The last book ended with Sofia and Ben leaving the Shade. Sofia and Ben had been abducted from Cancun where Ben’s family had taken Sofia and him on vacation. Sofia had lived with Ben’s family since she was nine years old. She was abducted on her 17th birthday. Ben was her best friend but she thought she was in love with him even though Ben hadn’t returned those feelings. They had been abducted and taken to the Shade, an island hidden from humans by a spell that also kept it in eternal darkness. The Shade is full of blood-thirsty vampires who have human slaves.
Sofia ended up being given to Derek Novak, the prince of the shade who had just woken up from a 400-year nap, along with four other girls as part of his harem. He takes an interest in Sofia because she showed kindness to one of the other girls. He, of course, is starving after his long nap so he is unable to control himself and pins Sofia up against a pillar to suck her blood and he is so hungry that he will probably kill her and maybe a few of the other girls too. Sofia talks him out of it and he is amazed how she is able to calm him.
Derek and Sofia start having deep feelings for each other but Derek is scared that the darkness will take over and he won’t be able to control himself from biting her. Once a vampire bites a human, he becomes addicted to that particular human’s blood and cannot control himself from sucking the human dry. Most vampires don’t care…in fact, Derek usually doesn’t care and keeps having thoughts about why he should care if he takes what he wants from Sofia because he is the prince and what he says goes but somehow Sofia is able to calm Derek.
There is a vampire prophesy that says Derek will lead all of the vampires to sanctuary once he meets his true love.
At this point, Sofia nor Ben knows that the other is on the island. Ben was given to a sadistic vampire named Claudia who has tortured and raped him repeatedly. When Claudia visits Derek one day, Sofia sees that Ben is in shackles behind her. She hugs him and Derek gets jealous but demands that Claudia gives Ben to him.
Derek ends up giving Sofia and Ben their freedom. He gave Sofia the choice and she chose to leave.
In this book, Sofia and Ben wake up on the same Cancun beach that they had been abducted from. They had been drugged after they were but on the submarine so they couldn’t tell anyone else where the Shade is located. I thought they were a little selfish because instead of calling Ben’s parents to tell them they were alive, they took some money that Derek had left them and went to a motel for the night.
When Ben’s parents came to pick them up, they told them and the police that they had run away but wouldn’t give them any other information. The police and parents knew they were lying because of Ben’s scars but didn’t push them for more information. Ben actually wanted to tell them but Sofia wanted to protect Derek and the island. Again, I thought this was pretty strange. Even if she was in love with Derek, there were still thousands of humans on the island who were being abused and killed. But then again, who really would believe them?
Sofia and Ben went back to high school and Ben decided he wanted to date Sofia because he had always known he wanted to end up with her but wanted to date other girls first. He realized he had been selfish. Sofia agrees but she still can’t get Derek out of her mind.
Meanwhile, Derek calls together the Elite and the Knights of the Shade together for council meetings to get a clear idea of what has happened in the Shade for the last 400 years. His father, Gregor Novak, is off the island meeting with other vampire covens because there are rumors that the other covens might give away the Shades location to the human hunters, an organized group of vampire hunters. Since his father is gone, he has to lead his people. When he finds out that there are thousands of humans on the island and they outnumber the vampires five to one, he is shocked. He knows that that could cause problems.
He also orders that the abduction of teenagers stop, not because it is the good and right thing to do but because it could lead to discovery of the island by humans. This leads to a lot of problems since the abducted teenagers are where the vampires get their blood from since they don’t drink from their other human slaves who do the work on the island. Derek wonders where the blood comes from that he has been drinking from the glasses that the slaves hand him. I had wondered that too and was glad to finally get an answer. He is told that a long time ago, there had been a culling where the sick and the weak of the human worker slaves were killed and drained. Their blood was put in a cooling chamber. Derek tells the council that they can drink from that for a year or two until is gone and then they will have another culling.
Before Sofia had left, Derek’s brother, Lucas, had been obsessed with her and had attacked her and taken her blood. Lucas ran when Derek caught him and went to Claudia’s to hide. Derek found out Claudia was hiding him. Lucas got away but Derek had Claudia arrested. This caused friction from some of the vampires who believed that Derek should have never taken the side of a human over a vampire’s.
Derek has let the darkness get to him. He wants to forget Sofia so he starts sleeping with girls that Vivienne, his sister, sends to him. None of the other vampires know that Sofia and Ben are gone except for Vivienne. He blacks out and bites Ashley, one of his harem girls and one of Sofia’s friends. He tells his guards to take her away because he knows he will always crave her blood now and he will end up killing her if he takes her blood again.
Derek also went into Claudia’s cell and ended up having sex with her. He immediately felt guilty and decided to release Claudia which made Claudia angry because she felt like he had used her and then paid her like a prostitute with freedom. It made me mad because, although I didn’t think much of Derek before, I now think of him as a total pig.
Ben tells Sofia that after graduation he wants to join the hunters. She just wants to live a normal life and forget about the Shade but she is fooling herself because she always thinks about Derek. She also keeps having nightmares and visions.
Of course, I can’t give away the ending because that would just be wrong but I kept wanting and wondering if Sofia would ever see Derek again. I don’t know why I kept wanting her to end up with Derek because I think Derek is someone who thinks of human as disposable but I also kept hoping he would see the light. The author did a great job of messing with my emotions. One minute, I was hating Derek and the next I was routing for him.
There was a lot that happened in this book even though it was only 389 pages long and I am hooked.