The Lost Elemental, the enchanting first book in the reverse-harem paranormal Royals of Kingwood Academy Trilogy from bestselling author Tessa Hale, is available now!
It was supposed to be simple. Graduate, get a job to keep my mom from drowning in mountains of medical debt, and maybe score a scholarship to a decent college.
All of that changed in a single breath. Because it turns out I’m not human. And I just knocked out the power on an entire city block.
In a split second, all of my carefully-laid plans go up in smoke. There’s no chance for college because I’m being hauled off to Kingwood Academy. They say it’s for my own protection and those around me. But I know one thing for sure…
I’m not welcome here.
The mean girls don’t stop at insults and tripping you in the halls. They’re wielding magic that could cost me my life. And the rest of the school sees me as either a halfling that should be cast out or a powerhouse to be brought down.
Everyone except them.
The charmer. The gentle giant. The psychopath. And maybe even the cruel prince.
The royals of Kingwood Academy have taken me under their wing and I can’t help but notice how my skin hums when they touch me. I shouldn’t be dreaming about a single one of them, let alone all four. But I can’t seem to stop myself.
Only someone doesn’t like the attention the royals are showing me. And when the attacks start, the princes will do anything to protect me. But they don’t know the true evil we face. The kind who will do whatever it takes to seize our power, even if that means stealing the very last breath from our lungs…
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“I was in a fire.” I blurted it out in the hopes it might distract those two from coming to blows. But I had no idea what came after that fact.
Atlas turned back to me. “When?”
“I was eight. We still don’t know exactly how it started.”
Kai let one hand drop away but left the other on my neck, his thumb stroking back and forth. “But you got out.”
“I almost didn’t.” The words were barely a whisper. “I got trapped in my bedroom. The window was too high to jump out of. The fire was outside my door. I hid in the closet. The floor beneath me collapsed and I fell through to the basement, and a beam landed on top of me. Thought I was going to die.” I rubbed at the raised skin on the inside of my arm.
Phoenix stalked forward, grabbing my arm. He let out a string of curses. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
I shrugged. “I told you I didn’t like fire.”
“But not that you’d been burned. I wouldn’t have pushed so hard if I’d known you’d been through this.”
I tried to tug my arm free, but he held firm.
Atlas studied the scars leading up my arm as Phoenix held it. “You’re okay? Those look bad.
I gave my arm a hard yank and finally broke away from Phoenix’s hold. I wanted a sweatshirt more than anything right now, but I hadn’t shoved one in my bag this morning. “I know they look gross, but they aren’t that bad.”
Atlas got right up in my personal space. “That wasn’t what I said and it sure as hell wasn’t what I meant.” He lifted my arm gently and traced his fingers over the mottled and twisted skin. “There isn’t a thing about you that isn’t beautiful. But I know these mean you were in excruciating pain. That you were terrified. That’s what I meant by bad.”
I swallowed against my suddenly dry throat. “Oh.”
His lips twitched. He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, his fingers tangling in the waves. “I could only ever see beauty when I look at you.”
Atlas leaned forward and my breath caught, but this time for an entirely different reason than panic. He pressed his lips to the corner of my mouth.
The buzz that lit my muscles was like nothing I’d experienced before. It was its own form of fire that terrified me in a completely different way. Sensation swept through me like a flood on the heels of the buzz.
Atlas jerked back, his fingers flying to his mouth and eyes going wide.
“What the hell was that?”
Author of love stories with magic, usually with more than one love interest. Constant daydreamer.
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