Spark of Madness
by Brynn Ford
(Ember Glen, #1)
Publication date: July 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Dystopian
In Ember Glen, men purge under the full moon. It’s the duty of women to serve them. When Mercy refuses to serve, Arlo will force her to find absolution through three brutal trials. But will their forbidden romance destroy their world?
Neglecting my duty to serve is a sin, and during the last full moon, I became a sinner.
He saw me run from my duty, chased me, and caught me.
He promised me that I would be punished.
But I never could have imagined the hellish fate that would be chosen for me. More than that, I never could have imagined the maddening lust that would spark between me and the man who caught me.
This passion is forbidden…and it might set us on fire.
It’s my role to catch the sinners, and Mercy sinned gravely.
I saw her and I chased her, drawn to her inexplicably.
She sparked something within me, but she had to be brought to judgment.
Her punishment is coming in the form of an archaic ritual we’re bringing back to make an example of her. I’ll be her warden, her keeper, the man to ensure she stays alive between her torturous trials.
Something within her brings out the worst of me…and the worst of me wants to ruin her.
AUTHOR NOTE: This is a dark romance series that involves many triggering elements which may be upsetting for some readers. A complete list of tropes and triggers can be found on the author’s website at brynnford.com/triggers.
SERIES NOTE: Spark of Madness is book 1 of 3 in the Ember Glen series and it ends on a cliffhanger. The author plans to publish all 3 books by the end of 2022. The trilogy follows Mercy and Arlo and must be read in order.
Book 1: Spark of Madness (July 21, 2022)
Book 2: Blaze of Misery (October 20, 2022)
Book 3: Embers of Mercy (December 29, 2022)
I ran, and I hid.
I rebelled from my soul’s purpose, and I was promised punishment.
He’s come to punish me.
As soon as the realization hits me, I scramble, kicking against the earth to push myself backward and crawl out from beneath him. He ignores me as I awkwardly rush to my feet and back away; instead, he bends to pick up my mother’s journal.
I lunge for it, but he jerks his hand away, holding the journal beside his head.
“Give that back.”
“No,” he says plainly.
He slowly lowers it in front of him, thumbing open the pages.
I lunge again to snatch it, but he only steps back, narrowing his eyes at me with his head tilted toward the pages. “Stop. Your property is my property now.”
What is he saying?
I’m entitled to have my own things.
Except, the Control has license to take authority over the personal property of sinners.
And I’m a sinner now.
I feel frozen as I watch him flip through the pages, reading a sentence here and there. A shiver runs up my spine despite the warmth of the sun, and I hug myself, running my hands up and down my arms. Movement in the distance catches my eye; standing at the tree line, at the edge of the meadow, are the other six members of the Control.
The notion of my death claws through my mind, scratching away all other thoughts.
Have they come to kill me?
Will I die today?
How will they do it? Burned at the stake like my mother?
“What is this?” Arlo asks, closing the journal and holding it up. “Is this your mother’s?”
I hear him, but I struggle to respond. The very essence of my being is trapped behind a thick wall of ice inside my mind, frozen and paralyzed to thoughts of punishment and death.
“Forget it,” he says with exasperation. “Come with me.”
He holds out his palm, covered with a black leather glove, and I stare at it as if it’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen, as if it’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen…because it is.
If I take his hand, he’ll lead me away, only I don’t know where to and I don’t know what will happen then. I don’t know if I’ll be hurt or tortured, or if I’ll be killed immediately.
I lift my gaze from his hand to meet his stare. “Are you going to kill me?”
His eyes are blue—bright blue, like the clear sky above. They sparkle as he watches me, waiting for me to take his outstretched hand.
I think it’s the first time I’ve ever really looked at him. I’ve only known him by name and in passing before the other night in the forest. I knew of him; I’d seen him and could identify him easily. But looking at him now, I know I’ve never truly seen him before.
“Not personally, and certainly not today,” he offers. “Come along now. We have things to discuss.”
He takes a step closer, and instinctively, I step back.
“What’s going to happen to me? Please. Can’t you just tell me now?”
“I’m not going to ask you again.” His offered palm twitches with threat. “We will drag you away if you insist on resisting.”
Part of me wants to resist. If my fate has already been decided—and I suspect it has—then resistance won’t change the outcome. Resisting might make me feel like I did something, that I at least tried. That part of me makes my knees bend with the urge to run.
Brynn Ford writes dark romance for daring readers. She is a lover of the dark, twisted, and playful, and strives to bring these elements into her stories.
When she isn’t obsessively writing, you may find her binge-watching favorite shows while eating far too much junk food or fanatically reading, always seeking to lose herself in the emotional roller coaster of a damn good story.
She’s a firm believer that her characters continue to live outside the pages in the minds of her readers. Stories don’t end just because there aren’t any more pages to turn.
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