Elemental Fire is the third and final part of Kd Grace’s excellent trilogy, the Lakeland Heatwave Series.
Carrying on four months after the end of Part 2 (Riding the Ether),- the gorgeous Anderson (I just love this character), is still trapped in the ether, the demon Deacon’s menacing presence is looming over everything, and Tara Stone is only just holding her coven together.
The world of sex magic is brilliantly bought to life, as Kd Grace entwines us on a journey that is both sexy, intriguing, and at times, spine tinglingly terrifyingly and thrilling.
Elemental Fire introduces us to new characters- including the revenge obsessed Kennet Lucian- who’ll stop at nothing to end Deacon’s reign of terror- including joining forces with a rather delicious fire demon…
I’ll say no more, for I would hate to spoil this excellent series for you.
Once again Kd Grace has produced a work of art encapsulated in the written word. The Lakeland Heatwave Series is a must read.
I’m delighted to have permission from Kd to share an extract from Elemental Fire with you today- are you sitting comfortably…
‘If it’s any consolation, I don’t trust him either.’
Tara wasn’t surprised to hear Cassandra’s voice behind her. She didn’t look up from her efforts with the thyme seedlings she was planting on for Fiori’s kitchen and for Sky’s apothecary. The greenhouse was awash in the dry heat scent of the Mediterranean.
‘He’s offered us everything we want, an end to all of our suffering. He’s all but promised Anderson back in our arms. Everything. All tied up in a shiny ribbon,’ Tara said, continuing to work.
Cassandra came to her side and took over preparing the pots for the seedlings. Tara was still amazed at the woman’s natural feel for gardening when she had never touched the earth until she came to Elemental Cottage. Somehow it felt like the young succubus had always been a part of the Elemental Coven, and Tara felt the ache of her loss of Anderson as deeply as she felt her own.
‘If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is,’ Cassandra said. ‘And who in their right mind would make a deal with a demon?’
‘Probably not the question to ask, Cassandra,’ Tara said. ‘You know we all would, in a heartbeat, if it would get us what we want so desperately.’
‘Will you dream with him?’ Cassandra asked, as she handed Tara the last pot.
‘I don’t see that I have much choice, do I?’
‘Is it really that much of a hardship?’
They both turned to find Kennet standing in the door of the greenhouse.
Tara laid aside her dibber and gently touched Cassandra’s hand feeling the welcome buzz of her power. ‘Go and tell the others to prepare the Dream Cave.’
Once she was gone, she turned her attention back to her seedlings.
Kennet moved inside and pulled the door to. ‘I understand you not trusting me,’ he said. ‘I’d feel the same way, I’m sure. But Tara, I’m not the enemy. I need you to believe that.’ He rested a hand on her shoulder, and she stiffened.
Carefully he removed it and turned his attention to stroking the leaves of the thyme plants. ‘You’re afraid,’ he said, his voice barely more than a whisper.
‘Aren’t you?’ She continued to fuss over the seedlings, mostly just to stave off the panic of his nearness.
‘Terrified.’ His answer surprised her.
She turned to face him and as she looked up into his eyes, it suddenly felt like she had looked into the sun.
‘But not for the same reasons you are,’ he said. He crooked a finger under her chin so she couldn’t look away. ‘Why do you make love only with ghosts?’
Everything in her wanted to turn and flee before it was too late, but she stood her ground and held his gaze. ‘It hasn’t ended well for the living when I’ve had sex with them.’
‘Are you afraid it won’t end well for me?’
She didn’t answer. She was afraid of what might happen if she tried to speak. There were too many memories too close to the surface, memories she had taken lifetimes to bury deep, and this man had dug them all up in only a few hours.
He took both of her hands, ignoring the compost on her fingers, then brushed a kiss gently across her lips, making her want like she hadn’t allowed herself to want in a very long time. Then he pulled away and brushed the pad of his thumb along her lower lip. ‘I’m already dead, Tara. Physically I may not be a ghost, but I’m already dead. Everything that I lived for was taken from me seven years ago.’
