In Ignited, the fourth installment of the Donovan Circus series, we find the gang isn’t doing so well after losing one of their own. It’s the worst Lucy’s ever seen, with her group scattered in the wind and her ringmaster deep in a whiskey bottle. Whispers of a mafia boss float to the grounds, a captivating yet dangerous man who wants Lucy the Firestarter on his side. When he offers her the opportunity of a lifetime, Lucy must figure out if the Donovan Circus is where she’s meant to be…and if she can finally become who she’s meant to be. (Read chapter one excerpt below.)
“Maybe I had to accept that the Donovan Circus no longer felt like home.”
Lucy might’ve beaten Alex the Chameleon, but the cost of his defeat was too much to bear. After losing a beloved member, Sheffield Donovan temporarily disbands the show. Abandoned by the ringmaster and her friends, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of their ruined circus – and defend it against those waiting for the opportunity to strike.
During one of these attempts, Lucy learns of Augustus Rivers, the leader of his so-called gifted mafia. When Lucy is offered a chance to infiltrate the Rivers’ household, she jumps at the opportunity to seek vengeance on the mastermind. Augustus instead surprises everyone by proposing that the powerful female Firestarter work for him. It’s everything the Donovan Circus isn’t, an offer Lucy finds more enticing than she ever expected.
With the Donovan Circus in shambles and the gifted world on the cusp of war, can Lucy Sullivan figure out who she’s meant to be? Or will her fire destroy everything they’ve built?
Somewhere on the Donovan Circus grounds, an elephant trumpeted, warning members of nearby danger. Her Translator would be with her, informing others of what she heard with those beautiful, large ears. Suzy was a smart girl, but unfortunately she was a little late with the news.
I dodged to my right, avoiding the wave of cold water headed my way. Too late, my ankle twisted underneath me and I landed hard in the dirt, right on my butt. I looked up to see the waterball miss me by inches. It fell to the ground, spraying everywhere with the contact. Droplets splashed onto my skin, smoke rising from my arm.
“Graceful,” I muttered, massaging my foot to make sure it wasn’t broken.
A strong hand reached out before me, gesturing to get up fast. I grabbed hold and was hoisted back to two feet. I tested my weight and found my ankle to be okay.
“You good?” Sebastian asked, eyes darting around to assess our situation.
I gave him a sharp nod. “Let’s get back to knocking heads.”
We went to separate and found three men standing before us. A Telekinetic and Unbreakable stood on either side of a Waterbearer. Both of the Waterbearer’s palms held a sphere of ice cold water, ready to take out my flames.
Renata huffed beside me. Her blue eyes narrowed as she talked. “If this guy keeps raining on us, I’m going to chuck him down to the middle of the earth’s core.”
“I believe her,” Sebastian said to me under his breath. My lips twitched.
“I don’t see why not,” I said, raising my voice so the men could hear me. “Go ahead, crack the ground open and see how far they can jump.”
Renata lifted her foot, preparing to slam her heel into the dirt. The Unbreakable and Waterbearer scowled at us, but the Telekinetic simply flicked his wrist. His gift launched Renata sideways and temporarily out of sight behind a row of bushes. She cursed as she hit the ground. I didn’t hesitate, chucking a hot flame at the distracted Telekinetic, so fast he couldn’t stop it. He lit up, his screams quickly fading. His cohorts didn’t budge, their faces only growing meaner and more determined. Sebastian and I tensed, bracing ourselves for their attack.
Sebastian glanced at each of the man, taking in our stances. “If you don’t mind, I’d rather take the Waterbearer. You’ll be done with the Unbreakable faster than I can do it.”
“Fair enough.” Without taking my eyes off the large opponent, I shuffled one step back for Sebastian to jump in front of the Waterbearer.
The man glared at Sebastian. “Cross.”
I could’ve sworn Sebastian smiled.
Before I could question how the Waterbearer knew my coworker, the Unbreakable lunged forward. His arms opened to wrap around and pin me, but I’d grown used to large men’s fighting maneuvers. I ducked, moving my feet to escape his clutches. I threw one, two, three fireballs at him and still he came again.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Sebastian hook his fist into the Waterbearer’s jaw. The water spheres disappeared from his hands and Sebastian took the opportunity to let him have it. Blows rained down upon the Waterbearer and soon, he was on the ground attempting to ward off the pain.
Too late, the Unbreakable slammed into me, taking us both to the ground in a heap. His hands went to my throat and my body reacted instantly, heat flooding through me. His strong hands gripped my neck, cutting off oxygen, but still I fought. My face felt like it was on fire and finally I managed to summon enough flames for his clothes to catch. He didn’t notice until he was coated in them; when the pain hit him, his hold released as he rolled off me and around on the ground.
I sucked in air, my brain screaming at me to get up as fast as possible. I stumbled to my feet, preparing for another attack, but the Unbreakable hadn’t been able to save himself. Sebastian waved at me from a safe distance; I looked down to see I was still on fire.
“Turn it off,” he called out to me.
I nearly smiled, easing off the flames. When the heat no longer flooded off me, Sebastian came closer. He’d come from the Grayson Circus when they integrated within our troupe a couple months ago and proved to be a formidable ally.
We affectionately nicknamed him “Bash,” though I’d reasoned it was for his terrific punches. He was not only a great fighter, but nice to look at, too. In his early twenties, he’d once told me he was born of Turkish descent. Sebastian had beautiful skin, with shorn hair and the brightest turquoise eyes I’d ever seen. His lean frame leaned in to take a look at me. His fingers gingerly touched a large knot on my temple.
He gave me a good-natured grin. “You’ll live.”
“You have way too much fun beating up bad guys.”
He laughed as I massaged my bruised throat. Giving the dead Unbreakable a dirty glare, I looked up to see Sebastian had knocked the Waterbearer out cold. I’d kind of forgotten about the Telekinetic, burnt to a crisp in the dirt.
A groan sounded from beyond the hedges. We turned to see Renata’s wild blonde curls appear first, followed by her annoyed expression. She stood up, albeit it a bit wobbly, and came over to us. She also threw dirty looks at the intruders.
“Next time, I’m not waiting to put my foot down.”
“Please make sure I’m nowhere near you when that happens,” Sebastian said.
“Do what I can, Bash.” Renata ran her hands through her hair, picking out greenery. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from smiling and risk her throwing me down a hole.