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Bride

Recap, Summary & Spoilers



The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for Bride by Ali Hazelwood are below.

Quick(-ish) Recap

The two-paragraph version: This story takes place in a world where Humans, Weres and Vampyres co-exist. Misery (a Vampyre) marries Lowe (a Were) in a political alliance, since she is the daughter of the most powerful Vampyre in her Nest, and Lowe is the Alpha of his pack. Misery's best friend Serena has been missing for a month. She agreed to the marriage because she came across a note in Serena's things that makes her think Lowe is responsible for Serena's disappearance. Misery goes to live with Lowe and slowly develops feelings for him. She finds out that the note was in reference to Lowe's 7-year-old sister, Ana, and not him. Lowe confides in Misery that Ana is a Were-Human hybrid, which is unheard of.

Misery and Lowe's relationship turns intimate, but Misery is abducted by her own father. It turns out her father has been trying to get his hands on Ana to have leverage over Lowe and because she's a hybrid, but now that he is attached to Misery he tries to use her instead to tell him to hand over Ana. Her father admits to sowing discord between Weres and Humans for years in hopes they will not ally together and wipe out the Vampyres. He believes the Were-Human hybrids are a threat because if others knew it was possible it would encourage them to cross-breed and ally with one another. He was also the one to abduct Serena, since it turns out Serena is a hybrid. When Serena started looking into Ana (because Ana is also a hybrid) her father realized she knew about it and abducted her. In the end, Serena and Lowe manage to overpower Misery's father, and Misery decides to continue living with Lowe and the Weres. Misery's brother plans to take over their father's place and undo the harm he did. The book ends with Serena meeting Koen, one of Lowe's close friends, and them instantly have a bond together.

Bride opens with a wedding ceremony between Misery Lark and Lowe Moreland. They are meeting for the first time today to firm this political alliance. Misery is from a very powerful Vampyre family and the daughter of the most influential councilman in their Nest. Lowe is the Alpha of his pack of Weres (werewolves). This story takes place in a world where Humans, Weres and Vampyres co-exist. Weres and Vampyires have been at war for centuries, but Vampyres and Humans have a tenuous alliance.

In Chapters 1 - 8, the narrative jumps back 6 weeks, to Misery being interrupted at her office job -- as a highly skilled white-hat hacker -- to be brought to her father, who is the most influential figure among their species. He explains that their alliance with the Humans against the Weres is on unstable footing due to the election of a new Governor. Instead, there has also been a change of leadership among the Weres. The Weres are now open to attempting an alliance and securing it through marriage. He wants Misery to marry the Alpha Were and spend one year with them. She protests at first, but agrees when she's told who she would be marrying.

Vampyre alliances have historically been secured with "collateral", each side offering up a valuable hostage to be sent to live with the allied species. Misery was Vampire "collateral" in the Human-Vampyre alliance her youth, and is now going to serve a similar purpose in the new Were-Vampyre alliance. The Were "collateral" is a woman named Gabi who is marrying her brother Owen.

The book soon reveals that Misery's childhood companion and best friend, Serena Paris, has been missing for a month. After trying to track her down, Misery located a page ripped out of a planner marked with an encoded message that said "L.E. Moreland", which is why Misery agreed to the marriage -- she wants to use it as an opportunity to find out what happened to Serena.

After the wedding, Misery moves into the room adjacent to Lowe at his place. She being monitored, but she manages to look into Serena's disappearance. She gets to know Ana, Lowe's 7-year-old younger sister. When there is a kidnapping attempt against her, Misery stops it, though it turns out it was a plot to entrap a group of "Loyalists" who oppose Lowe.

In Chapters 9 - 23, as she gets to know Lowe, she sees that he is the strongest of his kind and compassionate. His predecessor was Roscoe, who was a cruel tyrant. So, Lowe challenged him and won. However, Roscoe's mate Emery is the leader of the "Loyalists".

Feelings grow between Misery and Lowe, though Misery learns that Gabi (the Were collateral) is Lowe's mate. When Misery gets caught snooping around, she's forced to admit that she went there to investigate her friend's disappearance. It turns out "L.E. Moreland" is actually referring to Ana, whose full name is "Liliana Esther Moreland". Lowe confides in Misery that it's a secret that Ana is half-Human and half-Were. They share a mother, but he doesn't know who her human father is. Misery wonders why Serena, a journalist, was looking into Ana.

Lowe instructs Alex, the "tech guy" among the Weres, to work with Misery in her search. Misery also gets to know Juno and Cal, two trusted friends and advisors of Lowe's. And Misery's favorite among her protective detail is Mick, an older Were who previously served Roscoe and chose to support Lowe when he challenged Roscoe.

