Even though her father is running for President of the United States, Grace St. Claire is as normal a girl as they come. She’s clumsy, shy, and an outcast among her peers. She even manages to nearly die in a freak accident in front of the entire school. But when Grace survives a vampire attack she quickly learns that she is anything but ordinary.
There’s something about human Grace that has all the supernaturals around her going crazy. Her best friend’s brother suddenly wants to date her. Her worst enemy has sworn to protect her even against her wishes. Someone with very powerful magic wants her dead, and the vampire that attacked her has developed an obsession with making her his eternal mate.
In order to survive—and not as Count Dracula’s undead bride—Grace dives head first into the terrifying world of the supernatural. She teams up with a charming but mysterious warlock who strolled into town causing trouble and spouting stories of a Prophesy and Chosen One that looks exactly like Grace. Together they must figure out why Grace is different, who wants her dead, how she’s connected to the Chosen One, and who they can really trust.
“See how everyone is watching you? All you have to do is take your pick.”
That startled me. I looked around and, sure enough, everyone was watching me, whether staring outright or glancing from the corners of their eyes. Everyone except for one boy standing across the fire from me. He was staring distantly into the flames just like Cynthia had done, drinking something blue that was glowing in the dark.
Of all the kids there, I’d singled him out almost immediately. I’m not sure why, but it felt as if I could sense his presence. I felt like I knew him. “Who’s that?” I asked. “Do we know him from somewhere? He seems familiar.”
Cynthia followed my gaze and frowned. “I’ve never seen him before. He’s hot, though. Good choice, Gracie. I approve.”
I wasn’t “picking” him, but if Preston really was a lost cause, then I supposed I didn’t see the harm in meeting the stranger.
“He’s not a werewolf, which is probably better for you,” Cynthia mused. “And he’s definitely not a vampire, so that’s a plus. I’m sorry, Gracie, but vampires are so not an option. Please, for my sake.”
I thought again of Andrew and shuddered. “Not a problem.”
“I guess he could be a nephilim.” That made me frown, so Cynthia quickly backtracked. “Maybe he’s a warlock. Or a necromancer—that would be cool. Necros are really rare and super fun for scaring people you hate, if they have any sense of humor. Ghosts are usually so happy to have someone to talk to that they’ll gladly help you haunt your enemies.”
I continued to watch the boy. He was really good-looking, but his looks were understated compared to Ethan or the Laytons. I liked that. Too beautiful like Ethan is annoying, and the Laytons are just so…intimidating.
This boy looked about my age and was a lot taller than me—not that most people aren’t a lot taller than me. I’d guess six foot one, maybe. He looked lean, like Ethan. He was well-defined but not as muscled as Caleb or Preston—another plus in my book. He had light brown hair that was just the tiniest bit shaggy, and even from across the fire and in the dark I could see that his eyes were light—probably blue. They were beautiful eyes. “Familiar,” I said again, unable to shake the feeling.
Cynthia shook her head again. “I would remember meeting him. Something about him is intriguing, though.”
I nodded. “He looks so sad. Whoever he is, he’s got a story.”
“He’s mysterious,” Cynthia agreed.
As if he could feel my eyes on him, the boy shook himself from his daze and met my stare. Something flashed in his eyes. He mouthed a single word that I didn’t understand, and then he abruptly disappeared into the crowd behind him.
Cynthia and I exchanged a look. “That was weird,” I said. “I wonder what happened.”
“He recognized you, that’s what.” Cynthia jumped up and pulled me to my gimpy feet. “Come on!” she whispered urgently. “We have to find Ethan.”
“That guy is a stranger, and I don’t like the way he looked at you. He could be the person who tried to kill you. We need to find Ethan.”
I supposed her logic made sense, but the accusation didn’t sit well with me. “I don’t think so, Cyn. I think he just recognized me. I’m telling you, I feel like I know him.”
The crowd was thick and the ground was soft, so thanks to my crutches we’d only managed to get, like, ten feet before I felt someone behind me. Inexplicably, I knew it was him. I could feel him close. It was as if my soul yearned for him—as if he were a piece of me I’d lost long ago and we were finally being reunited.
I shivered. Could he be my soul mate? I’d never believed those existed—but then I’d never believed in werewolves or vampires, either.
I turned around to greet him, ask him who he was, and if he felt the same way I did, but all logical thought left me as I got caught in his stare. His beautiful, sad eyes drank in the sight of me as though he thought I were a dream. The only word I could push from my chest was a breathless “Hi.”
The boy dropped the cup in his hand and stepped toward me, making my heart speed up in a way it never had before. “I knew you’d find me,” he said, and then suddenly his lips crashed down on mine.
I should have pulled away. The boy was a stranger, after all, and I’d been down that road before. But the way this boy kissed me was pure bliss. It was gentle and rough and angry and loving all at the same time. His hands were in my hair and on my cheeks, memorizing everything about me, and then they were around my waist, trapping me against his body. Yes, I should have pulled away and slapped him. Instead, I melted. Sighing against his mouth, I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him back.
As soon as he felt me respond, his desperation morphed into something so raw and sincere it brought moisture to my eyes. I doubted anyone had ever been kissed quite like this. I didn’t understand it, but if true love could be a kiss, then this was it. My knees gave out, but that didn’t end the kiss. The boy simply held me up and whispered, “I love you, Dani.”
Wait, what? Who?
“I’m sorry, I…You…” I tried to say more, but my head was swimming.
He waited, but when I couldn’t finish my sentence he got impatient. “You’re forgiven,” he insisted, and started kissing me again. I made no attempt to stop him.
All too soon, we were ripped apart and I was thrown into Cynthia’s arms so fast she barely managed to catch me. “Damn, girl,” she muttered.
“Huh?” I asked, trying to wake up from the greatest dream I’d ever experienced. “What happened?”
I looked up just in time to see Caleb punch my mystery boy so hard the guy flew back ten feet.
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.