Friday, June 19, 2020

Blog Tour with Excerpt + Giveaway: Royal Decay by Heather Frost @HeatherFrost @the_ffbc

Royal Decay by Heather Frost
Series: Fate of Eyrinthia #1
Publication date: June 18th, 2020

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
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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Clare stepped into the room. Buttery sunlight slanted through a short but wide window, adding vibrancy to a colorfully patterned Zennorian rug covering the floor. Princess Serene sat on the edge of a velvet settee, picking at a crescent roll with slim fingers. A silver breakfast tray rested on the low table before her, laden with colorful fruit, delicate pastries, and a steaming pot of tea.

The door closed behind Clare, sealing the women alone.

Serene arched a brow. "Are you going to stand there gaping, or join me?"

Clare grit her teeth at the princess's abrasive tone, but she moved to the chair across from Serene, pausing to offer a belated bow.

The princess grimaced. "Sit down." As Clare did, Serene set her pastry aside and brushed her fingers over a linen napkin. "Let's get to the point. I don't like you. I don't like the inconvenience of you, or that you're pretending to be me."

Irritation flared, rolling Clare's hands into fists on her lap. "I'm sorry you feel intruded upon."

"You're stealing my life. How else am I supposed to feel?"

She bristled. "I'm not stealing your life." If anything, the princess had stolen hers. "I saved your life in that ambush, remember?"

Serene arched a dark brow. "Oh, yes. The disheveled kitchen maid. Forgive me, I didn't recognize you before--you looked too much like me last night. I suppose you want a reward?"

"No, I--"

"Or perhaps you think being the decoy is your reward? Maybe you think this position gives you power."

There would be no reasoning with her; not when Serene was determined to hate her. Still, Clare tried. "I'm only following the king's orders. The least you--"

"Yes, your orders. Let's talk about them." She leaned back, shoulders bumping against the settee's cushion. "You're my father's puppet, obviously. His spy as well, I assume?"


The princess's eyes rolled. "Let's dispense with the coyness. My father doesn't trust me to go through with my betrothal to Serjah Desfan, so you're here to sniff out my intentions like a dutiful mutt."

Heat flashed over the back of Clare's neck. "I'm your decoy. That's all."

"You are a thorn. An annoyance at best an an enemy at worst."

"I don't want to be your enemy."

"Of course not. You wish to be my friend. Even as you steal my life. Oh, I don't hate you for it," she added, when Clare's mouth fell open to protest. "If anything, I pity you. I pity anyone foolish enough to be blinded by gold, fine gowns, and pretty promises spoken by a man as brutish as my father." She quirked a smile. "Do use the word brutish when you relay this conversation to him. I adore the thought of his scowl."

Clare's fingernails dug into her palms, anger tightening her voice. "I already told you, I'm no spy."

"If you insist. Now, my father ordered me to get acquainted with you and tell you anything I could think of to make your charade easier. I believe I've become as acquainted as I wish to be, so I'll proceed with his second request." She leaned forward, her mouth a thin line. "If you want to succeed, stay out of my way." Serene swept to her feet. "Another piece of advice? If you wish to fool anyone into thinking you're me, you'd better learn to argue better. You're quite horrible at it."

Clare surged to her feet, only the low table between them. Heat pounded in her cheeks, throbbing hotter with each beat of her heart. "You don't know me."

"I know enough. You're easily bought and all too eager to plunge headfirst into matters you have no understanding of. You're either ignorant of the danger or too blinded by greed to care. You're allied with vipers, and they've thrown you into a pit." She smoothed her hands over her already smooth skirt. "Enjoy breakfast. And don't worry, it's already been checked for poisons."

Serene strode from the room and slammed the door shut.

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. 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.

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