When only seduction will do…
Wherever Cassandra Darkin goes, fire is sure to follow. It’s not until she’s swept into the arms of a handsome, infuriating stranger that she learnsshe’s responsible for the fires. As it turns out, Cassandra is a fire mage…and with her gift comes a blazing desire for sins of the flesh.
With his pretenatural ability to influence the thoughts of others, Garrett Sterling is sent to gather Cassandra for the Order of the M.U.SE. He’s entirely unprepared for his immediate attraction to the comely little firestarter. But it’s an attraction that he must quell, even as his body craves her touch and her fiery, sensual hunger.
For Garrett’s gift has a dark side…and the moment he begins to care too much for Cassandra, he knows he will doom her to an inescapable fate.
If once to Almack’s you belong,
Like monarchs you can do no wrong;
But banished thence on Wednesday night,
By Jove, you can do nothing right.
—Cornelius Luttrell, illegitimate son of an earl
who nevertheless possessed an Almack’s voucher
by virtue of his wit
“I am not responsible for that fire.” Cassandra Darkin was certain of it.
“Of course you’re not responsible, dearest.”
Cassandra startled guiltily when her older sister Daphne patted her forearm. She hadn’t meant to speak her fear aloud.
“What a silly notion,” Daphne continued. “You weren’t even particularly close when the candle flame leaped from the wall sconce to the ostrich plume on Lady Waldgren’s turban.”
“Make that the ridiculous ostrich plume on the odious Lady Waldgren’s turban,” Cassie amended. Her sister cast a warning glance, but didn’t disagree. No one who’d felt the sting of Lady Waldgren’s waspish tongue would argue the point.
However, they’d probably take care to express it less publicly.
Daphne was right about the rest, though. Cassandra hadn’t been near when the feather had burst into flames, but she had passed by the wretched gossip prior to the incident and had heard her name in whispered conversation. The hissed tone had been enough to tell Cassie that Lady Waldgren’s comments had not been meant kindly.
Still, no one wished to see the gossip’s head aflame.
Fortunately, Lord Waldgren’s quick action and obvious glee at being able to rip off his wife’s outlandish headgear and stomp it into oblivion had averted a tragedy. After that, the evening at Almack’s had progressed with hardly a hiccup.
If Lady Waldgren’s small conflagration had been the only one in recent memory, Cassandra wouldn’t have given the matter a second thought. But only that week, there had been three unexplained fires at the Darkin’s fashionably situated town house. One flame had ignited in the breakfast room when Cassandra’s father had announced he’d heard talk at Brooks that the son of Lord Bellefonte, their country neighbor, was courting the daughter of an earl.
The other fires had erupted in Cassandra’s bedchamber on two separate occasions after that—once when she was trying to decide which gown to wear to a soiree that Roderick Bellefonte was expected to attend, and then again when Cassandra had returned home that evening. An unexplained blaze had flared up when she’d told her abigail to burn the peach silk moiré because she’d never wear it again.
If Cassandra hadn’t been speaking of burning when the candle on her dressing table toppled over of its own accord, she might never have wondered if the frequent fires were somehow her fault. She’d been present each time, but that did not mean she was responsible.
REVIEW: I’m not a huge fan of the paranormal stories, but I am a historical romance fan, and since I am Mia Marlowe fan, I thought to give it a try, especially because this was a 230 page read, so not a novella but not 350 page full length book either.
This is a first story in a new series Order of the M.U.S.E. [Metaphysical Union of Sensory Extraordinaires] which is a group of people tasked to protecting a royal family by using their extraordinary paranormal skills.
In the opening story we meet Cassandra Darkin who just came into her full power as a fire mage. Not understanding much about it she is confronted by Gareth Sterling who’s been sent to bring her to the MUSE and help her deal with her newfound ability. Since Gareth’s ability is to influence the thoughts of others, he is hoping to use those in order to recruit her to the MUSE and add her to their numbers.
I liked the setting of this story and the pace as much as I liked the characters in it, from the main leads to their supporting cast.
I also think that for a short book, this packed a lot of intrigue, action and romance. For all of us X-Men fans it’s a must read and for a price of $1.99, this is a no brainer! You’ll have to get it because this is just a fun read through and through!
Melanie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
AUTHOR BIO: Mia Marlowe is a rising star whose Touch of a Rogue was named one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Best Romances for Spring 2012. Mia learned about storytelling while singing professional opera.
She knows what it’s like to sing a high “C” in a corset, so she empathizes with the trials of her historical heroines. Mia resides in Boston, Massachusetts. For more on Mia, visit with her via her social media links.