The bad guys are licking their wounds leaving Claire and James to enjoy what promises to be a merry Christmas. Only a traitor among them sends Stephen and Claire into enemy hands. Past lovers, obligations, and rivalries compete, all the while the bond between Claire and James grows and Claire is pulled further toward the vampire side. James is growing dependent upon her to feed his humanity until the boundary that separates them is no longer clear. A potential husband and a job working for the Court threaten to take Claire's newfound control over her life from her and stick her firmly under someone else's thumb. She must try to keep her wits about herself enough to figure out what she wants before the ability to decide is gone forever, and try not to get any of her loved ones killed in the process.