THE WICKED AND THE DARK
Sixteen-year-old Caetlin Lovelell and her family are carefree socialites by day and ruthless tunnel guardians by night.
The luxurious city of Dorme is filled with lavish parties, sumptuous banquets, sprawling mansions, but it is under constant attack from Shadeu—flesh-eating shadows that can only lurk in the dark tunnels below their city. It’s a steep price to pay to live in the city that promises wealth and prosperity to all its residents—including Caetlin and her family.
When the Shadeu start to slink out during the day, something that wasn’t thought possible, and kill off leaders of the guards, no one is prepared. The Lovelells’ major rule is: if it doesn’t happen in their territory, it’s not their problem. But when Caetlin’s brother goes missing, she and her sisters will do whatever it takes to find him—even if it means breaking all their rules, revealing their identities, and allying with the potentially dangerous (and attractive) lone guard to do it.
Caetlin adjusted her leather gloves and smoothed her palm over her sword hilt. As she rounded the next corner of the musky tunnel, she braced herself for what would be there. Jax had been missing after his patrol for far too long—even for him. But she wouldn’t think the worst, no matter how much her imagination reeled with images of her brother’s body lying splayed over dusty cobblestones, shredded by fangs and claws.
A frown tugged at her mouth. Jax liked to play tricks on his younger sisters, but his pranks had never run for this long, and he would never do anything that would leave their patrons above ground unprotected.
"Damn you, Jax." Caetlin growled into the tunnel's dark rocky crevices, the words muffled behind her metal half mask that covered her nose down to her neck.
Her instincts were going crazy. The air felt electrified with lurking eyes watching her as she crept through the underground corridors. She hadn’t come across a single Shadeu, the flesh eating shadow monsters that lived in the darkness below the city, the whole time she’d been on watch.
The scraping of feet crawled through the darkness, over the cracked flagstones and rough walls, right under Caetlin’s skin. No one would make such a ruckus while traveling underground unless they wanted to be eaten.
She sprinted around the corner, ready to defend her territory against a Shadeu, or beat her brother over the head for scaring her. But when she came into the corridor, she saw a shadowy human figure, much too short and lean to be her brother.