Misery and Alex's search lead them to the discovery of the name of Ana's father, Thomas, but it turns out he was killed in a car accident two weeks after Serena's disappearance. They learn that his death was engineered by the former Governor Davenport. Meanwhile, Misery helps Lowe on a mission to plant spyware at the Loyalist base under the guide of a peaceful meeting with Emery. They're successful, though Misery gets poisoned in the process and survives. During the mission, Misery and Lowe act on their feelings for one another.

In Chapters 24 - 30, Misery's twin brother Owen asks to meet with her. Misery, Owen, Lowe and Gabi meet up. Owen says that he plans to challenge their father and make a bid for his role as Councilman. Misery doesn't take it seriously at first, but Owen intends to end the collateral system and to stop hostilies among the species.

Seeing Lowe and Gabi interact, Misery realizes that Lowe isn't really Gabi's mate. He admits it's true, that he lied because otherwise they'd want someone else close to him and the only one that could fill that role would be Ana, and he wasn't willing to hand her over. Lowe and Misery have sex, but afterwards Lowe tells Misery that he doesn't share her feelings and they should be apart.

Afterwards, Misery is abducted. She wakes up to find out she's in captivity with Serena, who has been locked up for the last three months. They stage an escape, but soon are stopped and brought to their captors -- Misery's father.

Her father admits to sowing discord between Weres and Humans for years in hopes they will not ally together and wipe out the Vampyres. He believes the Were-Human hybrids are a threat because if others knew it was possible it would encourage them to cross-breed and ally with one another. It turns out Serena is a hybrid. When she started looking into Ana (because Ana is also a hybrid) her father realized she knew about it, which is why Serena had to be abducted.

Lowe is then brought in. It turns out her father has been trying to get his hands on Ana to have leverage over Lowe and because she's a hybrid, but now that he is attached to Misery he tries to use her instead to tell him to hand over Ana. Also, it's revealed that Mick is the one who drugged Misery and abducted. His son has been captured by the Vampyres and they're using that to control him.

In the end, Serena and Lowe manage to overpower Misery's father. Mick and his son are reunited though its unclear what his fate will be. Lowe admits to his feelings for Misery, and she decides to continue living with Lowe and the Weres. The book ends with Serena meeting Koen, one of Lowe's close friends, and Koen instantly realizing that Serena is his mate.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Prologue

In the prologue, Misery Lark, a Vampyre (vampire), gets ready to marry Lowe Moreland, a Were (werewolf). Misery is a councilman’s daughter. Lowe is an Alpha. Lowe is too busy to meet with Misery before the wedding.

Misery’s brother Owen worries about her safety in marrying a Were. There has been a war between Vampyres and Weres for centuries and this wedding is a symbol of peace. It required complex negotiations. Instead of either Vampyres or Weres for security at the wedding, the compromise was that all security personnel would be Humans.

Many years ago, there was another attempt at a cross-species wedding, known as “The Aster”, and the result was a bloody disaster. They are hoping this will not be a repeat of that.

The ceremony takes place at night. Misery is walked down the aisle by her father, who arranged this alliance. Before he lets her go, he reminds her that her new groom is dangerous and that she should be careful not to “cross him”. There is a brief tense moment at the wedding when it is unclear whether violence will break out, and Lowe asks her about her smell which is distinctive to him. But then rings are exchanged and the two are married.

Chapter 1

Six Weeks Before the Ceremony

Six weeks before, Misery is at work at her office job, where her co-workers know her as “Missy“. They believe she has a “circadian rhythm disorder” which is why she comes in at night. She works as a white-hat hacker whose job is to attempt to breach or circumvent security systems others have set up in order to identify weaknesses.

To her surprise, her father’s right hand woman and Head of his Guard, Vania, shows up at her place of work. Vania says that Misery has been summoned by her father. When one of her co-workers laughs at Vania’s usage of the word “summoned”, Vania bares her fangs at him and the guy freaks out.

Misery is brought to the Nest, the tallest building in the city that marks the heart of Vampyre territory. It’s also the center of the community, the place to go for them to go for various needs — like a pint of blood, shopping or just a permit. The uppermost floors belongs to influential families, and primarily Misery’s family. It’s where she grew up.

As she heads to her father’s office, the walls are lined with windows with expensive treatments to let the sunlight in without harming the Vampyres inside. Outside is the view of the river that divides the City into the North and the South. The North is Vampyre territory, and the South is Were territory. There is a single bridge between the two areas with heavy surveillance on both ends.

