Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. Wilhelm continued, squishing around on her sensible shoes. Maybe because he was sitting sort of apart from the rest of us. You could tell just by the way it glittered that it was expensive. " I didn’t appreciate the sarcasm, or the way he’d crept up on me twice in one day, and I kept staring, stupidly, until Faith Crosse reached forward and pinched my arm. "Just sign the chart, I rubbed what would be a bruise, wishing I had the nerve to tell Faith off, both for pinching me and calling me by the wrong name. He’d probably been waiting for the bus, just like me, and missed getting on somehow. Eyes wide, she jabbed her thumb in the guy’s direction, mouthing a very exaggerated, "His gaze followed my fingers, and I thought maybe he was revolted by the fact that I was bleeding. She raised a cautionary finger, like she was about to tell him to sit down, but he strode right past her. My adoptive mother, a cultural anthropologist, had been studying an off-the-wall underground cult in central Romania. "Are you She sounded so serious that I didn’t protest. I rolled down the window, but they spoke so softly I couldn’t hear what they were saying.But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction Author Copyright © 2009 by Beth Fantaskey All rights reserved. And legendarily bitchy cheerleader Faith Crosse had claimed the seat directly behind me. Dormand squirmed back around, scowling, and I dug into my backpack for my pen. I started to turn to my left, thinking maybe Jake could loan me one of his pens. "Hurry it up, Reluctantly reaching out to the stranger, I accepted the heavy pen from his hand, and as our fingers touched, I felt the most bizarre sensation ever. I slid back around, and my hand shook a little as I wrote my name on the seating chart. I sensed from the look on his face that we were found wanting somehow. The cult had been a little strange, a little too offbeat, and some Romanian villagers had banded together, intent on putting an end to the whole group. Just before the mob attacked, my birth parents had entrusted me, an infant, to the visiting American researchers, begging them to take me to the United States, where I would be safe. Hated the fact that my birth parents had been ignorant, superstitious people duped into joining a cult. He was standing under a massive beech tree across the road from me, his arms crossed over his chest. He was still there, but in the road now, booted feet planted on either side of the double yellow line, arms still crossed, watching the bus drive away. Frowning at a scrap of paper in his hand, he spun the lock and rattled the handle. Or maybe the whole thing would just blow over and I’d never even think about the guy again. Prepare yourselves for a year of epic quests, heart-stopping romances, and the clashes of great armies. And suddenly that familiar stretch of blacktop seemed awfully desolate. Twisting around, I peered out the rear window, and my heart sank. Jake Zinn, who lived on a farm near my family’s place, was struggling with his new locker combination. You are all going to love the classics I’ve selected.Lucius is a vampire, and he announces that Jessica is as well, that she belongs back in Romania where she is a princess, and that she is his betrothed, so pledged in order to unite the two warring families from which they come.Even after her adoptive parents confirm Lucius' story, Jessica's rational brain resists the evidence (Lucius' fangs, incredible healing abilities, and other characteristics all [End Page 196] point to veracity) for as long as possible, until she finally acknowledges her own destiny—but has she lost Lucius to the charms of modern-day teen life in the interim? But it was obvious that he was tall and wearing a long, dark coat, almost like a cloak. He must have realized I’d spotted him, because he shifted a little, like he was deciding whether to leave. It had never struck me how vulnerable I’d been all those mornings I’d waited out there alone, but the realization hit me hard then. In the precious split second I wasted being angry at my father, the stranger really did move in my direction, stepping out from under the tree, and I could have sworn—just as the bus, thank god, crested the rise about fifty yards down the road—I could have sworn I heard him say, Or maybe I was hearing things, because the word was drowned out by the sound of tires hissing on wet pavement, grinding gears, and the whoosh of the doors as the driver, old Mr. Locating a spot at the very back of the bus, I plopped down with a rush of relief. Maybe my imagination had run wild, or too many episodes of had messed with my head. Apparently not everybody was as ecstatic about clashing armies and thumping hearts as Mrs. The tree’s low, gnarled branches twisted down around him, nearly concealing him in limbs and leaves and shadows. Dilly put the bus in gear, and I stumbled down the aisle, searching for an empty seat or a friendly face among the half-groggy riders. The town kids were probably still sleeping, safe and sound in their beds. An obviously brand-new white T-shirt made his summer tan look especially deep. "Jake looks " The low, deep voice echoed in my brain, like a half-remembered nightmare. All without ever leaving Woodrow Wilson High School.
For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003. Jessica evolves nicely with each new shocking revelation, becoming, over the course of the novel, an intriguing and strong protagonist.Lucius, on the other hand, will be magnetic to readers from the first mention, and his letters back to his imposing Romanian guardians demonstrate in a nuanced, unforced way his slow transition from snarky but obedient lackey to troubled but defiant resister once he sees alternatives to the course he'd once viewed as inevitable. I accepted my copy from my longtime tormentor Frank Dormand, who’d plopped into the seat in front of me like a massive, gooey spitball, and did a quick survey.