Cruel Beauty, the debut novel by Darwin's own sister Rosamund Hodge, doesn't debut until Jan. 28th, but you can read the first chapter for free:
I was raised to marry a monster.
The day before the wedding, I could barely breathe. Fear and fury curdled in my stomach. All afternoon I skulked in the library, running my hands over the leather spines of books I would never touch again. I leaned against the shelves and wished I could run, wished I could scream at the people who had made this fate for me.
I eyed the shadowed corners of the library. When my twin sister, Astraia, and I were little, we heard the same terrible story as other children: Demons are made of shadow. Don’t look at the shadows too long or a demon might look back. It was even more horrible for us because we regularly saw the victims of demon attacks, screaming or mute with madness. Their families dragged them in through the hallways and begged Father to use his Hermetic arts to cure them.
Sometimes he could ease their pain, just a little. But there was no cure for the madness inflicted by demons.
And my future husband—the Gentle Lord—was the prince of demons.
He was not like the vicious, mindless shadows that he ruled. As befit a prince, he far surpassed his subjects in power: he could speak and take such form that mortal eyes could look on him and not go mad. But he was a demon still. after our wedding night, how much of me would be left?Read the rest here, then pre-order your copy! Or if you're willing to take your chances, we'll have some autographed copies to give away once the book hits the stores.