Lena Marquez is sixteen, but looks and feels far older. She can still cover her sins with the makeup, a gift from another life as a popular girl at school. Her fall from grace came when her parents died and now she will do anything to keep her brother, Jozey, safe. No matter how illegal or dangerous. Yet no matter how much makeup she uses, she can’t quite hide the sleep deprivation and fear marring her face.
Lena is often snappish and moody, especially with her aunt, who she blames for her parents’ death. She has friends, though more and more Lena feels separate, adrift.
Even her romantic life is drying up. She has a boyfriend, but he feels more like an obligation than a romance. But Lena needs salvation, not love. When two new boys show up at school, both taking an interest in her, she tries not to notice but she’s only human. When the battle for her soul begins, she is surprised to learn that she still has one. In the end, she finds her salvation through the love of a boy she never wanted.
Chael is dark, brooding, surly; the perfect romantic anti-hero for a teen girl. But the one he’s focused on, Lena, doesn’t find his bad boy routine sexy and instead chafes at his superior attitude.
Chael tells himself he doesn’t care. He’s got bigger concerns to worry about—epic battles to fight, judgments to pass, souls to fight over. He’s been around in one form or another for centuries and he can’t worry about one troubled girl’s reaction.
But Lena is pretty and she’s vulnerable and she challenges him. Like Lena, Chael loves Jozey, Lena’s little brother. Chael finds himself unable to forget that, at least once upon a time, he was only human as well.
Johnny Beels is all easy charm and slow Southern style. His cowboy boots shine, and so does his blond hair and his smile. His eyes, desert-sky blue, make girls swoon, make them hungry for something they might not understand.
But that’s okay. Johnny Beels likes it that way. Johnny Beels is always hungry. When he meets Lena, the girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders, he feeds her hunger, draws it out, dances with it. He feeds her chocolate kisses and then real kisses.
He’s been at this a long time and he feels pretty sure he knows how it will all go. Yet the wounds of his past are catching up to him and Lena haunts him in a way no other girl has in a long, long time. Not since he was human with a soul, crumbling from sorrow and hunger.