** spoiler alert **
Boston – vet clinic; Breed compound; Sullivan’s apartment; the streets & bars
Sacrificing, understanding love; war; drugs;
Dante – Breed, warrior, born 18th century (on the young side), his mother had precognition and passed it onto him (she foresaw her own and her husband’s deaths), he has had nightmares/precog of his own death by fire, tough, tolerant of the mates of 2 of the Breed but not quite understanding the need for them.
Dr. Tess Culver – a vet, a potential breedmate (with the birthmark of a teardrop on base of thumb), talent of a healing touch (she has always felt a bit outside of everyone), kind, pretty, 9 years earlier (when a teen) her stepfather ‘eased’ into pushing her into sex while encouraging her mother’s drinking – when he finally exerted himself, and crawled into her bed naked to get a ‘17th birthday’ kiss, without her total awareness she used her gift to cause a heart attack – when her mother rushed in, she angrily/ blamingly insisted that she use her gift to restore him… but then a few days later, when reaching for something in the shed, a box of pictures fell off the shelf – pictures of her stepfather and younger girls… so she dispensed justice, recreating the heart attack, and left home that night and did not talk to her mother again.
Ben Sullivan – Tess’s on again off again boyfriend… he is fun, he rescues especially exotic, mistreated animals (used to work in a makeup test lab and is making up for it), but to make money he manufactures specialty club drugs – his most recent being Crimson, which gives the user a light high. He has one main buyer that he has never met, but he also peddles his drug in clubs himself directly. What he doesn’t know is that Marek is the main buyer, and he is using the drug because is changes Breeds to Rogues.
Sterling Chase – of Dark Haven (where Breeds live in peace), resigned of the Order (?) after a disagreement with them over the recovery of his nephew. For much of the book he is whiny… he loves his brother’s widow, but cannot offend her by telling her (she mourns her husband’s death)… and he will do anything for her. Her son, along with other young, clubbing men, are missing and he contacts the warriors, lying about his role, to join them in looking for Rogues.
Alise and Camden – Chase’s sister-in-law and nephew… she is beautiful, single minded for her son, and oblivious to Chase’s attraction to her; Camden is irresponsible, user of Crimson – and after a certain number of usages, it turns one Rogue.
Lucan and Gabrielle – Dante’s boss and his mate – who has the gift of sensing vampiric lairs and can resist vampiric mind control. Dante eventually confesses all to him, and is given the push he needs to face his destiny.
Marek – ruthlessly trying to rebuild his rogue army, with the use of Crimson on unsuspecting young men…
Gideon and Savannah –
Tegan – Gen-One, aids Dante through one of his waking visions, aids Dante in saving Tess
Fighting rogues, he is in an explosion, jumping into the river at the last moment… and drags himself into Tess’ clinic – where she has fallen asleep (after Ben brings a leopard, abused by its used car salesman owner)… she is frightened, sees he is injured, he insists she not call the paramedics, she tries to help him, he takes her blood, and then sees she is a potential Breedmate… as he is recovering he tries to tell her she is a breedmate, she shoots him with a tranquilizer (prepared for the leopard), and runs, but when she returns, he is gone… then he is behind her… but they hear sirens, and he wipes her memory and leaves. He feels some guilt for her not having a choice of giving her blood, as she is a potential mate for some Breed. And now there is a tie between them.
He is assigned to go out with Chase… they see some young men and drug exchange, as they go to check it out, one turns Rogue, and Dante sends Chase out after the seller while he deals with the rogue, having to kill him once they are outside. The dealer (Ben) gets away…
Dante is then drawn to the museum showing that she is going to… they talk… there is attraction… they kiss, then he disappears when Ben shows up.. he recognized Ben as being the drug dealer, and wonders how deeply Tess might be involved with the drugs… Ben does not have the crimson recipe memorized, and wants to hide it, so he hides it at Tess’s clinic – where she accidently finds the thumb drive and puts in her pocket.
