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…
This book opens as Aura wakes from a nightmare, this a recurring one for her and she’s been hiding the fact it’s back from her mom. There’s no time to waste on this particular morning, it’s the day Kingwood Academy tests everyone graduating high school for powers.
Powers are mostly diluted with many elementals having married humans. The Academy tests yearly and anyone with powers is accepted into the academy to learn to use and control their powers. Today Aura and her best friend Lainey were heading to be tested. Her little brother Charlie is excited for her, and her mother seems pensive. Lainey it seems is all about meeting hot elementals to be her boyfriends, Aura on the other hand just wants the day to be done so she can get to work. Her medical bills from the fire and its aftermath still tax their finances. Plus, the fact that both her and Lainey are human, not elementals.
This day will hold many surprises starting when Lainey convinces her to enter the building through a side door to get seats before the crowd. Aura has a very uncomfortable encounter with two elementals. Riven who grabbed her and Kai who sort of rescues her. She joins back up with Lainey to get seats only to find Riven and Kai are sitting on the Dais with the Academy’s Dean and Quincy who would do the testing.
This is a favorite scene.
“Let us begin.”
Dean Sinclair’s voice had me turning back around. A man in navy robes stepped forward. His hair was nearly completely white, and his eyes had a hazy quality to them. He nodded to a guard standing by the front row.
The guard motioned to a guy sitting in the first seat. He didn’t look old enough to be here. His slender frame and freckles looked as if he belonged in middle school, not graduating high school.
The boy got to his feet and climbed the stairs to the stage. People whispered around us until Sinclair scowled at us all. She nodded at the man in the robes. “Quincy.”
The man motioned the boy forward. There was a small, reassuring smile on his face that made me like him. He lifted a hand. “I promise this won’t hurt a bit.”
The freckled boy nodded, swallowing hard.
Quincy’s hand began to glow. A light spread over the boy from head to toe, a cascade of rainbow colors. He jerked around. “What’s happening?”
The girls behind me giggled and scoffed.
“It’s all right,” Quincy said as the light faded. “No elemental gifts.”
Sinclair nodded, pointing to the back wall. “You can exit through the stage door.”
He staggered in that direction. Kai clapped him on the back as he passed, whispering something in his ear that made the boy laugh. There was that hidden hint of kindness again. He straightened, looking my way. Instantly, the cocky smile was on his lips. The falseness of it made my stomach twist.
Riven elbowed him in the ribs, inclining his head towards Sinclair and Quincy, with a scowl in my direction. The urge to stick my tongue out at him again was so strong. But I didn’t dare it with the dean and some sort of high priest in attendance.
What were Riven and Kai doing here anyway? They weren’t old enough to be staff at the school, and they obviously weren’t in the elemental guard. It looked as if they were simply watching. Maybe they were student government from one of the academies or something.
A girl I recognized climbed the stairs, twisting her fingers together as she went. Her name was Emily and we’d shared a few classes this year. She was quiet and kind, and I knew her mother was human and her father an elemental.
Quincy smiled at her and said something too quietly for the rest of us to hear. She nodded and he held up his hand again. That colorful, glowing light returned. Only this time, sparks danced within the light around Emily’s body. As if there were a faint shower of shooting stars around her.
Her eyes widened as her jaw dropped. Quincy smiled. “Hello, elemental.” S
inclair nodded. “Congratulations. Please head this way for your assignment.” She gestured in the opposite direction as she’d sent the boy. Emily hurried to obey.
Lainey blew out a long breath. “She’s so freaking lucky. Why couldn’t my mom have fallen in love with an elemental? I’m hoping she had a torrid affair she’s too embarrassed to tell me about.”
I pressed my lips together to keep from laughing. “There’s always hope.”
The testing continued, one after the other. All of the outcomes were expected. Only those from elemental households testing positive.
Lainey gripped my hand like a vise as the guy sitting next to her tested negative. I squeezed her hand back. “Go get that hottie harem.”
That was all the confidence she needed. Lainey stood, throwing back her cascade of black hair. Her military boots clomped on the steps, and I didn’t miss one of the guards checking out her butt. I couldn’t wait to tell her.
Lainey beamed at Quincy. “I’m ready for my destiny.”
He chuckled. “I’m glad to meet such a confident young woman.”
He held up his hand and the light glowed around Lainey. It made her look absolutely gorgeous, but there were no sparks in the light. Her shoulders slumped and my heart squeezed.
Quincy leaned forward, patting her arm. “Your destiny may not be in one of our academies, but I have no doubt it’s powerful.”
Sinclair gasped at her informality, but Quincy simply smiled wider. “I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us all.”
I sent Lainey a sympathetic smile as I stood and mouthed, meet me outside, to her. She nodded. I climbed the stairs to the stage and almost tripped when I caught sight of glacial blue eyes locked on me. I forced my gaze away, swallowing hard.
I did my best to block out the audience and just focus on Quincy, but I didn’t miss the snickers coming from the girls in the second row. I rolled my shoulders back and strode forward.
“That’s how you handle them,” Quincy whispered.
I gave my head a little shake. “I guess there are mean girls everywhere.”
“Truer words were never spoken.”
Laughter bubbled out of me.
I nodded, the laughter slipping from my lips.
Quincy raised a hand and that rainbow light traveled towards me. I had the sudden urge to run, but I forced my feet to stay planted. The light swirled around me, and my head spun. Energy pricked at my skin, growing in intensity.
“Holy shit,” Kai muttered behind me.
I looked down. So many sparks there was no way to count them all and they only grew in size and number. The prickling sensation intensified as blood roared in my ears.
“Pull back!” Sinclair yelled to Quincy.
But it was too late. There was a deafening boom. And then nothing at all.
Hale, Tessa. The Lost Elemental: A Paranormal Reverse Harem Romance (Royals of Kingwood Academy Book 1) Kindle Locations (285-326). Kindle Edition.
The unexpected burst of power as Quincy slightly opened the power binding has Aura passing out and the power in the building going out. This is certainly not what she was expecting. Neither was finding out her mother knew and just didn’t know how to tell her.
Of course, they assigned Riven and Kai to escort her to the Academy. The gates have impressive gargoyle guardians, and I got a kick out of the one liking cookies.
Her first introduction to the campus is seeing the females flock to Kai and Riven. Drue in particular is fawning over Riven. She’s assigned to room with Kerry and they hit it off right from the start. It’s Kerry who explains that since Aether’s, a woman with all four elemental powers, died out, the academies are necessary to help keep the peace.
Then there’s Drue and her friends who become the bullies calling her mutt and other derogatory terms. With classes in all four elements, Aura is intimidated and has a few interesting results. She meets the Princes as she goes through her day. Kai and Riven she’s already met, Phoenix she actually met on the rooftop during a panic attack, but he didn’t introduce himself and lastly she meets Atlas following the incident in her water class.
Drue consistently threatens her and Riven is in denial about everything. Then the Kings get involved.
There’s plenty of drama, revelations and even romance as this story unfolds. There are still many answers to find and there’s also the possibility of Aura being the Aether.
I am already reading the next book in this series. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!
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Author of love stories with magic, usually with more than one love interest. Constant daydreamer.