Blaze of Secrets
By Jessie Donovan
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 82,000 words, approx. 330 pages
Ebook ISBN: 978-0989733601
Print ISBN: 978-0615852195
To avoid persecution, the Feiru will do anything to keep their elemental magic a secret from humans—even lock away their children for life. Few know what goes on inside the prison system for magic users, but that is about to change…
Kiarra Melini overhears the dangerous secrets of her blood and decides that if Feiru elemental magic is to survive, she needs to die. But before she can finish the deed, a handsome black-clad man kidnaps her from prison and introduces her to an anti-prison activist group. As the prison retrieval squad hunts for her, Kiarra must overcome the demons of her past or risk losing not only her newfound freedom, but also the man who reawakens her desires and captures her heart.
Jaxton Ward finally rescues his older brother from prison, but instead of helping with his brother’s recovery, he’s ordered to train Kiarra—a stubborn elemental fire user who claims her magic is gone. But just as Kiarra starts trusting him with her secrets, the prison enforcers catch up with them. Now Jaxton must find a way to keep his family safe while also protecting the only woman able to ignite both his temper and his passion.
Each stroke of Jaxton’s thumb left a trail of heat on her skin. She’d dismissed the same feeling during training, blaming her imagination and her yearnings for elemental fire. But the feeling had returned, and she wasn’t sure what to make of it.
When she’d had her abilities, her fire had always radiated outward. She’d never heard of heat flaring at another person’s touch.
Even now, she moved her hand a fraction to the south, hoping to feel the tingle of elemental fire particles. But nothing happened.
Jaxton’s thumb stilled and she looked into his eyes. He continued to cup her cheek as he said,
“Reaching to the south didn’t work, did it?”
“How did you—“
The corner of his mouth rose in a half-smile. “I’m your shadow, remember? It’s my job.”
It’s my job. Ty had said the same words to her after her flogging, when she’d asked why he hadn’t done anything to stop it.
The past was a cold slap in the face. She became acutely aware of Jaxton’s touch and the scant inches separating their bodies. She’d walked this road before, allowing someone to get close to her before she really knew much about them. After Ty, she’d vowed never again.
Kiarra shook her head and tugged her hand. “Let me go.”
He must’ve seen something in her expression because Jaxton released her hand and allowed her to take a few steps away. She put a clenched fist over her heart, as if the act could protect it from the memories of betrayal.
“What’s wrong, Kiarra?”
She avoided Jaxton’s gaze and focused on tamping down the painful memories. After all these years, she’d thought herself past caring. Apparently she was wrong.
She closed her eyes and breathed in and out, using the same trick that had helped keep her sanity over the years: visualizing her future. She pictured the freedom to travel, read, and interact with others who didn’t see her as a freak or a burden. Her heart still racing, she took another inhalation and thought of returning to Mt. Rainier National Park, the possibility of friends, the ability to make her own decisions.
The hurt and panic started to fade, her good thoughts overcoming the bad. After a little more concentration, she finally contained the memories and locked them inside the far corners of her mind.
She wouldn’t let Ty’s actions take away her new start; the man wasn’t worth it.
Kiarra opened her eyes. Jaxton stood on the far side of the room, his arms crossed over his chest. He said nothing, his expression unreadable.
The silence was too much for her. “I’m fine.” He raised an eyebrow and she continued, “At least I will be, if you leave me alone for the rest of the evening.”
He uncrossed his arms, the hardness of his face softening. “Are you sure you want to be alone right now?”
No. “Yes.” She didn’t trust herself around Jaxton right now.
He put his hands up in defeat. “I’ll send a tray up and expect you to eat all of it. I’m also going to have someone periodically knock on your door, just to check on you. And,” he motioned toward the alarm clock on the table next to the bed, “set your alarm. Meet me in the front room at 8am tomorrow morning.”
She nodded, hoping Jaxton would leave before she lost her resolve. Earlier she’d taken comfort from his touch, and oddly she yearned to feel it again. “You can go now.”
He gave her one last long look before leaving her room.
Without his presence, the room felt empty and cold. But it was better this way. If she spent too much more time with Jaxton, her resolve would weaken, and she might do something foolish. One man had already betrayed her in the past.
Kiarra wasn’t about to let it happen again.
About the Author
Jessie Donovan wrote her first story at age five, and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey in junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap into her over-active imagination and write a book someday.
After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets.
Jessie loves to interact with readers, and when not traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, can often be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Two $10 gift cards to Amazon or B&N