Going Down in Flames
by Chris Cannon
Release Date: 06/30/14
Summary from Goodreads:
If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.
Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.
Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.
Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.
At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have.
Amusement shone from his eyes as he approached. When he was close enough, he whispered, “If I wanted to harm you, no one in here could stop me.”
He seemed to be teasing. Instinctively, she knew he spoke the truth. “What do you want?”
“We have important matters to discuss, Bryn.”
Whoa. “How do you know my name?”
“Names are easy to come by. It’s the pictures that are hard to find. I wondered who you’d favor. Apparently, blue and red makes strawberry blond.” He brushed his fingers through her hair.
She jerked away. “Back off.”
Tilting his head, he studied her. “Amazing. They haven’t told you. Have they?”
This guy wasn’t right in the head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I don’t care. Go stalk someone else.” She turned and headed for the café in the back of the store.
He caught hold of her upper arm, anchoring her in place. “No need to be rude.” He exerted pressure until she turned around. “We need to talk. Have a cup of tea with me.”
“You can take your cup of tea and shove it up—”
Her voice disappeared. She stood frozen in place, unable to make a sound. His pupils dilated and swirled, and it felt like she was falling into their black depths. From far away, she heard herself say, “I’d love a cup of tea.”
“Come with me.” With his hand on her shoulder, he steered her to one of the small tables in the café. “Sit.”
Mentally, she fought him, but she was no longer in control of her own body. She’d turned into a puppet, and he held the strings. Fear turned her stomach, and a metallic taste filled her mouth.
The waitress approached, and her captor ordered two cups of Earl Gray tea.
Bryn glared at him. It was the only act of defiance she could manage.
“Sorry. I know this is rude, but you’re not cooperating.” After their order arrived, he touched her arm. “When I release you, you’ll sit and drink your tea. You’ll speak in a normal tone of voice. You’ll do nothing to attract attention.”
“What in the hell did you do to me?” She meant to yell, but the question came out in the same tone of voice someone would use to discuss the weather. It was beyond infuriating. She told her body, Stand. Run. Instead, her hand reached for the cup of tea.
He placed his fingers under his nose and inhaled. “You smell like smoke and snow.”
The feral quality in his eyes gave her goose bumps.
“You’re insane.” There, at least she could say what she thought.
“It might appear that way to the uninformed.” He stirred sugar into his tea. “Now where were we?”
“You were kidnapping me.”
He leaned forward. One corner of his mouth quirked up in a lopsided grin. “You are entertaining. I’ve heard stories your mother was the same way.”
Why would he know anything about her mother? Was he stalking her family?
“Pay attention.” He snapped his fingers at her like she was a dog. “Soon your life will not be your own. You’re going to be sent away to a special school where the Directorate and the teachers will lecture you about your place in society. They’ll tell you what classes you can take and what jobs you can apply for. But you don’t have to follow the Directorate’s rules.”
What was he talking about? She focused all her mental energy into standing. A headache started at the base of her skull. Nothing happened. She pushed harder. Bam. Bam. Bam. It felt like someone was hitting her in the head with a hammer.
“Stop fighting me. You’ll only hurt yourself.”
About the Author
I love reading and writing snarky, kick-butt characters who take on the world and win.
My truths: You can never have too many books, shoes, or purses.
Coffee is the Elixir of Life.
There should be a National Nerf Bat Day where you are allowed to whack annoying people upside the head.
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