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While grieving the abrupt end of her blood bargain with nineteenth century pianist John Simons, eighteen-year-old Melissa Marchellis packs sensible goals for her life and marches off to college, where her obsession flings her into a relationship with a music professor, a man with a shady reputation and an uncanny resemblance to John. Meanwhile, Melissa’s peer support crumbles, as her friends make other choices for their lives. Shelly and Laura attend out of town schools. Ann forsakes her wealthy ambitions for a Munsonville boy. Julie is preoccupied with studying and dating a nice, but dull, psychology major. Katie runs away with an aging medicine man. Melissa quickly cycles from pursuer to victim when the professor develops a mysterious illness requiring unusual treatments; neighborhood pets disappear at alarming rates; and she begins caring for a child with a number of disturbing qualities: a voracious appetite, abhorrence for meat, luxurious red hair that defies trimming, extreme intelligence, and musical abilities beyond its tender years. As her world unravels, Melissa glimpses the horrifying truth beneath her choices. Will Melissa use that knowledge to finally break free from Bryony’s past?



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