(The Essential Elements, #2)
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.
After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.
When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.
From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.
All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth, but how can she do so when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?
“You know what?” I said, smiling wide and fake. “Let’s just talk about something else.”
“I know!” Avvie blurted out, getting our attention. “We can play a newer version of ‘I Heard.’ It’s called ‘Have You Yet.’”
Cade raised a brow. He hadn’t been in our chemistry class last fall so the ‘I Heard’ game was unfamiliar to him. ‘Have You Yet’ was new to even me, but knowing Avvie, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out. She’d probably never move beyond her immature games.
She smiled wickedly at Cade. “Have you and Valerie made out yet?”
Holden growled and gripped the table. “Avenelle…”
Cade shot him a crooked grin. “I think I like this game. Yes, we have.”
Avvie clapped sadistically. “Have you met each other’s parents yet?”
Holden immediately burst out laughing, doubling over so hard his face hit the table.
Of course I’d met Cade’s parents—they’d tried to kill me.
Cade’s eyes narrowed into slits. “No, I have not officially met her parents.”
Avvie carried on, unfazed. “Have you told her you love her yet?”
He glanced at me. “Sort of.”
“Seriously?” Holden complained, all laughter instantly gone. “You’re such a douchebag.”
“Have you gotten to third base yet?”
Holden’s exhale was almost palpable.
When Cade licked his lips, Avvie licked hers.
“Maybe earlier today,” he said. “It was kind of a blur of adrenaline.”
“Okay!” I shouted. “Game over.” I was done with feeling like we were back in high school.
Avvie leaned back in her chair with an elated look plastered to her face. She’d certainly gotten her fix. Stupid gossip junkie.
Sienna, Xavier, and the waiter all showed up at once.
“Thank God,” I muttered.
Holden smiled warmly. I supposed he had to keep up with his image. “Shall we order? Ladies first. Avenelle?”
Suddenly the floor vibrated and shook. It didn’t matter that we’d diffused one and the Modernists leaders had diffused the others, my mind immediately jumped to bombs. I whipped my gaze to Cade, who looked equally as panicked.
No one else seemed to think much of it, if they noticed it at all.
“Yes,” Avvie said, “I’ll have the grilled tilapia with virgin lemon, please.”
Another vibration rattled under our feet, this time accompanied by a muffled boom that sounded like thunder.
Cade and I jumped up at once.
“I have to get to the bottom,” he said quickly. “I’ll try to keep the integrity of the structure intact.”
I nodded. “I’ll trace the heat signatures to the detonation sites. Maybe I can contain the fire before it spreads very far.”
We tore off in different directions.
I had no idea where he’d made it to when the third bomb struck, but I’d barely gotten halfway across the dining hall. It shook the building with enough force to knock people over. Dishes rattled to the floor and shattered.
Chaos immediately ensued. People were yelling and screaming and scattering like mice, knocking into tables, chairs, and each other.
The sound of shattering glass suddenly echoed above the bedlam—bombs were being thrown into the restaurant from outside, at least six of them. One landed not five feet from me, ticking in slow motion as time threatened to stop completely.
Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.
She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.
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