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A Crown of Hopes and Sorrows

A Crown of Hopes and Sorrows

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Series: Apollo Ascending

Book: 2 of 4

Two souls bound together. 
But one thing threatens to tear them apart. 

Excellence. Pure excellence! This is book 2 in the Apollo Ascending and it is EVERYTHING I hoped for! I absolutely love how Nicole Bailey expresses the love between Apollo and Hyacinth. It is one of the most beautiful and tragic Greek stories in my opinion. Every bit of this book is brilliant. I was in love with book 1 but this definitely surpassed it! 



Two souls bound together. 
But one thing threatens to tear them apart. 

While tensions build and fates shift, Hyacinth and Apollo seek Zephyrus.
God of the west wind.
Well connected among low deities.
And Hyacinth’s previous lover.

Amid political schemes and personal struggles, Apollo and Hyacinth tumble through a world verging on war.

But as jealousy flares and secrets come to light, all their careful planning may burn to ash.

This fast-paced sequel to A Veil of Gods and Kings is full of romance and unexpected twists set in a dark, magical world.

Read a Sample

Who knew shoulders could be the most beautiful sight on earth?

Specifically bare shoulders, over an equally bare body, standing in a creamy sheen of morning light.

Hyacinth shifted his feet, muscles along his back and legs curving, his tan skin and short dark hair taking on a sparkle of gold from the sun.

He cocked his head to the side, feathering a finger over fabric hung in the dressing closet he stood before.

I blew out a breath and fell against the bed. “Seriously, Cyn, how hard is it to choose which robe to wear? They’re all basically the same.”

He clicked his tongue and looked over his shoulder at me, his hazel eyes growing honey-gold as they shifted into a ray of light. “Says the man who literally wears the same thing every day.”

“It’s practical.”

He scoffed. 

“Or”—I rolled back up, spreading out the wrinkled comforter we’d wrecked the previous night—“you could wear nothing at all and stay here with me instead.” 

He turned towards me again, the long muscles along his torso shifting and wrapping around his form as he did so. “As much as I’d love to, there’s a great deal to do today. And my father wishes to speak with you this morning.”

Every salacious thought in my mind fizzled like a bucket of water dumped over them, all the images I’d conjured of my mouth trailing down his body, puffing away like smoke. “He wants to speak with me? About what?”

Hyacinth padded across the floor, shirt and pants in hand, and dropped onto the bed, making it bounce. He leaned in and pressed his lips to the hollow of my neck. I shivered and gripped my fingers into the firm flesh of his back. “If you come over here like this,” I said, my voice growing deep, “you’d better intend to follow through.”

He chuckled and pecked a kiss against my forehead. “I told you. We have things we must do this morning.”

“What is your father wanting to talk about?”

“I think he just has more questions about your plan to seek other gods that may stand with us against Zeus.”

“I explained my entire plan already.”

Hyacinth shrugged the cream shirt on, his eyebrows drawing together, creating a v-shaped dimple there. “It was more of a statement. An idea of an idea.”

“Well…” I thrust my hands out. “That’s what you get from me. You’re the man who decides things.” I nodded towards the closet that sat open. “I like to work on impulse.”

He tugged his pants up and stood, causing the mattress to bounce again. “Acting on impulse is not wise, especially with war and considering other’s lives.”

“As I said”—I jumped up and snagged my shorts and tunic, pulling them on—“that’s where you come in.”

Hyacinth chuckled and reached out towards the silk of his robes, his hands hovering between two of them. I stepped up behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist. “Wear the burgundy one.”

“Oh, so you can decide.”

I brushed my lips over the velvet of his ear. “I just admire looking at you. Burgundy brings out the color of your eyes.” My voice turned into a hush of a sound, like a prayer. “You’re beautiful, Cyn.”

He leaned back against me and sighed. “I love you.”

Those words felt like home to me after a lifetime of not having one. And despite the fear that still surged through me over everything we prepared to face, I would be nowhere else. I squeezed his waist before releasing him and he grabbed the robe, pulling it on, the embroidery on his lapels glimmering in glittering golds and greens.

“Also,”—I smirked—“I will one day have very important decisions to make.”

“And what would those be?”

“When the high gods ascend...” I let that hang in the air for a moment. Hyacinth frowned, his brow furrowing again. We both knew being together would be impossible if that happened. I could visit, but earth sickness would impede me from coming frequently. It was inevitable, but I still avoided thinking about it. “You’re going to give yourself wrinkles,” I said, smoothing my fingers over the skin of his forehead. “As I was saying, if I ascend one day, I have to decide what I’m the god of.”

Hyacinth closed the closet with a thunk. “I thought you’d be the god of the sun.”

“Yes.” I waved him off. “But high gods get to designate what other minor things they rule over as well.”

Hyacinth gestured to his door, and I nabbed my knapsack before we strode out into the hallways with their rich carpeting and soaring ceilings draped with silk panels. “What might you choose, then?”

“Well, music, for one thing, because I’m fucking brilliant with the lyre.”

Hyacinth chuckled. “I should disagree, just to bring you down a notch.”

“But you know you’d be lying.” I knocked my shoulder into his.

He rolled his eyes. “What else then?”

I tangled my fingers with his and stopped walking, grazing my thumb over his knuckles. “Maybe I’ll choose poetry as well.”

“I didn’t realize you were such a lover of poetry.”

“I’m not, but…” I smiled. “I love a man who is.”

His shoulders eased, and he offered me a gentle expression. I relished it—having someone to love—and his reaction every time I said that word. He lifted our hands and kissed my fingers. “And what about archery?”

“What about it?”

“Wouldn’t that also fit you, if anything Temi tells me about your skills are true?”

I chuckled. “Temi doesn’t tend to stretch the truth. But if she is a goddess herself…” I paused, the ache of not knowing answers for her sake coursing through me. “She may want to choose that category. She can whip my ass in any competition involving weapons, I assure you.”

“I’ll have to see this someday.”

I hummed a reply as we reached his father’s office, and he knocked.

“Come in,” King Magnes said.

We walked through the door, and I tucked my hands behind my back. Rich curtains adorned large windows that gave a view of the gardens that had eased their way into autumn, rust tones taking over once-vibrant greens. The king lifted his face and brushed his hand through his silver-streaked hair, the rings on his fingers sparkling. “Ah, yes. Good morning. Hyacinth?”


“Would you let Apollo and I speak alone for a moment?” My stomach sunk to my toes. Hyacinth froze, his lips parting as if to protest, but his father chuckled. “It’s nothing malicious, Cyn.”

A breath huffed out of Hyacinth’s body and he shifted to me, a question in his eyes. I nodded, and he walked out, scanning over the two of us before pulling the door shut.

“Please have a seat,” the king said.

I dropped into the chair I’d spent the previous summer working in. He sat as well and gestured to the bottles of spirits on his desk that splashed the wood with amber reflections.


🏳️‍🌈 LGBT Romance

💔 Jealousy

🔮 Tragic Prophecies

👑 Immortal God x Human Prince

🏹 Artemis as a Main Character

🫂 Found Family

🥀 Heartbreaking Original Myth

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