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Dark Flame

Alyson Noel

  Praise for The Immortals Series

  by Alyson Noël

  “Alyson Noël surpassed all my expectations. Not only is Blue Moon an amazing sequel, it sets the bar for the rest of this series very, very high! When I reached the last page of this one, all I could say was ‘wow!’ ”

  —Teens Read Too

  “Noël’s novel is absolutely amazing! Fans of her Immortals series will not be disappointed—Ever and Damen’s love is challenged like never before, and the story ends with a big, satisfying twist that will have readers begging for more. This long-awaited installment is incredible.”

  —RT Book Reviews (top pick)

  “It is the mark of a daring writer to defy expectations and Alyson Noël does that to the power of ten in Blue Moon. I guarantee you will have no idea what’s coming in the second book of the series while Alyson Noël surprises you with a big, fat twist and leaves you wanting more, more, more.”

  —The Book Chick

  “A mesmerizing tale of teenage angst, love, and sacrifice with plenty of crossover appeal . . . The startling but satisfying ending shows that Noël knows how to keep her audience hooked. Ever’s supernatural struggles are a captivating metaphor for teenage fears about love, relationships, and growing up.”

  — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  “Blue Moon was incredible. If you thought Evermore was full of suspense and unknowns, just wait until you read Blue Moon. . . . The plot was insane, and I mean that in a good way. Noël took this novel in a direction I was never expecting, resulting in an emotional rollercoaster ride that I never wanted to end. Fabulous.”

  —The Story Siren

  “The YA paranormal genre has a flawless diamond among the gems with Blue Moon. I was moved to tears by a couple of scenes, especially near the end. Ms. Noël doesn’t back away from emotion, instead she has the ability to reach into your chest and twist your heart.”

  —Night Owl Romance

  “One of the best books I’ve read this year . . . With immortal lovers, trustworthy friends, betraying fortune-tellers, and freaky identical twins, what more could you ask for? Blue Moon has me begging for Shadowland! I can’t wait for the next in the series.”

  —The YA Book Blogger

  “Alyson Noël has many talents to share as a writer, and she proves it again and again with her amazing Immortals series. She writes with an intensity and a passion, her words weaving perfectly together to create an overwhelming experience for the senses and the heart.”

  —Teen Reads

  “Mystery + romance + supernatural + drama = definite appeal to teens.”

  —Orange Coast Magazine

  “The Immortals series is so unique; it’s like a breath of fresh air. . . . Noël knows how to pull you into her world with beautiful imagery and mesmerizing words. Blue Moon is a page-turner that will keep you reading until the last page. Just when you think you have the plot figured out, Alyson throws in another twist making it impossible to put this book down.”

  — Fantastic Book Reviews (5 stars!)

  “Evermore will thrill many teen fantasy-suspense readers, especially fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. . . . Noël creates a cast of recognizably diverse teens in a realistic high school setting, along with just the right tension to make Ever’s discovery of her own immortality—should she choose it—exciting and credible.”


  “Beautiful main characters, tense budding romance, a dark secret, mysterious immortals—what more could you ask from this modern gothic romance?”

  —Justine Magazine

  “When I got a copy of Evermore, I sat down to read it, intending to only read a chapter or two. Instead, I blazed through the first hundred pages before I knew it . . . and then I didn’t want to put the book down. Except I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. So I picked it up the next morning and finished it. Now I can’t wait ’til July for the second book to see what happens next.”

  —Blogcritics Magazine

  “Get ready for a wild ride that is filled with twisting paths and mystery, love and fantasy. . . . The writing style, story, and characters are a bit like Meyer’s and Marr’s popular books, but written with a new twist and voice. And after reading the book, you too will probably want your own Damen, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.”

  —The Book Queen (5/5 stars!)

  “Readers who enjoy the works of P. C. Cast and Stephenie Meyer will love this outstanding paranormal teen-lit thriller.”

  —Midwest Book Review

  “I found myself unwilling to put the book down, even though I had to at some points, because I wanted to know what was going to happen. . . . Ever was so real and her emotions were so believable that it was a little creepy. It’s like Alyson Noël is actually a grieving, lovestruck teenager. She got Ever completely perfect. And by perfect, I mean delightfully flawed and deep.”

  —The Frenetic Reader

  “Evermore is a wonderful book that I believe would be a lovely addition to any library. . . . Definitely a book that fans of Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr should add to their collections. Definitely engaging and will catch your attention the minute you open to the first page!”

  —Mind of a Bibliophile

  “Alyson Noël creates a great picture of each and every character in the book. I am a fan of the Twilight series and I recommend this book to those who like the series as well. It is a very quick read, with all the interesting twists and turns.”

  —Flamingnet Book Reviews

  “I loved this book. It really keeps your attention throughout the story, because the puzzle gets pieced together bit by bit, but you don’t know exactly what happened until the end. The only thing that disappoints me is that the second book won’t be published for a while. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.”

