Revival (The Variant Series, #1)
Author: Jena Leigh
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Synopsis: Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life.
If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.
After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe.
Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.
The fire swept toward her as if it had a mind of its own, a sentient being driven by a single goal: to consume her.
Alex reached the end of the row of books and turned left, the fire spreading, following, taking the corner and closing fast, licking at her heels as she ran along the bookstore’s inside wall.
The only exit she knew of was at the front of the building, the area surrounding it now a veritable inferno. In desperation, she fled to the rear of the building, hoping to find another way out.
A putrid gray smoke had thickened the air inside the shop, stinging her throat as it filled her lungs. The threat of asphyxiation now seemed as imminent as the flames trailing only a few feet away.
Reaching the back corner, Alex spotted a door leading to the shop’s storeroom. She tried the handle with no luck, finally kicking the base of it in desperation.
Taking as many steps back toward the flames as she dared, Alex got up a running start and slammed her shoulder into the very center of the wood.
A blinding pain rocketed through her arm, spreading from the base of her neck to the very tips of her fingers. With a yelp, Alex bounced off the heavy door and fell to her knees before it.
The door was locked tight. It wasn’t going to budge.
She looked to her left. Her only other option was a spiral staircase leading to the upper balcony. The second tier of the store offered more walls lined with books, but no visible exit.
Alex got to her feet. The glass-paneled bookcases set against the nearby walls were already alight. Soon even the staircase wouldn’t be an option.
Realizing that the approaching flames had effectively made the decision for her, she started up the stairs, the handrails already hot to the touch.
Alex risked a glance upward and her heart sank at the sight of what awaited her at the top of the stairs.
Dirty blonde hair. Hazel eyes. Gray military-style jacket.
She came up short, four steps from the landing.
The look on his face held just a hint of amusement. “Well?” He offered her his hand. “You coming?”
She hesitated, weighing her options. Risk running back down the flaming aisles to find another exit? Or trust the guy who’d been stalking her all afternoon?
The fire had spread to the nearby shelves. The heat was growing unbearable.
“You cut me deep,” he said. “You’d actually choose a fiery death over the prospect of my company. I have to admit, that stings a bit.”
She didn’t move.
His expression grew serious. “Trust me, Alex.”
Still uncertain, but more fearful of the flames than of the stranger before her, she took his outstretched hand—and very nearly dropped it in surprise. The sensation was… electric.
Literally. There was an actual, live current passing between their joined hands.
The flames were closing in.
Dismissing the odd sensation, she gripped his hand tightly and climbed the remaining steps.
Upon reaching the landing, Alex looked quickly for the exit through which the stranger must have arrived… and found nothing. How had he gotten there?
Alex came to a stop before him and tried to pull her hand from his. He wasn’t letting go.
“Ready?” he asked. The self-assured smile he’d worn earlier was once again firmly in place.
“For what?” she choked out, the mixture of heavy smoke and utter panic causing her throat to tighten. “There’s no door!”
“Door?” The smile grew wider. “Who said anything about using a door?”
Alex opened her mouth to reply—and instantly wished she hadn’t.
Before she could form a word in protest, the world around them had fallen away. The sound of thunder roared in her ears as a sudden change in pressure knocked the air from her lungs and forced her eyes closed.
Just when she felt certain that her body would soon do the impossible and turn itself inside out, it was over.
The pressure was gone… and she was falling.
Alex’s eyes burst open. She was eye level with the treetops and falling fast, heading straight for a dark body of water that stretched out below her.
A cry of surprise slipped from her throat.
The grip on her hand tightened.
Alex caught one last glimpse of her savior as they broke the surface of the water. He was still smiling.
By Author Jena Leigh
10. Colin O'Donoghue – Gorgeous Irishman playing a pirate? Um, yes, thank you. More please. I don’t usually go for eyeliner on guys, but Colin turned me into a believer. Could he be any hotter playing Captain Hook on OUAT? Love him!
9. Ben Nichols – This Lucero frontman can serenade me with those growled vocals of his any day. Lucero’s music has gotten me through more than a few rough patches in my life. Ben’s unusual voice + his inked-up, alt-rock persona = perfection.
8. Matt Muenster – Yeah. This is that point in the list where you stop, blink stupidly for a moment, and go, “Wait. What? ... Did she just name that guy from Bath Crashers?” and I nod sagely and say, “Yes, my friend. I totally did.” I’ve spent more than a few sick days these last few years, curled up on the couch, watching marathons of home renovation shows on HGTV. It’s been my experience that laughter is always the best medicine, and Matt never fails to make me laugh. There’s nothing more attractive to me than a guy with a great sense of humor!
7. Tom Hiddleston – Does this one really need an explanation? Always the perfect gentleman and by all accounts a total sweetheart. Plus, he’s British! Love.
6. Tom Mison – Speaking of my weakness for Brits (and, apparently, for guy’s named Tom…). I’d never heard of Tom Mison before discovering him on the Fox show Sleepy Hollow, but now I absolutely adore him!
5. Chris Evans – I have to admit, whether he’s saving the world as Captain America or fighting off super-villains as the Human Torch, Chris Evans makes for a pretty drool-worthy hero. And with all those superhero gigs, I suppose it’s a good thing he looks great in those tights.
4. Garrett Hedlund – My original inspiration for Declan! The scruff, that rumbling voice, his always-perfectly-tousled hair… And he can play the guitar and sing, too! What’s not to love?
3. Jensen Ackles – Don’t get me wrong, I love my Moose (aka Jared Padalecki, for the non–SPN fans reading this), but Jensen’s had my heart since the very first episode of Supernatural aired back in 2005. Another early inspiration for Declan, Jensen will probably always have a place on my list of celebrity crushes!
2. Karl Urban – Bones! I love watching him as McCoy. Truthfully, though… After seeing him in Star Trek, Almost Human, and the Riddick series—I guess I love watching Karl Urban in pretty much anything. His wry sense of humor and crooked grin always manage to sneak through, no matter the role. I can’t get enough!
1. Chris Hemsworth – There’s a reason this man was picked for the role of Thor. I mean, if there’s another actor out there who could more perfectly embody that particular Norse god, I’d love to meet him. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll just be here, drooling over my favorite Hemsworth brother.
Where to Stalk Jena!
**MUST be 13 or older to enter**
**Winners have 48 hours to respond before new winners are chosen**
*ONE winner will receive a SIGNED hardcopy of REVIVAL and RESISTANCE (Be aware you will have to wait for the second book until it is published in FEB)**
**FIVE winners will be chosen to win e-copies of REVIVAL and RESISTANCE (Be aware you will have to wait for the second book until it is published in FEB)**
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