Two worlds of wealth and passion call to Nora Sutherlin and, whichever one she chooses, it will be the hardest decision she will ever have to make. Unless someone makes it for her...
Wes Railey is the object of Nora's tamest yet most maddening fantasies, and the one man she can't forget. He's young. He's wonderful. He's also thoroughbred royalty and, reuniting with him in Kentucky, she's in his world now. But this infamous New York dominatrix is no simpering Southern belle, and Nora's dream of fitting into Wesley's world is perpetually at odds with the relentlessly seductive pull of Soren--her owner, her lover, the forever she cannot have. At least, not completely.
Meanwhile Nora's associate Kingsley Edge is only too happy to take her place at Soren's feet during her hiatus. Soren is the only man Kingsley has ever loved, and their dark, shared history has forged a bond that neither the years--nor Soren's love for Nora--can break. But a new threat from an old adversary is forcing Kingsley to confront the past, reminding him that he must keep his friends close, and his enemies closer.
As previously in the Angel, several storylines are intertwined in this one as well
South - follows Nora and Wesley. They reunited at the end of The Angel. Nora has come home with Wes to his family horse farm in Kentucky. His family is MUCH richer than he previously led her to believe, a fact which she found out in the last book as well. His dad (and his mom, I suspect, even though we only meet her once) doesn’t think much of her, because of how broken hearted Wes was when he returned home from Connecticut. Wes thinks his parents should mind their own business and introduces Nora to anyone who they meet as his girlfriend. Wes is still a virgin, which is a surprise to Nora. She had been told that he had a girlfriend while they were apart, and figured that they had been physical with each other. She is shocked to find out the truth: He and and his girlfriend didn’t take the next step because he’s still hung up on Nora.
Wesley shows Nora around his “world”, as he is practically Kentucky horse racing royalty. They attend a horse race, where Nora is surprised to run into Talel, a former client of hers. She bets on his horse, which wins, but tragically drops dead right after the race. That’s not unheard of, Wes tells her, racing is hard on horses. But Nora finds evidence in the stall that leads her to believe that someone killed the horse, but why? When she and Wes visit Talel’s home Wes picks up something off in Talel’s reaction to the horse’s death and the resulting investigation. They do some sneaking around on his estate and find that most of his high dollar fancy stables are sitting empty, which is truly strange. They leave scratching their heads.
After some time reacquainting, Nora and Wesley start sleeping together, and they can’t get enough of each other. Nora’s fears of vanilla sex take a backseat to teaching her beloved Wesley just what to do with a woman, and Wesley is nothing less than an apt pupil. Eventually Nora wins the respect of Wes’ dad, after having to show a brutal example of her iron will. Despite all of this, Nora still can’t answer the one question that Wesley is dying to know: will she stay with him, or will she return to Soren?
North, Past - I’ve been waiting for this one! **rubs hands together in glee** This is the story of how Kingsley and Soren met, at St. Ignatius school up in Maine. Kingsley is sent there against his will, after being kicked out of his previous school. He has a reputation for running through the ladies, and not being terribly concerned with their boyfriends or brothers. Well they came back for some retribution, and he’s lucky he didn’t get stabbed to death. His parents have recently been killed in a train wreck, and he is keenly missing his sister Marie-Laure, who is a ballerina in Paris. When they meet, Soren calls him out on the fact that Kingsley is putting on like he doesn’t understand English, so their early relationship is Soren being indifferent (but he is warming up to him slowly) and Kingsley being first annoyed by Soren, then intimidated, and finally uncomfortably attracted. The first year they are together at school is mostly a flirtation, ending with a violent consummation right before summer break. King’s grandparents almost don’t allow him to return, but King is determined to get back to Soren.
