About the Book: 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 learns she'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.
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About the author: Mia learned much of what she knows about storytelling from singing. A classically trained soprano, she won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and has shared a stage with Placido Domingo. As she prepared for operatic roles, she devised back stories for her characters. Since she’s worn a real corset, and had to sing high C’s in one, she empathizes with the trials of her fictional heroines. But in Mia’s stories, they don’t die in a Parisian garret. They get to live and keep the hero!
Now an award-winning author, Mia Marlowe writes historical romance for multiple publishing houses—Entangled, Kensington & Sourcebooks. Mia’s work was featured in the Best of 2010 issue of PEOPLE magazine. One of her books is on display at the Museum of London Docklands next to Johnny Depp memorabilia. The RITA nominated author has over 20 books in print with more on the way!
Mia loves to connect with readers.
For more, please visit http://www.miamarlowe.com
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After Cassandra Darkin lost her innocence to Roderick Bellefonte, something new inside her roared to life—the power of a firemage. But Cassie has no idea why small blazes have been dogging her of late and while she suspects she might be causing them, she doesn’t know how to control it. When Garret Sterling cuts in at Almack’s, she never suspects he’s the answer to her prayers.
The new man swept Cassie back into the waltz with hardly a missed step.
“Wait. What are you doing?” She tried and failed to tug her hand free. This was so wrong. The gentleman was a total stranger. Where were the lady patronesses? Surely they’d never allow such a thing to happen. “There’s been a mistake.”
“You are Miss Cassandra Darkin, are you not?”
“Then there’s no mistake.” His warm brown eyes seemed to look right through her and see far too much for her comfort. Roderick was exceedingly fine to look upon but he was no match for this man. The stranger was like an eclipse of the sun. Dark, but fascinating. Blindingly attractive, but dangerous to look at directly for longer than a blink.
“We should not be dancing together because we’ve not been properly introduced. I don’t know you.”
“How very odd, since it seems I know you.” One corner of his mouth turned up in a seductive smile.
“Undoubtedly our paths have crossed at some point and I failed to make an impression.”
“I highly doubt that.”
“It wasn’t a compliment.” Irritation fizzed in her chest. “I meant I’d remember manners as atrocious as yours.” The scent of smoke around her was stronger now. She wondered that the man didn’t remark on it. “How dare you interrupt a dancing couple.”
Unperturbed, he extended his arm to lead her into a graceful turn. Whatever else this stranger was, he was at least a better-than-average dancing partner. “I have it on the best authority that the practice of cutting in is quite the ‘done’ thing in Boston.”
“Then it is my great good fortune not to be in Boston.” Cassie sniffed and looked pointedly away from him.
“I rather suspect Boston feels the same about your absence.”
Her gaze jerked back to his smugly handsome face. Rather, she’d have considered him handsome if she’d not heard him speak. Every word that dropped from his firm-lipped mouth seemed calculated to exasperate her. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means that undoubtedly that city is as flammable as ours. Not having you in it means Boston is far safer than London at the moment.”
Flammable? What did he know about the fires that had plagued her of late? “You’re mad.”
“No, I’m Garret Sterling. At your service.” He bowed from the neck without missing a step. “And I assure you, I am not mad.”
“Then why are you plaguing me?” Something about him made her insides flare uncomfortably.
“Oh, I think you know the reason.”
When he nodded knowingly at her, a shock of dark hair fell forward on his forehead. Cassie felt no tender inclination to brush it back for him. This man was a smoldering heap of ash that might burst into flame at any moment. Garret Sterling was too risky to touch.
“I’m willing to allow that it may have been accidental, at least the first time,” he said, “but we both know you’ve been doing things you ought not.”
Mr. Sterling raised a dark brow at her and her heart spiraled to her toes. Roderick had obviously been talking about her, not only with his friends, but with total strangers as well. He’d done worse than abandon her. He’d betrayed her. The clammy sickness of grief transformed into cold fury.
Cassie’s insides did a slow burn.
On the far side of the room, the candelabra on the luncheon table toppled onto its side and the linen cloth caught in a fountain of spitting flames. A spark leaped to the nearby floor-to-ceiling drapery and spread to the bunting linking the long windows. Half the room’s perimeter was instantly ringed in a roaring blaze near the high ceiling.
Panic seized everyone in Almack’s and amid shrieks and curses, the crowd stampeded toward the exit. Cassie tried to pull free to run with them, but Garret Sterling wouldn’t release her hand.
“Put the fire out, Cassie,” he said calmly.
“How can I do that?” A bucket brigade in full spate might not be able to quench this rapidly spreading fire. “Let me go. We have to—”
“No, you have to put it out. In your mind.”
He pulled her back into an embrace, much closer than the waltz frame this time. His chest was a rock-hard wall against her breasts and his muscular thighs were flush with hers. Against her will, she responded to this stranger with as much force as she’d felt for Roderick, the man she adored.
More, she realized with despair. Her breath caught in her throat. The wanting was even worse than with Roddy.
What was wrong with her? She was becoming a hopeless wanton.
“You need to concentrate. Let me help you,” he said. While the ton roared in panic around them and before she could stop him, he bent his head and covered her mouth with his.