Ruby deVarre is Rootkin - the granddaughter of the most revered clanmother in all of New Haven.
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Having fought his way from slave labor on a factory world to commander of the Eternal Emperor's bodyguard, the most dangerous weapons Sten has encountered in Prime World are the lies of Court politicians. When a bomb goes off, however, he discovers the danger and corruption behind Court intrigue. 1985
For Kin, nothing comes before family, and it's about time for Ruby to start thinking about settling down and starting one of her own. But settling down is the farthest thing from wild-child Ruby's mind. All she wants to do is drive fast with her friends and run free through the woods with Hunter and Thorne, two of her favorite boykin. But Ruby knows that if she keeps disobeying her Gran's wishes, she might end up beign Collared - the worst punishment and disgrace in the kin community.
Then Gran announces that they'll be hosting a guest - a handsome boy named Conrad Tiercey from a kin family across the Waste. Ruby accompanies Gran to the train station, and sparks fly immediately. Conrad is gorgeous. Maybe settling down with someone like him wouldn't be so bad . . .
But as Ruby gets to know Conrad more, she starts to realise something's...off. First, he snaps at her for being late. Then, she talks on the phone with a boytoy, and he grabs her arm so hard it bruises. Just when she feels ready to walk away, Conrad apologises - she's so beautiful and he just loves her so much, is all - and Ruby forgives him, chalking it all up to passion. She stays with Conrad, and hides everything from her friends Cami and Ellie, from whom she's becoming increasingly distant.
Then the murders start. First, heartbreakingly, it's Hunter - found dead in the woods, an axe at his side. Then three girls disappear, one by one, all of them with red hair like Ruby's, who eventually turn up dead all over New Haven. And then the villain strikes Gran. She's not dead, but she's been dangerously poisoned and admitted to hospital in a coma.
Weaker than ever and rudderless without her friends, Ruby must find the strength to confront Conrad, whom she now suspects more than ever. But he's got a plan of his own, and his secrets go deeper than she could have ever imagined . . .
Just on the heels of her mesmerising renditions of Snow White and Cinderella, New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow completes the Tales of Beauty and Madness trilogy with this enchantingly dark, beautifully suspenseful update of Little Red Riding Hood.