  —Portsmouth Teen Book Review

  “This is the first installment of The Immortals series. Ms. Noël pens a well-detailed story that makes it easy for the reader to visualize both the characters and the world around them. Evermore has a familiar theme that attracts readers, but inside this book you’ll find that the author has added some unique details that sets it apart.”

  —Darque Reviews

  “Evermore’s suspense, eerie mystery, and strange magic were interestingly entertaining. . . . I found Ever to be a character I could really respect. . . . Recommended.”

  —The Bookworm

  “Evermore was a great way to lighten my reading load this winter and provided me with a creative, magical story that I really enjoyed. This is the first in a series for Noël and I think she may have a hit on her hands. . . . Evermore has good and evil, likable characters, vivid descriptions, and a good story.”

  —Planet Books

  “I fell into it easily, and loved the world Noël created. . . . The fact that Ever had psychic powers was truly interesting. They flowed neatly through the book and I felt Ever’s pain . . . trust me, this book was really good. I couldn’t put it down. Alyson Noël created an amazing new world, and after this book I am so curious to see where it heads because honestly, I have no idea.”

  —Reading Keeps You Sane

  “Ever is an easy character to like. I really felt for her because of all she lost and what she struggled with daily. . . . Evermore was a really fast, engaging read with some great characters. It is the first in a series, so I’m eager to see if we will learn more about Ever, Damen, and friends in the next one . . . it’s sure to be a great read.”

  —Ninja Reviews

  “The writing here is clear, the story well-defined, and narrator Ever has an engaging voice that teens should enjoy.”

  —January Magazine

  “Evermore is a fresh and original work that . . . branches out and e
xplores new ground. Definitely recommended.”

  —Cool Moms Rule!

  “I totally LOVE Alyson Noël’s Evermore. . . . Noël has delivered a deliciously fresh new series that will be the next new thing that has every teen and even adults everywhere hooked and waiting for more. . . . This is a keeper and a book that you have to go out and buy right now because if you don’t you will be missing out. People will be asking if you have been living under a rock if you don’t give Evermore a try, and that is just not acceptable.”

  —Talk About My Favorite Authors

  Also by Alyson Noël


  Blue Moon


  Cruel Summer

  Saving Zoë

  Kiss & Blog

  Laguna Cove

  Fly Me to the Moon

  Art Geeks and Prom Queens

  Faking 19

  alyson noël

  Dark Flame

  st.martin’s griffin new york

  This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

  DARK FLAME. Copyright © 2010 by Alyson Noël, LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

  ISBN 978-0-312-59097-0

  First Edition: July 2010

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  For Rose Hilliard—

  because she is an absolute dream to work with

  and I couldn’t have done it without her!


  As always, huge, sparkly, confetti-strewn thanks go to:

  Bill Contardi—what can I say? You are the absolute BEST! Thanks for all your hard work on my behalf!

  Marianne Merola—thank you for helping to spread The Immortals throughout the world!

  The St. Martin’s Team—including but certainly not limited to: Matthew Shear, Rose Hilliard, Anne Marie Tallberg, Katy Hershberger, Brittney Kleinfelter, Angela Goddard, and more . . .

  My family and friends—you know who you are! Thank you for all the love and support and for dragging me away from the computer just when I need it the most—I appreciate you more than you know!

  Sandy—the Patron Saint of Blue Hippos—you rock my world!

  And, of course, my readers—not only do you make it all possible—you make it fun and worthwhile and an absolute thrill—I can’t thank you enough!

  I beheld the wretch—

  the miserable monster whom I had created.

  —Mary Shelley, Frankenstein


  “What the fug?”

  Haven drops her cupcake, the one with the pink frosting, red sprinkles, and silver skirt. Her heavily made-up eyes searching mine as I glance around the busy plaza and cringe. Instantly regretting my decision to come here, foolish enough to think a trip to her favorite cupcake place on a nice summer day would be the best place to break the news. Like that little strawberry cake would somehow sweeten the message. But now I’m just wishing we’d stayed in the car.

  “Inside voice. Please.” I aim for a light delivery but end up sounding like a cranky old schoolmarm instead. Watching as she leans forward, tucks her long, platinum-streaked bangs back behind her ear, and squints.

  “Excuse me? But are you for real? I mean, here you drop a major bomb on me—and I mean major—as in my ears are still ringing and my head is still spinning and I kind of need you to repeat it just to make sure you really did say what I think—and your only concern is that I’m talking too loud? Are you kidding me?”

  I shake my head and glance all around, slipping into full-on damage control mode as I lower my voice and say, “It’s just—nobody can know. It’s got to remain secret. It’s imperative,” I urge, realizing too late that I’m talking to the one person who’s never been able to keep anyone’s secret, much less her own.

  She rolls her eyes and slams back in her seat, muttering under her breath as I take a moment to study her closely, dismayed to see the signs already present: her pale skin is luminous, clear, practically poreless as well, while her wavy brown hair with the blond streak in front is as shiny and glossy as a high-end shampoo ad. Even her teeth have gone straighter, whiter, and I can’t help but wonder how this happened so quickly, with only a few sips of elixir, when it took so much longer for me.

