My universe has been turned upside down. Not only am I no longer human, I’m also the most powerful elemental the world has seen in centuries. And I have no idea how to wield the power coursing through my veins.
Did I mention I also have four fated mates? The charmer, the gentle giant, the psychopath, and the cruel prince who would rather kill me than kiss me. Throw in mean girls, assassins, and kings out for our blood, and I’m having a rough freshman year.
Just as I feel like things might be coming together, a secret is revealed that changes everything. And I’m left wondering if there’s anyone I can trust at all…
If you haven’t read ‘The Lost Elemental’ the first book of this series, STOP! Go back and read it. This book starts where that one left off.
This book opens with Aura shot, in pain, and bleeding. Atlas, Kai, Phoenix and Riven are suddenly there, with Kai yelling for a healer. It’s Riven who stops him and speaks the undeniable truth, she doesn’t need a healer she needs them.
When Aura wakens, they determine that it was one of the Network Assassins who was responsible for shooting her. Something they thought had been disbanded years ago. There’s something else though, the healing is more than just simple healing, they are bonded and now in hiding.
This is a favorite scene.
“W-what did you say?” I tried to sit up against the pillows, ignoring the pain that pulsed in my chest.
Kai punched Riven in the arm. Hard. “Grow an empathy gene, would you? In the past four days, Aura’s found out she’s an aether, been locked up, and shot.”
“And now she knows she’s bonded to your grumpy ass for all of eternity,” Phoenix muttered. “That’d be enough to send anyone running for the hills.”
Atlas grunted in agreement.
Riven’s knuckles bleached white as he gripped the blanket. “She needs to know the truth. That all of us are at risk because of this.”
I pushed up on the pillows, letting out a hiss of pain.
Atlas’s hands were on my shoulders in an instant.
“I need to sit up.” I needed to be eye to eye with them all and not feel so powerless.
“Here,” Phoenix said, helping Atlas adjust the pillows behind me and lifting me higher.
My breathing was labored by the time we finished, but I felt better, more in control. But the moment I looked at each of the guys, that feeling fled. “I don’t even know what it means that we’re bonded.”
Atlas wove his fingers through mine, his thumb tracing circles on the back of my hand. “It means we’ve always been destined to be one. You’re our aether. We were made to complement each other in a way no one else ever would.”
A new kind of pain pulsed in my chest. One that wanted with everything I had for that to be true.
Kai took my other hand, mirroring Atlas’s soothing touch. “But even with that destiny, more is needed for the bond to take hold.”
Phoenix brushed the hair from my face. “Something needs to snap the bond into place. A depth of care. Sometimes it’s emotional.”
“Sometimes physical,” Kai said with a wink.
Atlas squeezed my hand. “We were terrified when you were shot. You were dying, and there was nothing we could do.” Shadows danced in his hazel eyes. “We wanted to save you.”
“So, we did,” Phoenix finished for him.
“You saved me? You mean you found a healer?”
Kai shook his head, the corner of his mouth kicking up. “We’re kind of badasses, if you haven’t figured that out already.”
Riven glared in Kai’s direction. “This isn’t something to joke about.”
My heart hammered against my ribs. “How is that possible?”
Atlas continued his ministrations on my hand. “It’s only possible when an aether is bonded to her mates. It gives us the ability to help each other heal.” His gaze lifted to Riven. “We all had to want the bond for it to snap into place. We had to want it to be able to save you.”
A muscle in Riven’s jaw ticked. “We need to talk about our plan going forward. No one can know about the bond.”
It shouldn’t have surprised me that Riven wanted to hide our connection. He might not have wanted me to die, but he didn’t want to be tied to me either. Still, his words cut. When would that end? At some point, I had to become numb to his callous jabs.
“Riv,” Atlas said softly, sending a meaningful glance in my direction.
That muscle along his jaw fluttered again. “This is to protect Aura as much as the rest of you. If it gets out that the bond has been formed, the attacks will increase. The closer she gets to the throne—”
“Throne?” I choked out.
Kai’s lips twitched. “You’re gonna be queen one day, Pip.”
“I-I don’t want to be queen. I barely know anything about elementals. How the hell would I rule them?”
Phoenix’s lips brushed against my temple. “You were born for this. Everything you need is within you. And we’ll help with the details.”
Forget about the fact that I didn’t want it, there was so much more. “No one else is going to want this either. I’m half-human. I didn’t grow up in this world. I—”
Phoenix silenced me with a kiss. “You’ll win them over. Just like you won over all of us.”
My gaze slid to Riven. The blank stare that greeted me confirmed that there was one member of this bond I wasn’t close to winning over.
Atlas’s fingers tangled in my hair. “All we have to do is take things one day at a time. But Riven might have a point about keeping the bond under wraps. Let them think we’re taking our time. It may give Aura an extra measure of safety.”
Kai shook his head. “It’s a mistake. We should tell the entire realm that her aether status is confirmed. Let her claim the throne now.”
Riven scoffed. “Are you delusional? Every queen has to make it through four years at the academy before she can be eligible to rule. Do you think she’d be able to do that if everyone knew she was steps away from being queen?”
“She’d have the royal guard,” Kai argued.
“None of whom would be loyal to her.” He scrubbed a hand over his lightly stubbled jaw. “Those guards come from the four kingdoms. They are loyal to their kings. Most of them won’t want Aura taking the throne any more than the assassins do.”
My stomach twisted at the thought. “I’ll never be sure of who I can trust again.” The knowledge had a deep loneliness settling over me.
“You can trust us,” Phoenix said. His words, while not spoken loudly, held a vehemence that couldn’t be denied.
Hale, Tessa. The Last Aether: A Paranormal Reverse Harem Romance (Royals of Kingwood Academy Book 2) Kindle Locations (151-192). Kindle Edition.
The hard part of this will be keeping the bond hidden. Aura will also have to complete the four years of the academy to be eligible to rule. Something she really doesn’t want at this point.
They do however have to all survive these years and that’s not going to be easy. The Kings still want their answers, and they aren’t going to be happy with the ones they get.
Then we have those who have been against Aura from the beginning, Drue, Xena, and Aiden. Let’s not forget assassins. Of course, we have to include King Zephyr and King Terra, they don’t want her to be the aether either. Although King Torrent and King Ash seem to be okay with it even though all of them would have to abdicate in order for Aura to rule with their sons.
Then there’s Eva, she’s been with Riven for a long time, but is she friend or foe when it comes to Aura. Riven insists she’s just a good friend and nothing more.
Things just don’t let up and the suspense rises along with plenty of action. Riven’s secrets come out with lots of surprises. We get to know more about all of the guys, and of course there’s a cliffhanger ending…So glad this series is complete.
5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!
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Author of love stories with magic, usually with more than one love interest. Constant daydreamer.