Then after the pound is closed, he pays $200 for a dog from the pound that is sick and scheduled to be terminated… to bring it to Tess to spend more time with her… and she takes to the dog…and she takes to Dante… they share more kisses…
And while Dante spends part of the night looking for Ben, or rogues or Camden, he spends some of the night with Tess – they make love… he enjoys her love bites (no blood drawn)… and she uses her touch to heal his dog (cancer) – the first time since she used her touch to kill her stepfather. Dante captures Ben, and gets him to tell them about the crimson (he saw one rogue turn, but doesn’t understand it)… and he sends Ben with Chase back to the compound for questioning – Dante gets beat up a bit by the minions waiting for Ben, and he goes to Tess. She is upset on her birthday, she is upset with Ben, and Dante persuades her to talk to him, to tell him the truth, and she does as she feels safe with him…
Unfortunately for Ben (who isn’t really a bad guy, just keeps making bad choices), Chase doesn’t take him to the compound but to a quiet place, beats him up, and learns that he has seen Camden – so he sets him free, requiring him to look for Camden and to call him… but then poor Ben gets picked up by the drug buyer (yeah, it’s Marek) ‘s minions, and is taken to them… they want the recipe, he turns Ben into a minion and sends him to retrieve the drive any way he can.
Tess is walking her dog, passes Ben’s place (hoping to find him home, as he is not answering her calls), and sees someone is in his apartment – and 2 rogues jump from his balcony, and trap her in a shed and start to feed from her… Dante is near, he feels her fear, he locates her and rescues her before she is drained, but she is very weak, and he decides to take away her choice, and to give her his blood so that she will not die and takes her to the compound… He nurses her, feeds her more blood, and Tess feels wrapped in a warm cocoon … and Dante sends an apologetic Chase to locate her/his dog… and when she fully wakes, he explains some to her, that he and his are battling the rogues, vampires, and live in this compound… and when he tells her they were looking for something from Ben’s apartment she remembers the drive in her pocket… Dante retrieves it, leaves her for longer than he planned… she peeks out the door, her dog gets out, she follows it… doesn’t run into anyone until the infirmary, where there is an injured Breed changed into full vampire who frightens her… and Dante feels her fear, locates her, and a panicked Tess gets the full truth, and feels betrayed… she runs away from him… he follows… he tries to get her to calm down and talk, but she can’t… he is crippled by another vision, and she finds stairways up, and leaves – in daylight.
In his vision he sees he is tied to a table, in Tess’ clinic, and Ben is psychotically saying ‘I didn’t know it would be so easy to kill you’ and the clock reads 11:35… and then he realizes it is Tess tied to the table, he is seeing her future… so he decides to risk going out in daylight to rescue her, reminding Lucan and Gideon that if their mates were in harm’s way, they would die for them and he can do no less… and Chase and Lucan decide to join him… they get there in a nick of time… Tess’ assistant was killed in front of her eyes by minion Ben, she tells him that the drive is with Dante, he ties her and goes to contact Marek… Dante et al break in, take care of the minions… Dante faces off with Ben – who breaks a window weakening Dante’s eyesight by the sun… Dante kills him anyway, but is burned… the others get in, Dante tells them to free Tess… and Tess goes to him… they get him back to the compound… Tess sees how his fellow warriors and their mates attend to him, care for him… she reflects on all he has done for her… and she tells them all to let her touch him… and she loves him, and heals him with her touch…
It ends with Chase realizing he cannot live a half life with Alise any more, willing to put his feelings on the table for her to deal… but when he gets home, he is stopped by a crazed, bloodlust Camden – and Alise comes out, and before Camden can attack and feed on her, he shoots him… and Alise pounds her anger out on Chase… and once he gets her back inside, he walks away… hmmmm and Dante tells Tess that he loves her, wants her safe, wants to marry her, and they could live in Dark Haven… she tells him no (he thinks she is saying she does not love him), but it is no to living in Dark Haven… she does not want to hide, she wants him with his family, hoping they will be her family someday soon… ahhhh