Gifted Academy Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Those are the words used to describe me. I’m an Idol who can’t see, and in this savage world where power is everything, being born with a disability makes me an aberration. Idols are the direct descendants of the gods. We’re supposed to be perfect.
My parents kept me protected behind walls most of my life. They fear I won’t survive in the real world. They have no idea what kind of power runs through my veins.
Stephan Silverstone—the most perfect Idol I’ve ever met—does. He’s cocky, annoying, and pushes my buttons like no other. But he sees me, the real person behind all the preconceived notions. Without effort, he’s breaking all my barriers; he’s claiming my heart.
When I’m with him, sparks fly. I want to be reckless and forget everything. If only things were that simple. We’re both keeping dangerous secrets that could tear us apart. War is coming, and I’m not sure if what we have will survive.
This is a spin-off of Gifted Academy Series. This is not an RH romance.
As this book opens we see Andromeda participating in an illegal fight. She wins and the arena boss asks the crowd if anyone wants to challenge her. It’s Stephan who accepts it.
Instead of continuing from there, we go back two months prior. We meet Andromeda’s parents, who really have no clue as to Andromeda’s talents. They homeschool her and pretty much keep her isolated with the goal of marrying her off as a business deal, or as they call it a merger.
At the Belfor’s annual gala, Stephan attends in his father’s place. This is the first time they meet and it’s also when she’s being told of her father’s plan for her to wed Patrick O’Neill.
Let’s just say Patrick is a jerk and Andromeda overhears him talking about her with his friends. She gets some pretty awesome revenge that Stephan witnesses. Stephan also recognizes that Andromeda would be a great addition to the Knights, but he needs to know her better. Finding that she’d like to attend Paragon Academy rather than be homeschooled he sets his plans in motion.
This is a favorite scene.
I scream when Fatima invades my room and begins to open the curtains. Not that sunlight has any effect on me, but she’s being loud as fuck on purpose. “Good morning to you too, Andy.”
“Ugh! What are you doing? Let me sleep.” I cover my face with the pillow to muffle the noise. I had zero sleep last night thanks to Stephan Silverstone. I couldn’t get him out of my head.
“No can do. It’s almost noon, and your parents are expecting you.”
Cursing under my breath, I toss the covers aside and sit up. “Why?”
My tone is innocent enough, but a part of me wonders if this is about Patrick’s destroyed Ferrari. Boy, if he figured out this fast that it was me who destroyed his toy, I underestimated him. Facing the consequences of my deed would be easier if I had witnessed his reaction first.
“I don’t know, but they did ask me to make sure you looked presentable.”
My stomach bottoms out at the same time a bout of sickness hits me.
“What’s that supposed to mean? Is anyone coming? Crap. Please don’t tell me they want to shove another suitor down my throat.” I hug my middle, trying to ward off the queasiness.
“I know nothing of the sort. Stop acting like you’re a heroine in a nineteenth-century novel.”
“Then tell my parents to stop trying to pair me up with a guy from a good family. Actually, that applies to you too.” I jump out of bed and pretend I’m not nauseated with the idea.
“We’re just looking out for you, honey.”
“Ugh. Cut it out. Your sweetness is giving me a toothache.”
Almost running, I reach the bathroom and lock the door. It’s a pointless action, since Fatima has all the keys that lead to me. A precaution just in case something happens. I have no privacy, but like I told Stephan last night, I have to pick my battles, and this isn’t one worth it.
I usually take my time in the shower, but I’m too anxious to find out what my parents want. Fuck, I hope Patrick isn’t coming to see me. He’s keen on pleasing his father, after all, even if it means flirting with me. My chains vibrate around my wrists as I curl my hands into fists. I won’t be able to bite my tongue if I have to face the jerk so early in my day.
Fifteen minutes later, I’m heading to my parents’ receiving room. Yeah, they like to believe they’re royalty. I have no idea what I’m wearing, but since Fatima picked out the outfit, my guess is I look like my mother. At least she left my hair alone. It dried naturally, and it’s unbound.
With my spine straight and chin raised high, I mentally prepare for whatever my parents want to throw at me. But my steely resolve falters when I catch a familiar fragrance seconds before I enter the room.
An ice-cold fever seems to run over me when I’m hit full bloom by his scent. Stephan is here. My traitorous heart takes off at warp speed while my mouth becomes drier than chalk.
