayson remained where he was, his brown horse snorting and shifting beneath him when startled shouts and alarmed screams rang out, the frantic cries of women rising above the growls of men.
There was no laughter now. 
Patrons were shoved into the street and forced to kneel. Mothers clung to their children and fathers struggled to remain between their families and danger. In the chaos, no one had seen Grayson yet. The soldiers commanded all the attention. 
For now.
Grayson waited until everyone was kneeling on the ground, surrounded by soldiers with drawn swords, before he swung down from his horse, boots kicking up dust from the unpaved road.
Silence cut through the crowd. Grown men and young children alike paled at the sight of him. Women whimpered.
The Black Hand. Merciless enforcer of the king’s laws. The youngest prince of Ryden and the deadliest. Only seventeen years old, yet Grayson had the power to bring them all to a trembling halt. The truth was a familiar weight in his gut.
“Where is Latham Borg?” he asked, his voice deep and clipped.
A heavy beat of silence, then an old man raised a bandaged hand, his wrinkled face pinched. “Please, Your Highness. This isn’t necessary.”
Grayson tugged the cuffs of his gloves, ensuring the black leather covered his wrists. “You understand the king’s tax?”
Latham Borg cringed. “Yes, but business has been slow.”
The captain of the squad snorted, coming to stand beside Grayson. “Your customers fill the street, old man.” 
Captain Reeve was in his early twenties and was constantly trying Grayson’s patience. He edged in on his authority and was most likely a spy of King Henri’s, who liked to keep an unwavering eye on his sons.
Latham Borg glanced at the ragged crowd. “They’re my friends. They can’t always pay.” 
Grayson placed himself just forward of Captain Reeve—a not-so-subtle reminder for the captain. “King Henri has no use for excuses. Do you have the required payment?”
Unspoken pleas shone in the man’s gaze. “I sent a letter . . .”
Grayson’s hand shifted, his gloved palm now resting only a breath from his sheathed sword. The innkeeper’s eyes flew wide, his throat bobbing sharply.
The woman beside him snatched hold of his unbandaged hand. “Please, Your Highness, we can raise the amount. My husband has been unwell since the accident, but—”
Grayson turned on his heel. “Arrest the innkeeper.”
“No!” The woman struggled to hold her husband even as he was levered to his feet. The soldiers shoved her aside but she immediately scrambled to her knees and reached past the soldier blocking her path. “Latham!”
The innkeeper’s face was tight with fearful resignation as he was hauled away. “Marie, it’s all right.”
She ignored her husband’s empty assurance and continued to cry out, emotion strangling her voice.
Chains clinked as the innkeeper was shackled, injured hand and all, then he was forced to stand before Grayson.
The words Grayson spoke next were so practiced, they were almost worn. “You’ll be taken to the castle for your trial. After your trial, you’ll be taken to one of the western labor camps. You’ll work until your debts are paid.” Grayson’s eyes moved to the woman, her face streaked with tears. “While your husband works off past debts, you will be charged with the regular tax. If by the end of the month you cannot pay, the inn will be seized and you’ll be sent to a labor camp as well.”
“No!” Shackles rattled as Latham fell to his knees, soldiers still grasping his shoulders. “Spare my wife. Let me work for the past and present tax. Please!”
The woman protested, but Grayson didn’t look at her. He lowered his voice so only the innkeeper would hear his next words. “If I accept your offer, you’ll never earn your freedom.”
Borg met Grayson’s cold gray eyes, something not many men would dare. “No. But I would earn hers.”
A muscle ticked along Grayson’s jaw. The street was quiet, awaiting the Black Hand’s judgement. It made his words seem louder than they actually were—more final. “So be it.”
“No!” Marie Borg sobbed.
“Ride out,” Grayson ordered, striding to his horse. He was nearly there when a commotion made him spin. The innkeeper’s wife had gotten free and thrown herself at her husband. With his wrists shackled, Borg couldn’t embrace her, but she clung to him and cried.
Grayson grit his teeth. Why did they always make this more difficult? He barked a command for her to be restrained and two soldiers jumped to obey.
As the woman was dragged past Grayson, she glared at him, her face flushed with grief and rage. “You’re a demon! Fates-willing, I’ll live to see the day your black heart is cut out of you. You and your entire family!”
Grayson raised his hand and the woman flinched, but he’d only grasped Reeve’s wrist, stopping the captain from striking her. Grayson didn’t spare Reeve a look as he shoved his hand away and leaned in to the woman, his voice carefully measured. “If you wish to make your husband’s sacrifice a worthy one, I suggest you curb your tongue.”
“You know nothing of sacrifice!” she spat, her chest rising and falling with each harsh breath.
“If you value your existence,” he breathed coldly, “you will be silent.”
Her lip curled, nostrils flared. “You’ll never be free of your sins. Not even if you silence every one of your accusers.”
There would be no reasoning with her. Grayson turned on his heel and swung onto his horse. With a harsh tug of the reins he put the woman behind him. The soldiers also mounted and the squad rode out, Borg stumbling as he was dragged behind a soldier’s horse.
After they had left the inn behind, Reeve edged his mount to the prince’s side. “You should have killed her for her insolence.”
Grayson barely bit back a curse. It was all he could do to keep his voice level. “If I’d killed her, he would have fought. A dead man can’t pay his debts.”
“Some punishment was in order, Your Highness.”
Grayson hardened his jaw. The other soldiers weren’t brave enough to speak to him, much less reprimand him. Most people saw the Black Hand and flinched back. He was a legendary fighter with the scars to prove a life devoted wholly to violence. Perhaps being the king’s spy had given Reeve a measure of self-importance.
Still, Grayson’s continued silence prompted Reeve to let his horse drift away.
“You’re a demon.”
The memory of the woman’s words made his lips twitch dryly, because they were true. King Henri and Queen Iris had five sons, all created expressly to serve the crown, each raised with unique—and usually violent—skills. Defiance was inconceivable. Resistance, pointless. Grayson was his father’s puppet. He had to be.
“You know nothing of sacrifice.”
He glanced over his shoulder at the innkeeper. The man’s head was bowed, arms stretched taut as he was pulled behind the horse.
“No. But I would earn hers.”
Latham Borg would die in the labor camp. He wouldn’t survive the lumber yards with an injured hand. And even if he lived a week, month, or year, he’d never be free. And when he died, his debts would fall on the woman he loved. Borg hadn’t saved her. He’d merely shielded her for the moment.
Eyeing the castle that towered over the city, Grayson knew how that felt. The fatality of it.
Freedom didn’t exist. Not when you cared about someone more than you cared about yourself. Not when you would do anything to protect someone else.
Latham Borg knew it. 
Grayson knew it. 
His father, King Henri Kaelin, knew it, and he wielded the knowledge like a weapon. As long as he had in his power the one person Grayson cared about, he kept an invisible blade at Grayson’s throat, ensuring his son’s obedience. 
And no matter how much Grayson hated what he had become, he could never risk rebellion.

About the Author

Heather Frost writes mostly YA fiction and has a soft spot for tortured characters, breath-stealing romance, and happy endings. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and ghost stories and call it homework. When she's not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and hold Lord of the Rings movie marathons. She owns two typewriters, sings in the car, and dreams of living in a castle someday. She currently lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in the wilds of Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website: HeatherFrost.com.









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