When he returns, he finds that Soren has graduated, and is now a teacher there at the school. This does not diminish their plans one bit, but makes them more cautious of discovery. They establish themselves a getaway out in the woods, in a little shack known as the hermitage. It was formerly the home of one of the monks, who has long since gone to his final reward. The rumor is that the place is haunted, so they are fairly certain they will not be disturbed out there. Time passes and King is no doubt got it bad for Soren, who remains aloof in public, and denigrating in private, which is one of his kinks. King has no idea how much Soren actually loves him until Soren arranges to have Marie-Laure come to the country to visit him. The siblings are overjoyed to be back together for her month long visit, but the moment she catches sight of Soren, Marie-Laure is smitten. She determines that she must have him, and puts her plan into action.
Kingsley is dismayed when she tells him that Soren has told her that they could be married: she left out a few key details that we already know. (that it was to keep her in the country, to make Kingsley happy; also so that Soren could get access to his trust fund thus eliminated the threesome’s monetary worries ) A short while after the wedding she tells Kingsley that Soren has yet to touch her, and she can’t figure out why. She asks him if he thinks that Soren may have someone else. Kingsley is mad with jealousy that she gets as much time with Soren as she does that was previously devoted to him. He tells her that there might be someone else in Soren’s life, leading Marie-Laure to make the chilling vow “I will kill the bitch”. Not long after this, Kingsley engineers a moment between him and Soren so that Marie-Laure will catch them kissing. Once she sees this, she runs off into the woods and is later found dead, either by accident or her own hand, no one knows. Kingsley is consumed by guilt, thinking that he has caused his sister’s death.
North, Present - The drama that started in the Angel is still continuing. Last book someone broke into Kingsley’s townhouse and stole Nora’s file. Now Kingsley has received an anonymous letter that contained an old picture of him and Soren together at school. Not many people know that they were together at school or that they were together at school, or that King is a switch, which he would really like to keep to himself. That in itself is worrisome, and Kingsley suspects Soren’s sister Elizabeth. She is a passionate advocate for victims of child abuse, having been one herself. If she found out about Soren and Nora - especially about how they started, that she was only 15 when they met, - she would destroy him on principle, without a thought of consensuality or not. Soren and Kingsley ride up to her place to ask her a few questions, only to be greeted by Elizabeth at the door, frantic and thinking that someone called them to come to her.
Her house has been broken into. Nothing was stolen, but Soren’s childhood bed has been set on fire (without damaging anything else in the room) and the words “Love thy sister” written above in on the wall with the ashes. Elizabeth is in a panic thinking that someone has found out her and Soren’s secret past. They all assure each other that the only people who know this secret are either dead or would never reveal it. Odds are whoever stole the file has discovered all of Soren’s secrets, because the only connection between Nora, Kingsley and Elizabeth is Soren. They go to their old school to ask some questions. One of King’s former friends is now a priest there, and King speaks to him about Marie-Laure. The question of her death is still up in the air - did she kill herself, or was it truly an accident? did someone find out about Soren and King’s relationship and that is why they are being threatened?
The morning after returning to his home, Kingsley is awakened to a horrible sight - someone has broken in again, and this time has killed one of his dogs - Sophie, his only female in his pack of rotties. They stabbed the poor dog in the heart, and wrote something on the wall. We are not told what it was, but the message made King spring into action. It seems that he is thinking something impossible - that all signs are pointing towards someone who knew them at school; or maybe - I don’t know how, but...his dead sister? He tells himself that it can’t be, but the message written on the wall leads him to only one conclusion.
Back down south in Kentucky, Wes eventually proposes, desperate to have Nora promise to leave Soren forever and stay with him. They are out on a horseback ride when he does this, and it’s obvious that she didn’t see it coming. She stalls until they get back to the barn. When they get there she tells him yes, and tries to get him to go directly with her to the main house to tell his parents. She has him by the hand tugging him out of the barn when next thing you know Wes’ lights go out. He has been hit over the head, and wakes up some time later to find blood on the ground a message carved on the wall, and no Nora. She has been kidnapped. He calls Soren right away, tells him she is missing and relays the message, which is in French. Soren translates, then hangs up, obviously desperate to call Kingsley.
The message is: “I will kill the bitch”
**dives straight into The Mistress**