When Misery meets with her father, Councilman Lark, he apprises her of the current political situation. The Vampyres had an alliance with the previous Human governor, Arthur Davenport, against their common enemy — the Weres. While humans are weak in many ways, they are numerous and there is power in numbers. That arrangement is now broken due to the election of a new governor, Maddie Garcia. Maddie refuses to even meet with Councilman Lark. Maddie also does not want to honor their previous arrangement whereby both sides offered up as collateral one member of their species that had close ties to leadership. As a minor, Misery had served as the Vampyre Collateral until she turned 18, while Governor Davenport’s grandson had been held by the Vampyres.

Meanwhile, the situation with the Weres is also in flux. Long before the centuries-long war the two species are currently in, the Weres and Vampyres maintained a tenuous peace through a series of five successful marriage alliances. The sixth attempt, the Aster, was 200 years ago, but the Weres decided to attack during the wedding ceremony and it was a disaster that resulted in the current situation.

However, very recently some boys who were stupid enough to cross into Were territory were interrogated, deemed to be harmless and sent back alive. In the past, they would have certainly been killed, but apparently, there’s been a change in the leadership among the Weres. Their previous Alpha, Roscoe was cruel and brutual. The new leader seems different. It appears they are in diplomatic talks, and it’s been decided that a marriage will be arranged to secure their new allice. More importantly, Misery’s father wants her to be the bride. She would be sent to live with them the Weres for a year, and during that time the Weres would also send someone to live among the Vampyres, as collateral.

At first Misery is completely against it. She says she’s already done her duty and she was treated like a traitor because of it. Her father reminds her of how dire the situation is — if the Weres and Humans form an alliance instead, they could be wiped out. Her father also reminds Misery of the most basic Vampyre tenet that “the good of our people as a whole comes before the good of the one”.

Finally, he tells her the name of the Were she would be marrying, and Misery suddenly agrees.

Chapter 2

In present day, after the nuptials, Misery chats with soon-to-be-former-Governor Davenport. As they chat, she thinks about her friend and foster sister Serena Paris. As the Vampyre Collateral, Misery was sent to live with humans and Serena was her foster sister. They met as children when Misery was 10. Serena was very curious about her and Vampyres in general, and they became close friends.

Meanwhile, Davenport mentions to Misery that the Were Collateral being sent to live with the Vampyres is Lowe’s mate. Misery is suprised to learn that Lowe is functionally already married.

Misery goes looking for Owen and overhears part of a tense conversation between Lowe and an older man. She tries to overhear more, but Lowe senses her presence. During the first dance, Misery and Lowe chat. He’s familiar with her history and knows that she’s been living with a false identity among the humans, something that is typically forbidden for Vampyres to do. He also know how many assassination attempts she had to deal with as the Vampyre Collateral from anti-Vampyre groups. He asks her pointedly why she agreed to this, knowing how dangerous it is, but Misery doesn’t respond. In her mind, she thinks about Serena, who has been gone for a month now.

The dance is interrupted by someone coming at Misery’s throat with a knife, but Lowe stops the attacker’s blade with his hand. Afterwards, he then tells Misery that they should just agree to stay out of each other’s way for the next year. Misery spends her wedding night alone.

Chapter 3

Misery is awoken in the night by a were-child, Ana, 7, who tells her that this used to be her room, and she still has the spare key. The child says that Lowe is in the adjacent room, and when she had nightmares when she was younger, she would go to him. Misery asks if Lowe is her father, but they’re interrupted by the sound of a woman, who informs Misery that the child’s father is dead and that Lowe is her brother. The woman, Juno, also tells misery that many were-children are orphans because of Vampyres. The woman leaves, and then it’s just Misery and Serena’s cat in the room.

Misery’s thoughts wander to Serena’s disappearance. Serena was someone who grew up in an orphanage, and then became Misery’s companion. They continue to be friends as adults. One day, Serena doesn’t show up to their plans. She also doesn’t show up to work and isn’t responding to texts or calls. When she goes to the police, they dismiss Misery’s concerns since she’s just a friend and they say Misery probably just didn’t get informed of Serena’s vacation plans. Misery ends up breaking into Serena’s apartment. Misery goes through all of Serena’s things and finds a balled up piece of paper. On it, there’s a string of gibberish, which Misery thinks might be an encrypted code. She untangles it and ends up with the words: “L.E. MORELAND”.

Chapter 4

After the discovery, Misery had determinedly searched everywhere for any traces of an “L.E. Moreland and found frustratingly little. Instead in a human government server, she found on solitary memo, dated from around the time of Serena’s initial disappearance, saying “Lowe Moreland and M. Garcia are expected to be present. Security will be increased.” At that point, Misery felt certain she was on the right track and that someone was very good at covering up their tracks for her to have found so little.

A Were named Alex is assigned to show Misery around. Misery also asks him some questions and learns that someone named Gabrielle was Lowe’s mate. He also explains that it’s considered the sign of a powerful Were if they can shapeshift at will or prevent shapeshifting during a full moon. He also says that Lowe is the strongest Were around, for that reason but a lot of other reasons too.

Later, when Misery is trying to snoop around, a 18-year-old-ish boy Were named Max comes across her. He makes his dislike of Vampyres clear. He brings up how he’s surprised Lowe would marry once considering how they took nearly as much from Lowe as they did from him (Max). When Misery points out what the Weres have done to her people, they argue, and he lunges at Misery. Misery manages to hold her own and bares her fangs at him, but then Lowe shows up and separates them.

Chapter 5

Misery tells Lowe that she was just defending herself. However, Juno, who showed up when Lowe did, accuses Misery of planning to drink Max’s blood. Misery says it doesn’t make sense for her to do that when there’s a fridge full of blood fifty feet away. When Misery says that Max called Lowe a traitor for marrying her, then Juno becomes furious and indignant at Misery for implying that Max is a “loyalist”. Misery has no clue what a loyalist even is. Lowe finally orders Juno to leave and tells Misery that she needs to behave herself.

Chapter 6

After the Max incident, Misery is on strict surveillance and accompanied everywhere. She has a number of wardens/”protective detail” staff, but Mick is her favorite, the older gentleman she’d seen Lowe talking to at the wedding.

She gets a call from Owen, checking up on her. Though they don’t resemble one another, she and Owen are twins. They have a natural understanding one one another, and easily picks up her meaning when she tries to insert hidden messages in her speech to ask him about Serena and if he knows what “Loyals” are. Owen says he’ll look into it.

Back in her room, she is shocked when Ana appears again because they already took away her key. However, Anna says she climbed in through the window this time. As she chats with Anna, Anna mentions “her cat”, which turns out to be Serena’s cat that has been disappearing to go sleep with Ana instead apparently. Ana has named the cat “Sparkles“. Ana also mentions that Lowe is gone for the night.

Chapter 7

Using a hairpin, Misery breaks into Lowe’s room. She goes through his stuff and finds a bunch of very well done architectural sketches in his closet. She also finds a sketch of herself.

The next day, she’s in her room and notices a gathering of a few dozen Weres out front, hanging out by the lake and grilling. Lowe and Ana are both out there. Misery notices when Max goes to speak to Ana. He’s pointing and she’s shaking her head. Then, he takes her hand and starts walking with her towards the woods. Misery sees that no one else has noticed, and something about it feels wrong to her. Finally, she takes of running outside to stop him. The sun burns her skin, but she keeps going. When she demands that he stop, a group of Weres come out from the trees.

Chapter 8

The next thing she knows, Max is tied up, and Lowe and Juno and the rest are all in there questioning him and Misery. They accuse Max of planning to abduct Ana. They also reveal that they knew all along that Max was working with the “loyalists” and that they were following Matt to see where or to whom he would take Ana. They try to question Max, but he won’t talk. When they are about to resort to violence, Misery interrupts, offering to help.

She’s not strong at it so she needs help holding his head still for it to work, but she uses her eyes to put him into a “thrall” (a state of hypnosis). Then, she asks him what he was doing. In his hypnotized state, Max admits that he was bringing her to the loyalists to use as leverage to try to force Lowe to step down from his position. He says he believes it was Roscoe’s mate, Emery, directing the operation but he didn’t speak to her directly.

At that point, Misery is sent back to her room while they question Max. Misery is disappointed not to hear the outcome of their interrogation, but takes the opportunity while they are all preoccupied to snoop around in Lowe’s office to see if she can find any information about Serena’s disappearance. She hacks them and is running some code when a wolf interrupts her.

Chapter 9

The wolf turns out to be Cal, one of Lowe’s seconds (closest advisors/allies/commanders). Lowe is also there and he demands to know what she is doing. Misery is reluctant to say. However, when Lowe threatens to interpret this as a sign of aggression from the Vampyres, Misery tells him the truth so he knows this had nothing to do with the pack and that she wasn’t transferring data back. Alex, who apparent set up the IT infrastructure for the Weres, confirms that there was no transfer protocol set up.

Misery says that she’s looking for her friend Serena an was convinced that Lowe was the one who took her. She explains that she found the name “L.E. Moreland” in her planner for the date she disappeared. While they’re talking, Juno calls for Ana using her full name, “Liliana Esther Moreland“, and Misery realizes the person Serena was interested in was Ana, not Lowe. Serena was a journalist so it’s possible it had to do with something she was working on.

Chapter 10

Misery and Lowe sit down at the kitchen table, and Lowe offers to bring Misery into his confidence regarding the truth about Ana. He’s only told Juno and Cal this, but he says that he trusts her because Weres have a keen sense for when people are lying. He tells her that Ana and he share the same mother, who was a Were. But Ana’s father was a Human, though he doesn’t know who. Mixing species is basically unheard of.

Lowe also talks about why and how he became Alpha of their pack, the largest one in North America. Roscoe was a cruel tyrant, and he knew that Roscoe viewed him as a threat and that Ana being half human as well as his sister was dangerous for her. Roscoe had “no tolerance” policies resulting in the death of many Weres, and dissent resulted in violence and death. His mother was one of his seconds who was killed for publicly disagreeing with him. Finally Lowe challenged him, resulting in fights with Roscoe’s other seconds, which Lowe won, making him the new Alpha.

Meanwhile, Misery sneaks some peanut butter even though Vampyres don’t eat. When Lowe notices, Misery explains that Serena was the one who get her to try it and she likes the taste.

Chapter 11

Alex has been instructed to help Misery, so they work together to dig up potential leads on Serena. And later, Juno apologizes for the way she’s treated Misery. A jar of peanut butter appears in her fridge.

When the full moon rolls around, Misery is instructed to stay inside and be careful because young Weres that can’t control their powers will be out and about. Ana comes to find Misery and is sad about not being able to shift (because she’s half human). Lowe soon comes looking for Ana.

Chapter 12

The days pass more smoothly now, and Misery has hung out with Juno socially a few times, and it was fun. Today, they’re is in Lowe’s office with Alex and Lowe one day as Alex tries to teach him to do some coding stuff on the computer, unsuccessfully. Alex seems concerned about it, and Lowe reassures him that Alex can just guide him over the phone. Misery wonders what they’re trying to achieve.

They’re interrupted by Mick, letting them know that Ana has cooked them all dinner and is requesting their presence. Misery attends as requested even though she doesn’t eat. Over dinner, they talk about how Vampyres don’t celebrate birthdays, and Ana insists that they should throw a party of Misery.

Lowe then talks about how he’s going to see Emery, who had been Roscoe’s mate and is the one they suspect is leading the rebellion against Lowe. The others are concerned that it’s too dangerous and suggest that Lowe shouldn’t go. They think it’s a trap, but Lowe says his mind is made up.

Chapter 13

When Misery sees Lowe alone again, she asks him if her plan is to meet with Emery in order plant some type of spyware. She notes that it sounds like a terrible plan because he’s completely tech illiterate, and she suggests that he should bring her with him. However, he says it’s too dangerous.

He tells her more about his history. He had been living in Zurich studying and working as an architect when he’d gotten the news that his mother had opposed Roscoe and Ana was unprotected. Less than 12 hours later, he was back in the area, and his mother was dead.

He also explains how “seconds” work. There are various huddles/families of Weres, and they each elect seconds, who report to the Alpha. When Lowe challenged Roscoe, he was forced to fight many of the seconds, so Mick is the only second who has served them both. Mick’s wife and child, who had been 16, are both dead. They think it was some type of confrontation with the humans.

When Misery asks him what Mates are, Lowe says they are the one that you are meant for and the one that is meant for you. Physiological changes occur when you find your mate. Scent is a large part of it, it can smell it. Not everyone has a mate, and plenty of Were couples are together, but not mates. Mates mark each other by biting one another, which is an important aspect to the process.

Misery also shares a little about herself with him, too. She tells him that she and Serena had a big fight before Serena disappeared. It had been over an exciting and challenging job opportunity that Serena had thought Misery should pursue. Misery wasn’t that interested though, and Serena had gotten mad at her for being “aimless” and wasting her life.

Finally, at the end of the conversation, Lowe agrees that Misery can come with him to meet Emery, but she needs to be “marked”.

Chapter 14

When they land, they see a pack of Were awaiting them. Lowe explains that in order to make it clear that she’s not to be harmed, he needs to “scent” her to make her smell like him. It sends the message that she’s part of his pack.

Misery is fine with it, but Lowe explains that it requires rubbing his scent glands on her and licking her. Misery asks if the smell will bother him, since he’s mentioned her smell a few times since their wedding, but Lowe tells her that it’s distinctive to him because he loves the smell. Misery agrees to the scenting, and it turns into a very sensual moment between the two.

Chapter 15

When they get off the plane, Misery finds that Emery is surprisingly personable. They have a lengthy dinner, and afterwards Misery and Lowe have some time alone.

They talk about what happened in the plane, and Lowe admits that scenting is an intrinsically sensual act and one that he’s never done before. While he has a mate, Gabriella, it’s not reciprocated. She doesn’t even know she’s his mate. He won’t tell her because she would feel obligated be beholden to him.

Misery gets ready for bed, but Lowe says knows he won’t sleep tonight. He has insomnia and only sleeps every few days. He says that Ana used to have the same thing, but he’d scratch her scalp and it would put her to sleep. Misery does the same thing to Lowe and soon he’s asleep as well.

Chapter 16

The next day, Lowe spends the morning with Koen, an ally of his who has offered to distract Emery so they can do what they need to do here. Emery is Koen’s aunt, but Koen was never a fan of his family or Roscoe. When Misery sees them together, she realizes that Koen is a type of father figure or at least older brother figure for Lowe. Koen is also the Alpha of the Northwest pack and Amanda is his mate.

At dinner that night, Misery notices one of the guests, John, wearing a necklace with vial of what appears to be Vampyre blood, which is purple. But later when she sees him again, it’s no longer there.

Misery and Lowe excuse themselves and say that Misery needs to feed, but instead they sneak away to accomplish their mission. They locate a computer. The code needs a few more minutes to finish executing, but they think they hear guards coming. Misery tells Lowe to pretend to kiss her so they have an excuse for being somewhere they’re not supposed to be. Lowe says it’ll be more believable if she actually feeds on him, so she does it.

Chapter 17

The distraction works, but more importantly Misery is very overtaken by the sensation of feeding on him. It’s the first time she’s fed on someone else and it was difficult for her to let go. Afterwards, they are both very turned on, but they return to dinner.

Koen tells Lowe that Cal called and suggested that Lowe come back tonight instead of tomorrow because of something having to do with Ana.

Chapter 18

They head back immediately. Apparently, after Lowe left, Ana started feeling unwell. She’s been shivering and vomiting. Weres generally don’t get sick, but Ana is part human. They don’t know anything about human medicine, but Misery tells then she can tell them what drugs to get since she’s familiar with it from her time as collateral. Mick thinks they should take her into the human territory to get help, but Misery reassures him. Lowe goes to fetch the various medicines.

Meanehile, Misery asks Alex for help in getting a list of humans that were part of the Human-Were Bureau.

Chapter 19

Shortly after, Misery talks to Owen and he pieces together that she has fed on Lowe. Owen says that she should be discreet about it because the Weres would not be okay with it if they found out. It would be considered a defilement. He also says she shouldn’t do it again because there are complex attachments that form from repeated feeding.

When she sees Lowe again, he asks about her attempt to track down Ana’s father. Misery explains that she thinks it could be how Serena developed an interest in Ana — maybe someone told her about a half-Were child. And maybe that person was Ana’s father since how else would anyone know.

Afterwards, they both address their mutual feelings for one another. They’re about to kiss when Misery feels sudden agony everything goes black.

Chapter 20

For the next few hours, Misery is in constant pain. Soon, Dr. Averill, a Vampyre doctor, shows up. He explains that Misery has been poisoned. To deal with, her body will soon enter a healing trance where she’ll appear dead, but she’ll be ok. The doctor also informs them that he’ll need to inform Councilman Lark about this.

Lowe tells them to take Ana away somewhere in case she was the target.

When Misery finally awakes, she exits to find a large white wolf guarding her door. She assumes it’s Lowe as it herds her back into her room. Then, it cuddles up next to her to sleep.

Chapter 21

Misery recalls, at 18, meeting the new collateral that had been sent to take her place, an 8-year-old boy. Serena had been with her and they had talked about how wrong the whole collateral system was. Misery finds herself thinking about it as she recalls how passionately Serena had been against it, and how Misery’s own own feelings about it were a sort of resignation. She thinks about the argument they had when Serena accused her of being aimless and not caring about anything.

Except now, Misery starts to feel like she does care — that she wants to survive and that she cares about Ana and about Lowe.

When she finally goes downstairs, Lowe says she’s been out for five days. Someone poisoned the peanut butter. He also says that war with the Vampyres came close to breakout out because of the incident, and Ana is with Koen until they figure something things out. Lowe says their plan is to move Misery somewhere else too for her safety, but she refuses. She says they will figure this out together instead.

When they are alone, things get very intimate between them, but they’re interrupted when Owen calls.

Owen demands that Misery come home, but of course she says no. He also tells Misery that Serena’s apartment was broken into three days ago. There’s something else he wants to talk about, but he wants to talk in person. Lowe says they can arrange it.

Chapter 22

Now that she’s recovered, Alex informs Misery that he’s found a connection between someone at the Human-Were Bureau and Serena — Thomas Jalakas. She e-mailed with him and met with him. Oddly, there aren’t records of him having been at the Bureau, though it’s clearly on his CV. Lowe says he is certain that this is Ana’s father, but this man died in a car accident two weeks after Serena’s disappearance. Lowe also says he knows that Governor Davenport was the one who appointed him to his job, so he has gotten them an invitation to have dinner with the ex-governor at his place tomorrow.

When Misery needs to feed, Lowe tells her to feed from him instead. Misery wants to keep going, but Lowe says they can’t have sex since he thinks it’ll be a problem due to interspecies differences.

Chapter 23

They pick up a gift for the governor and head to dinner the next night. Governor Davenport brings up touchy topics, but Misery and Lowe don’t take the bait. After some general conversation, Lowe brings up his mother and brings the conversation around to Thomas, by saying it was someone she’d worked closely with. Davenport says that Thomas died in a car accident, but also that he “got around”.

Finally, Lowe angrily pushes Davenport against a wall. Finally, Davenport admits that Thomas had been talking to a journalist about embezzling that his administration was involved with so they had to have him killed.

Afterwards, Lowe confirms that they’re monitoring Davenport, but Misery still thinks it doesn’t make sense that Serena would just be working on a story about financial misdeeds if she somehow took an interest in Ana. Lowe thinks about it and suggests that perhaps Serena found out about Ana from someone else and told Thomas about it. He says that perhaps Serena realized at some point she was being targeted by the Governor and felt she needed to disappear, but Misery insists Serena would not have left without her.

Lowe then says they’re going to meet Owen. When they get to the location, Owen is there with Lowe’s mate.

Chapter 24

Owen and Gabi have been coupled together the way Lowe and Misery were, but Owen points out that unlike them, they haven’t developed messy feelings. Instead, they have a productive collaboration and some level of indifference.

In person, Owen tells Misery that he disagrees with many of their father’s decisions lately and that he plans to oppose him. He wants Misery’s support. Before he can say more, Misery declines to hear it since she doesn’t want to be accused of treason. Misery is completely dismissive of what he’s saying until he tells her what he’s trying to achieve. He says that he started concocting this plan when their father started planning to send Misery back into enemy territory. He wants to completely dismantle the collateral system, and he wants to negotiate their alliances in a way that keeps things from being a constant powder keg.

Misery realizes that in all the time she’s spent away from Owen he’s developed ideas of his own. Lowe tells him that he would be in support of someone whose ideas align with his own.

Meanwhile, Lowe asks Gabi how she’s doing. She says she’s mostly just minding her own business and taking classes online to complete her Master’s in Finance and Electrical Engineering. Seeing them interact, Misery feels sure that Lowe’s mate is not Gabi.

Chapter 25

While they’re in Vampyre territory, Lowe suggests dropping by Misery’s apartment. While they’re there, Misery tells him what she suspects about Gabi, that he lied about her being his mate. Lowe admits the truth — he says that the collateral was required to be a blood relative and he wasn’t giving up Ana. Instead, Gabi is a second who volunteered for the job.

They get intimate and end up successfully having sex. Afterwards, Misery tells Lowe that they must be mates, but Lowe tells her that he feels like he’s given her the wrong idea of what his feelings are for her. He suggests that they stay away from each other. Misery is heartbroken.

Chapter 26

After Lowe leaves, he sends Mick to pick up Misery. She gets in the car, and then he injects her with something.

Chapter 27

When she awakes, Misery realizes that Serena is there. Serena has been kept in this room since she was abducted three months ago. Serena confirms what Misery had been trying to piece together — that Serena had been reporting on certain financial crimes related to Governor Davenport, but ended up learning about Ana and her half-Were, half-Human status instead, which got her abducted.

They talk about how to escape, and Serena suggest that Misery try to put him in a thrall. When someone comes by to give Misery blood, she tries but fails. Instead, they have to grab his hand and threaten to dislocate all his fingers to get him to open the door. Once they’re outside of the room, it’s a short time before Misery realizes they are in the Nest in Vampyre territory. As they go towards an exit, they are stopped by Vania.

Chapter 28

Misery is brought to her father, and Mick is with him. Her father explains that they captured Mick’s son in a raid, and they have him in a thrall to ensure that Mick cooperates.

Misery is furious with him, but he says that these things are necessary for their survival. They’ve had to ensure over the years that Weres and Humans continue to be at odds with each other so they don’t leverage their strength (Weres) and numbers (Humans) over the Vampyres. The Were-Human hybrid represent a threat because if it was known that they could reproduce in this way, it might encourage Weres and Humans to find a way to ally with each other and wipe out the Vampyres.

Her father then tells them that two decades ago he learned from Governor Davenport that there was a half-Were, half-Human child that existed — it was Serena. For a long time, she didn’t know but when she got older her Were side started presenting itself and she started looking into her parentage since she didn’t understand what was happening to her, and then she got in touch with Thomas.

Meanwhile, Thomas Jalakas had been working for the Human-Were Bureau and started looking into how his former romantic partner was doing and saw a picture of Ana. He suspected it was his daughter and brought it to Governor Davenport’s attention. Davenport promoted him in hopes that he would drop the matter, but he only got more obsessed with it. Instead, Councilman Lack ended up intervening to get rid of Thomas.

Soon, Lowe is marched in with handcuffs and Owen is with him. Councilman Lark wants Lowe to hand over Ana so that they have something on him and because Ana represents a threat as a hybrid.

They’ve been made aware of the concept of mates, and Councilman Lark knows that Misery is Lowe’s mate. Misery denies it but when she ask him to deny it to them, he doesn’t. Councilman Lark then threatens to kill Misery if she doesn’t beg him to hand over Ana. He tells Misery he already tried to have her killed by poisoning her, which he did in order to distract Lowe. The dose of poison was too low though because Mick didn’t administer enough, and Councilman Lark punished Mick’s son because of it.

Then, Serena tells Misery in their secret language that she actually CAN shift. Misery then hints it to Lowe by saying that he should go be with Ana and *hint hint hint* if she can’t shift now she’ll probably be able to do it when she’s older. It takes a second, but Lowe understands that Misery is saying that Serena is a Were and can shift (I guess he somehow reaches the conclusion that Serena is also a hybrid by himself).

When Lowe says “now”, Lowe and Serena both shift and tear everyone apart (Owen is on their side, too).

Chapter 29

Afterwards, the Weres are busy interrogating Mick. Owen explains that finally got the footage of the break-in at Serena’s place about an hour after the four of them had met up, and Mick was the one who did it. Then, because the Weres were monitoring Davenport, they knew that he placed a call to Councilman Lark right after Lowe and Misery left his place. So, they’d pieced together that Davenport, Lark and Mick were all a part of something shady. They are also looking for Mick’s son while Mick’s fate remains unknown.

Meanwhile, Councilman Lark is alive and in captivity and blindfolded so he can’t thrall someone who walks in. Owen announces his plans to take over and undo everything he did to his father. Lowe asks what to do with him, but Misery says she’ll leave it to them to decide and that she doesn’t want to know unless necessary.

That night, Misery asks Serena why she didn’t tell her the truth. Serena says she wasn’t sure and she also knows how much Misery hates Weres. The two of them cry and hug.

Chapter 30

Misery and Serena hang out constantly the next few days while Lowe is preoccupied with political stuff. When negotiations are over, Lowe returns to Were territory. Owen mentions to Misery that neither Misery and Gabi will be collateral anymore, and Misery is surprised since she was expecting to go back with Lowe.

Serena wants to spend some time with Weres, so Misery takes her across the border and drops her off at Juno’s place. Then, she goes to Lowe’s. She’s surprised to find that her room has been packed up, with her stuff placed in boxes. She then notices that Lowe is standing behind her. She talks about dropping Serena off and about how it would be nice for her to meet Ana.

Lowe tells her that Mick and his son have been reunited, but he still hasn’t figured out what to do with this man who betrayed him, but also helped to raise him as a boy.

Misery then asks Lowe again if she’s his mate, but he says this is a Were concept and not something she can comprehend. However, he does say that he wants her, but he doesn’t want her to feel obligated to be with him. He also worries that if he doesn’t let her go now that he’s not going to be able to if they keep moving forward. He says that her stuff was packed up so they could change the windows into the ones she has at the Nest so that light can come through without hurting her. They have sex.

Epilogue

Misery and Lowe are putting up some artwork in Ana’s room before Ana’s return. She shows up with Koen, who has been taking care of her. Koen meets Serena and immediately it’s clear there’s something there. (I think the implication is that Serena is Koen’s mate.)

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