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Isolde “Izzy” Connors has melted one car door, fried five iPods, and singed her ponytail at least ninety-nine times over the last ten years. She doesn’t know much about her power as a firestarter, just that it’s one hell of an inconvenience. When her uncontrolled gift makes her a target, the Houston Collective of Magic Users swoops in to save the day, plunging Izzy into a shadow world she’d never dreamed of. She’ll have to learn to trust the ragtag team of quirky supernaturals if she wants to survive. If only their smokin’ hot leader weren’t so arrogant, irritating, and overbearing.

Thrust into command of the Houston Collective, Conlin is blindsided by Izzy, a fire affinity who could easily burn up the whole city if she doesn’t learn to rein in her power. And she’s come at the worst time. A rogue magic user is killing preternaturals, threatening the tenuous peace between the rival factions in the Bayou City. To solidify the alliance, Conlin will have to enlist the help of the local werewolf alpha, which rankles. But if he doesn’t learn to balance his responsibilities and put old grievances behind him, his people might die…and so might Izzy.

 

Excerpt:

They were kicking her out, leaving her to her own devices. It made sense. Why take the risk for a stranger? She was dangerous. It’d been proven time and again. She wasn’t used to being a part of anything, so why did she feel she’d lost something? Despite the fear and the unknown, a bloom of hope had been planted and had taken root. It was amazing how quickly hope grew within a heart. “Yeah, I get it.”

“I said ‘we’.” Conlin pushed a stray curl out of her face and let his hand linger a moment, his finger tracing her jaw line and tilting her face until she met his eyes directly. Her initial instinct was to pull away. He was too close, his gaze full of steely determination, but his hand kept her face still. “I promise you. I’ll protect you. You’ll learn control and we’ll return here.” His sheer size fulfilled that promise. She had no doubt he could protect her. Flames licked through her body, a heat that had nothing to do with her fire affinity and everything to do with desire. “This I swear. I won’t let anything happen to you. You’ll never be alone again.”

How did he know her worst fear? To never belong? To never be a part of a family? It was disconcerting and downright freaky. He was mere inches away awaiting her reaction. Too close. She could feel the heat coming off his body. He started to move in even closer, and she was convinced he was going to kiss her. Just as his lips were a hairsbreadth from hers, he stopped, pulled himself back, and cleared his throat. “We better get moving. You in?”