Today I’ve got an excerpt to share with you from Black City by Elizabeth Richards. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops. You can also enter to win a Finish Copy of Black City or a pre-order copy of Phoenix (book 2 in the series).
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.
When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
The atmosphere in the kitchen drops by a few degrees when Ash spots me sitting at the table. Surprise registers on his face.
He’s changed out of his school uniform and is now wearing dark trousers, leather work boots and a fitted black shirt that accentuates every inch of his powerful, muscular frame.
He looks at me, into me, like he can see every secret I have, every rush of my blood. My pulse races with fear and a much more disturbing, unexpected emotion: desire.
I turn away, horrified at my body’s reaction to him. It’s sick and irrational. He’s a Darkling, a predator that would gladly rip my throat out, given the slightest provocation. Then why are my cheeks burning so red?
I’m just hot from the fire, that’s all.
“Ash!” MJ beams.
“Hey, MJ. I swear you’ve shot up another inch since I last saw you,” Ash replies, ignoring the frosty look from Day.
“You’ll be almost as tall as me one day.”
MJ laughs at this. I doubt anyone will be as tall as Ash. He has to hunch over to stop his head from hitting the low ceiling as he walks over to Michael, passing him a crate of canned goods. It all seems so absurd. Ash is a Darkling, not to mention a Haze dealer. He’s a monster.
If that’s true, then why is Ash giving Day’s family all that food? my father’s gentle voice whispers inside my head. Is that the action of a monster?
A Darkling murdered you! I angrily silence him.
Great, now I’m having arguments with my own imagination. That’s how much Ash Fisher’s unsettling me.
Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.
In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.
Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel.