First Lines Friday: December 10, 2021

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First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First Lines:

I had landed on the rosebush again, the prick of thorns digging into the thick layer of fur that coated my skin. Not that I could move. Every small shift brought a fresh wave of agony. My claw shaped wounds opened and bled, staining the cobblestone path that led to the front door of Rosewood Manor.

I opened my eyes to find the cold, clear light of dawn – faint as it was – was too much for me. I winced, aware that this would be my reality for the next day or so. It was always like this after a full moon.

Do you recognize the lines?

Hint: It’s the first book in a fantasy-romance series.

Still not sure? Here’s another hint: 

It’s a Beauty & the Beast retelling.

The First Lines Friday book is:

The Rose and the Claw by Nancy O’Toole

Title: The Rose and the Claw

Author: Nancy O’Toole

Series: The Twin Kingdoms #1

Page Length: 140

Publication Date: Aug. 2, 2021

Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing

Synopsis: A woman on a mission…

Rose Gardner never thought she’d leave the small town of West Ridge. But when her husband dies at war, she must return his arms to his place of birth to set his spirit to rest. After traveling into enemy territory, Rose falls into a trap. Held captive in an enchanted manor, she finds herself face to face with a beast who is equally horrifying and kind. Will she manage to complete her quest or be pulled in by the secrets of the manor?

A man haunted by his past…

Trapped within his own home and in the body of a hideous beast, Kris never wanted to share his prison with another. As much as Rose may draw him in with her beauty and stubborn strength, he knows she must escape before the next full moon. After all, he remembers all too well what happened to the previous caretaker.

The dead won’t let him forget the blood on his hands.

LINK:     Goodreads   | Amazon | My Review

The Rose and the Claw is such a great novella, and the third book in the series, The Wayward Tower, just released this week! I’m loving the series and highly recommend this unique spin on Beauty & the Beast.

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