For fire talent, Jaden Zarie, life is far from a fairy tale. Blisters from any contact with water, check. Sleeping in a shed behind your greedy Uncle’s house, check. Ex-boyfriend scouting the bar where you work for one-night stands every night, double check.
When Jaden sets off to secure a new life with her two sisters, winning a contest with a huge pile of gold on the line seems like a quick fix. Getting hitched to Draven Winterbourne, King of the Dragon-changers, and finding true love, was beyond anything she could have hoped for.
But a friend turned enemy threatens to take it all away. Jaden is thrust into an alternate universe and separated from her new husband and her sisters, she must summon up the courage to start over, alone, knowing she may never see any of them again.
“Draven Winterbourn and Jadelentha Zarie, please place your hands on top of the Iyardar Stone.”
After a moment’s hesitation, I touch the crumbly gray stone with shaking hands and Draven’s large tan fingers cover my own.
Electricity travels from the stone, passing through the tips of my fingers and zipping through my entire body. His hold on my hands tightens and soon, my fingers feel as if they have been placed in a vice grip—one that grows progressively tighter, until I am forced to channel Esmay.
Sparks shoot into the palm of his hand and he lets go. The look he gives me does not bode well for our impending marriage.
Laughter erupts in fits and snorts behind us, but a sharp hand movement by the queen silences them.
I shouldn’t have done this. I’ve made a big mistake. I fold my arms against my chest, feeling sick. The longer I stand there, the more determined I am to leave. Humiliated in front of dragons and humans and whatever else is standing behind us. Let him find another bride—someone who wants to be mortified and have her hand crushed.
“Draven and Jadelentha, you are about to enter an exclusive contract for marriage. What say you?”
I glare at the stone to avoid their eyes, suddenly furious I ever let Isla and a stupid rock decide my life.
For once in your life, make a decision for yourself.
“I have some questions.”
The dragons behind us begin whispering. Soon, the room rumbles with sound.
Beside me, the queen’s teeth clench, a sure sign I’ve annoyed my soon-to-be-mother-in-law. “Now?” she practically shrieks.
What if she changes into a dragon and eats me? Despite what Isla says, I am positive she can do it.
Face the fire, Jaden. Turn and face him.