Roseline Enescue didn't ask to become an Immortal, to have all of the guests at her wedding slaughtered, or be forced into marriage with a man whose lust for blood would one day ignite the vampire legend.
Willing to risk everything for a chance at a normal life, Roseline escapes to America. Terrified her husband Vladimir will find her, Roseline enrolls as a senior in Chicago's elite Rosewood Prep school. Mingling with humans is the last place he would look for her.
But her transition into the human world isn't easy. Mortal men flock after her while cutthroat girls plot her demise. Yet Roseline remains relatively unfazed by the petty hysteria until she falters into the arms of Gabriel Marston, reluctant MVP quarterback, unwilling ladies man, and sensitive artist in hiding.
Troubled by the bond that pulls her towards the mortal boy, Roseline tries to ignore him, but Gabriel is persistent. As their lives entwine, Roseline begins to realize that Gabriel is much more than he appears. His ability to toss a football the entire length of the field and grind concrete into dust pales in comparison to the glowing blue cross tattoo that mysteriously appears on his forearms.
Despite the forbidden bond between them, Roseline can't help wondering what Gabriel is: He's not human. He's not Immortal. So just what is he?
Crimson blood trailed towards the tip of the lowered sword as it paused in its quest for death. The exquisitely dressed man surveyed the room, his pale skin glowing in the moonlight overhead. A full moon.
“Roseline.” His voice was hauntingly calm in the midst of such desolation.
She shuddered, cradling her fourteen year old sister in her arms. Roseline’s white gown was soiled with the blood of her family, her friends, and her wedding guests. She couldn’t let Adela meet the same fate.
“Come out, my love. It is time.”
The stone isles ran red with blood, oozing slowly towards the altar where Roseline Dragomir knelt. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the blood splattered family ring of her father’s lifeless hand nearby. Her mother’s shrieking had cut off mere seconds after the massacre began. She hadn’t seen her brother fall, but she knew his fate.
The wails of the dying had finally ceased, leaving only an eerie silence on the church. Footsteps echoed as they approached. Roseline covered Adela’s mouth. Terrified baby blue eyes stared back at her, pleading to escape. But where could they go? No one had made it out.
Lucien Enescue, Vladimir’s sadistic older brother, had blocked the doors as Vladimir eagerly slaughtered all those present from his midnight ceremony. Roseline had tried to warn her father about Vladimir. Ravenous hunger had shone back at her every time she was forced to look in his blackened eyes.
But her father had turned a deaf ear on her pleas. All he’d cared about was Vladimir’s wealth. A lot of good that did him now!
Vladimir twirled through the pile of bodies, giggling like a drunken fool. “It was lovely to meet your family, Roseline. They were all just dying to meet me.”
Roseline clamped her hand tightly against Adela’s whimper. Her pulse thundered in her ears. Aqua eyes darted around in search of a weapon. She would die before she let that monster touch her beloved sister.
Motioning Adela to remain hidden, Roseline inched away from the altar. A heavy golden cross lay not far away. Wrapping her fingers around the weapon, she rose to full height, praying that God would forgive her for using it in such a vile manner.
“I won’t let you touch her.”
Vladimir spun slowly, revealing blood stained teeth. He swiped his tongue across his lips, savoring the flavor.
“So there you are. I was beginning to think you’d be rude on our wedding night.”
Roseline forced herself to look at her husband. By all rights she belonged to him now. She’d spoken the damning vow, albeit against her wishes.
“Please, let my sister go free.”
Lucien’s laughter curled around her spine. If she’d thought Vladimir was the epitome of evil, she’d been wrong. Lucien’s lifeless eyes were flamed with blood lust. He lived for the thrill of a massacre.
“Why should we? She’s your wedding gift.” He bent low, eyes locking onto Roseline as he licked the stream of blood flowing from her cousin’s neck. Roseline grimaced, her stomach coiling with bile.
Lucien leapt overhead and dropped behind her. His fingers wound tightly through white blond hair as he yanked Adela to her feet. He leaned in close and sniffed her neck. His smile made Roseline’s blood retract to her heart.
“Please,” Roseline dropped to her husband’s feet. “Please have mercy on her.”
“Mercy?” Vladimir rolled the word on his tongue as if he’d never heard it before. “Rise, dear Roseline.”
Her knees quaked as she reached for Adela. Lucien held her just out of reach. Adela strained against his hold, ripping strands of hair from her scalp.
“Tonight is the celebration of our union and your birth.” Vladimir’s voice boomed through the tomb like church.
Roseline’s brow pinched. “My Lord?”
“It is the Blood Moon, my love.” His eyes swept upwards to gaze at the moon directly overhead. “We have little time. Lucien.”
Skilled hands twisted Adela’s head to the side, presenting Vladimir with her bared neck. Adela’s whimpers turned to wailing pleas for mercy. She strained to touch Roseline’s outstretched hands.
“Don’t!” Roseline threw herself forward as glint of silver flashed across her vision. Blood exploded from her sister’s neck. Adela’s hands fell limp to her sides as her life’s blood drained away.
“Hurry brother,” Lucien warned. “The Blood moon won’t last long.”
“Yes, you’re right of course,” Vladimir muttered, wiping the knife clean on his shirt. His face pinched with regret as he pulled Roseline to him. “I’m truly sorry, my dear. This will only hurt for a moment and then we will be together for all eternity.”
Roseline’s gaze remained locked on her dying sister as the dagger plunged into her heart. Lucien dropped Adela to the floor and began setting the church ablaze. Roseline’s knees gave way as flames licked up the church walls.
Blackness swooped in as Roseline collapsed to the floor, hovering on the edge of consciousness. A veil of numbness settled in her limbs but agony exploded from her chest.
Something sweet dripped into her mouth. Roseline weakly licked her lips, savoring the taste.
“Drink, my love.”
With whispered words, Vladimir worked his enchantments, bathed in moonlight.
A burning began in Roseline’s stomach, radiating out with frightening speed. Her toes curled, fingers clenched into claws as she clung to the taste. Need gave way to unrelenting hunger. The stabbing in her chest vanished, replaced by healing warmth.
And then…the pain began.