  My eyes continue to graze over her as I take a deep breath and dive in. Forgoing my usual promise not to eavesdrop on my friend’s innermost thoughts, while I strain to get a better look, a glimpse of her energy, the words she’s not sharing—sure that if snooping ever was warranted, it’s now.

  But instead of my usual front-row seat, I’m met by a rock-solid wall that bars me from entering. Even after I casually slide my hand forward and tap my fingertips against hers, feigning interest in the silver skull ring she wears, I get nothing.

  Her future is hidden from me.

  “This is just so—” She swallows hard and looks around, taking in the bubbling fountain, the young mom pushing a stroller while yelling into her cell phone, the group of girls exiting a swim shop with armfuls of bags—looking just about anywhere but at me.

  “I know it’s a lot to take in—but still—” I shrug, knowing I’ve got to make a better case but not quite sure how to do it.

  “A lot to take in? Is that how you see it?” She shakes her head and drums her fingers against the armrest of her green metal chair as her gaze slowly sweeps over me.

  I sigh, wishing I’d handled this better, wishing I could do something to make it go away, but it’s too late for that. I’ve no choice but to deal with this mess that I made. “I guess I was hoping that’s how you’d see it.” I shrug. “Crazy. I know.”

  She takes a deep breath, face so still, so placid, it’s impossible to read, and I’m just about to speak, just about to start begging forgiveness, when she says, “Seriously? You made me an immortal? Like—for reals?”

  I nod, stomach a jumble of nerves as I sit up straighter and pull my shoulders back, bracing for the blow that’s surely headed my way. Knowing that whatever she gives, be it verbal or physical, I’ve no choice but to take it. I deserve nothing less for wrecking her life as she knows it.

  “I’m just—” She sucks in her breath and blinks several times, her aura invisible, offering no clue to her mood, now that I’ve made her like me. “Well—I’m in a total state of shock. I mean, seriously. I don’t even know what to say.”

  I press my lips together and drop my hands to my lap, worrying the crystal horseshoe bracelet I always wear as I clear my throat and say, “Haven, listen, I’m so sorry. So—very—very—sorry. You have no idea. I just—” I shake my head, knowing I should cut to the chase but feeling like I need to explain my side of things—the impossible choice I was forced to make—how it felt to see her so pale, so helpless, teetering on the verge of death, every shallow breath quite possibly her last—

  But before I can even begin she leans toward me, eyes wide and fixed on mine. “Are you insane?” She shakes her head. “You’re actually apologizing, when I’m just sitting here, so psyched, so totally gobsmacked, I can’t even imagine how I’ll ever repay you!”


  “I mean, this is just so fugging cool!” She grins, bouncing up and down in her seat, face lighting up like a thousand-watt bulb. “It’s seriously the coolest fugging thing that’s ever happened to me—and I owe it all to you!”

  I gulp, nervously glancing around, unsure how to react. This is not what I expected. Not what I prepared for. Though it’s pretty much exactly what Damen warned me about.

  Damen—my best friend—my soul mate—the love of my lives. My amazingly gorgeous, sexy, smart, talented, patient, and understanding boyfriend who knew this would happen and begged to come along for this very reason. But I was too stubborn. Insisting I do it alone. I’m the one who turned her—I’m the one who ma
de her drink the elixir—so I’m the one who should explain. Only it’s not going at all like I thought. Not even close.

  “I mean, it’s like being a vampire, right? Minus the bloodsucking?” Her sparkling eyes eagerly search mine. “Oh, and without all the coffins and sun avoidance too!” Her voice rises with glee. “This is so amazing—like a dream come true! Everything I’ve ever wanted has finally happened! I’m a vampire! A beautiful vampire—but without all the gruesome side effects!”

  “You’re not a vampire,” I say, voice dull, listless, wondering how it got to this point. “There’s no such thing.”

  Nope, no vampires, no werewolves, no elves, no fairies—just immortals, whose ranks, thanks to Roman and me, are quickly multiplying . . .

  “And how can you be sure of that?” Haven asks, brow raised.

  “Because Damen’s been around a lot longer than I have,” I say. “And he’s never met one—or met anyone who’s met one. We figure the vampire legends all stem from immortals, only with a few big distortions—like the bloodsucking, not being able to go out in sunlight, and the whole being allergic to garlic thing.” I lean toward her. “It’s all been added on for extra drama.”

  “Interesting.” She nods, though her mind is clearly elsewhere. “Can I still eat cupcakes?” She motions toward the dented strawberry mess, one side caved in, flattened against its cardboard container, while the other side remains fluffy, begging to be eaten. “Or is there something else I’m supposed to—” Eyes going wide, giving me no time to reply before she slaps the table and squeals, “Omigod—it’s that juice, isn’t it? That red stuff you and Damen always drink! That’s it, huh? So, what are you waiting for! Hand it over already, let’s make it official—I can’t wait to get started!”