She pushed him away. ‘Seven years? Only seven years? You’re not dead yet, Kennet. You haven’t even begun to die. You haven’t had nearly enough years to really beg for death, long for death, pray that it’ll come in the night and set you free.’ She reached for the staging table for support. Her knees were weak, her insides felt like snow on the wind. ‘But then you realize that you’ll be no freer of him dead than you are alive. So no, you’re not dead, Kennet. Don’t even wish for it, and if you think your pet demon will protect you, then you don’t know demons.’
This time he grabbed her by the front of her shirt and pulled her to him with such force that she gasped out loud. He took her mouth with stunning anger, like nothing she’d ever felt before, and she returned his assault with her own rage, meeting his tongue thrust for angry thrust, bruising his lips with the force of mouth and teeth, biting and aching, as he bit back. Then he pulled away breathless. ‘She’s not my pet demon, Tara and, trust me, I fucking know demons.’
Then they were kissing again as though they would tear each other apart, as though they would rip the very breath from each other in angry, scorched shreds. His hands moved to her hips, and he hoisted her onto the staging table, shoving aside the gypsy skirt until she could feel the rough wood against the silk of her panties. He fingered aside the crotch and she tried to squirm away from him. ‘I don’t fuck the living,’ she gasped against his mouth, then she bore down as his thick middle finger found its way between her labia and thrust upward. She pulled him to her even as she tried to push him away with her words.
‘Yes you do, as of this morning you do. You need it, I need it, and it’s time you stopped letting Deacon call the shots.’
She felt his last words like a slap and like an aphrodisiac at the same time, and everything in her felt wet with need. ‘Do it, goddamnit,’ she growled. ‘If you’re gonna do it, do it and don’t make me wait!’ She grabbed for his fly with an awkward grip from a bad angle that caused him to flinch and push her hand aside. ‘Damn it, get them off,’ she gasped, ‘I can’t wait!’
With trembling hands he practically ripped the zipper out of his fly, then shoved his jeans and boxers down around his hip and his erection bounced free from its exquisite nest of copper brown curls. The view was brief, and she told herself in a sliver of a thought that was left to her, that sometime she’d like to linger and explore, though in her heart she didn’t really believe she’d ever be afforded that luxury, so she’d take what he’d give her.
Once again he tore at her panties until they were stretched over one buttock and she could feel the cool air of the greenhouse against her gape, then while she held herself open, he cupped his hands under her arse and lifted her from the table, down onto his heft. With a grunt and a slight thrust, he pressed up into her, and she yielded like soft butter, then gripped like a fist. Then she grabbed him by the hair and pulled his face back to hers, and their tongue dance matched the rhythm of the thrust and glide. Grunts became feral cries, throats became raw, and vision blurred in searing heat that had nothing to do with Lucia.
‘Great Goddess,’ he gasped. ‘If I’m not dead, I’m dying now, and it’s your fault.’
She bit his neck hard and he flinched and surged inside her tight grip. ‘You asked for it, and I don’t believe in making people beg.’
‘I can’t think of a better way to go,’ he grunted.
In truth, she wasn’t entirely sure she wasn’t dying right along with him, but it didn’t really matter, dead or alive, it was pretty much the same to her.
‘Fuck,’ he breathed between barely parted lips. ‘I can’t hold back any longer, woman. I have to come now.’ And as his cock convulsed inside her, and his groin raked upward against her clit, she came in great sobs that made her throat ache, that made her body feel like some animal, curled deep at her centre, had awakened ravenous and needy with an emptiness to fill that was bigger than the void. And strangely enough, Kennet Lucian felt like he might begin to touch the emptiness.
For a long time, he held her there, both of them gasping for breath, her arms and legs wrapped around him, his large hands cupping her bottom. ‘Tara,’ he whispered against her ear. ‘Please trust me.’
She ran a hand through his hair and nipped his ear with her teeth. ‘Then prove to me that I can.’
He had just settled her onto the floor, and they were straightening and tidying when Cassandra knocked on the door and stepped inside. ‘We can’t get to the cave, Tara. There’s flooding. It was only then that Tara noticed it was pouring rain…
If you’d like to buy Elemental Fire, or indeed the first two books in the series, Body Temperature and Rising and Riding the Ether, they are all available from all good eBook and paperback retailers, including Amazon-