Erica

What if the Devil doesn't know he's the Devil? This is the question Veronica "Ronnie" Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.

Kidnapped by Phoenix's rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought...

Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?

EXCERPT:

"What if the Devil doesn't know he's the Devil?" I ask.

 Phoenix shakes his head, confused. "What?"

 "Why? Why does the bad I've done have to define me?"

 "Because you're a murdering sadist," he snaps back at me.

 "No, I am not." I clench my teeth, standing my ground. I am tired of these labels I am suddenly wearing. "I never, I mean never knew what happened to those girls I led to the Lettings. I am so very sorry I played any role in this vile enterprise in which we exist, but I was clueless. Maybe I'm ignorant, or downright stupid, but I would rather have been dead than be responsible for hurting anyone. And before you go throwing malicious names around, maybe it's time you consider maybe you're wrong...? What if you kidnapped and tortured me in the name of a revolution that is wrong?"

 "It's not," he argues.

 "But I didn't think I was wrong, either." I am exasperated. "Don't you get it?"

 He takes a step back away from me, but I go on.

 "We are completely turned around. The only information we're fed is from a corrupt enterprise. What makes you think your information is any more accurate than mine?"

 For the first time ever, he looks terrified. I let a moment go by before I gesture for Raven to come over, and she hurries to my side.

 "This is Raven," I say, slowly, talking to Phoenix. "She's your sister."

In Ronnie Billings' dystopian world, surviving the Letting and breaking free of a corrupt government is less of a surprise than falling in love with Phoenix Day, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution.

When the government sentences Ronnie to a Coupling under the guise of producing a coveted blood type, Ronnie discovers the one she's slated to Couple with expects even more. Prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save those she loves most, Ronnie devastates Phoenix with her impossible decision. Whisked away from her rebel life to another world ravaged by despair, Ronnie meets her greatest nemesis...her biological father.

Steeling her nerves against the dangers of escape, she embarks on the perilous journey back. She is convinced she belongs with Phoenix and his revolution, but will her friends, and especially Phoenix, be ready to accept her when she returns? Because this time, evil is in her blood...

EXCERPT:

"Phoenix?"

"Trust me, Ron."

I nod, my hands suddenly shaking. He takes them into his hand and lifts them to his mouth. He kisses my fingers softly.

"You're grieving right now--I would never take advantage of you. But..."

I take a deep breath.

He lets go of my hands and reaches out toward the still unbuttoned top two buttons of my shirt. The collar lays open, and his fingers trace the hollow of my throat. "You look gorgeous in my shirt."

His eyes are locked on me, and I feel overpowered but safe all at once. There's a strange ache in my body, answering to the hunger in his eyes.

"It is by far the most beautiful you have ever looked."

My eyes dart up as he reaches out to touch the next button. He studies me as he slowly begins to unbutton. My entire body warms, and I bite down hard on my bottom lip. He abandons my button to run his fingers across my lips once more. I try to remember to breathe.

 

Book 1- The LETTING

Book 2- The COUPLING