“What are you doing here?” The question leaves my lips automatically.
“Andy. I’m glad you could join us. I believe you met Stephan Silverstone last night, didn’t you?” my father asks.
“We have wonderful news.” My mother approaches, wearing excessive perfume. It’s like she’s surrounded by a cloud of it. The strong smell goes straight up my nose, making my head throb.
I frown at her tone. She sounds too peppy, and I can guess why. Man, what did Stephan do to her?
She hugs me sideways and steers me forward.
“What kind of news?” I don’t hide my suspicion.
“We know it’s been your desire for a long time to attend a real school.”
“Only because being homeschooled is so lame. I’d be glad if I didn’t have to study at all.”
So not true, but I can’t just simply stand here and not be antagonizing. I have a reputation to preserve.
“Andy is joking.” My mother laughs nervously. “She’s a very dedicated pupil.”
“I’m sure she is,” Stephan replies in his smooth voice.
Ugh. Why does he have to sound so sexy?
I free myself from my mother’s hug and turn in his direction. “You don’t know anything about me.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. Are you saying you’re a terrible student?”
I hear the mockery in his question. I bet he’s smirking now. Jackass.
“Of course not. I’m excellent.”
My father clears his throat to draw my attention. “As I was saying, we have great news.”
“Yeah, yeah. You already said that. What is it?”
“How would you like to attend Paragon Academy?” my mother asks.
I don’t speak for several beats, shocked by her words. “I’m sorry. What did you say?”
“I asked if you would like to attend Paragon Academy.”
“Are you serious?”
“Of course we’re serious,” my father replies. “Isn’t that what you want?”
“Yeah, but you always said it was too dangerous for me to go to a regular school.”
“Oh, we’d still prefer if you were homeschooled, but Stephan pointed out that there’s no safer place in Hawk City than Paragon Academy.”
I glower in his direction. “Really? He said that, huh? And you believed him?”
“Andy. Manners,” my mother chastises me, which I promptly ignore.
Being blind doesn’t bother me as much as people think, just only on certain occasions, one of them being now. My parents don’t know about my chains, so I can’t use them to see Stephan’s expression and it’s killing me. Why did he go out of his way to help me? What’s his endgame? Scanning his body’s vitals isn’t revealing anything either.
“I thought you would be happy,” my mother says. “If you prefer to continue with homesch—”
“No! Not at all. I’m psyched about attending Paragon Academy. But didn’t class already start?”
“You missed two weeks of preparation, but I’m sure you can catch up,” Stephan pipes up.
My heart is now drumming away in my chest. I’m so close to getting what I want that I can’t hardly believe it.
“Andy is a great student,” my mother points out.
“We’ve stunned her into silence. That’s a first,” Dad jokes.
I know I should say something to Stephan. In fact, I want to say many things to him, but not in front of my parents. I opt for a simple “Thank you” instead.
Even without sight, I feel his intense gaze on my face, scrutinizing. I surprise myself when I dip my chin to avoid his stare. Hell, I’m acting completely out of character today, and it’s all his fault.
“I should go,” he continues.
“Why did you come here in the first place?” I blurt out, unable to hold on to my questions until we’re alone. “My parents could have told me the news themselves.”
“The reason your mother and I agreed to let you attend the school is Stephan. He’ll personally see that your transition to a group school setting goes smoothly,” Dad explains.
“Uh, what?” I ask stupidly.
“I’m part of the school’s faculty,” Stephan replies. “I’ve requested to be assigned as your mentor.”
A surge of mixed emotions runs through me. I’m excited, terrified, and also mad as hell. I don’t know which feeling is stronger.
Hercules, Michelle. Reckless Times: A Paranormal Romance (Gifted Academy Book 5). Kindle Locations (476-536). Infinite Sky Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Things are going to get complicated relatively quickly from the moment Andromeda begins Paragon. Stephan is falling for her and she starts showing up in places she shouldn’t. She also discovers Stephan and his family are Knights which is dangerous in so many ways. The fight club in the beginning of the book is just a drop of the trouble Andromeda finds herself in.
As this book begins to overlap with Hateful Heroes things get even more intense.
Plenty of action, intrigue and sizzle as Stephan and Andromeda become involved.
I really hated where this book ended and I really can’t wait for the next one!
5 Contented Purrs for Michelle!
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USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born. Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter.