Jude Gallagher expected the summer before her senior year to be no different than all her other summers. As always, she’ll get a little sunburnt at the country club pool, gorge on too much pizza and too many movies with her gang of close friends, and work really hard at keeping Kane O’Reilly’s flirtations at bay. But honestly, holding him off is becoming increasingly difficult. Despite the fact that Kane is one of her best friends going all the way back to kindergarten, she can’t help noticing how absolutely gorgeous he’s become. And charming. And sweet, too. He’s definitely not the same, little boy from her childhood days, and she’s reminded of this every single time he flashes those twin dimples her way. But… he’s Kane, and he’s one of her best friends. She can’t go there. She can’t.
When her friend Frankie Melmack announces the subject of their summer scholarship project, Jude forgets all about Kane O’Reilly for a while. Together, she and Frankie dive into the world of the Vatra u Krvi, a secret race of people created with Phoenix blood. Jude is skeptical at first, and even tries to convince Frankie of how risky this fantasy science fair project really is. And when a spontaneous camping trip in the name of research goes awry, she’s certain of it.
But as she’s carried deeper into the strange world of the Vatra u Krvi, aka the Firebloods, Jude uncovers a world like nothing she’s seen before. Without intending to, she slowly begins to unravel a truth that exposes a deep, forbidden secret buried right in her own hometown. And as heat surges across the Nevada desert Jude realizes just how unordinary her summer is going to be. And Kane O’Reilly? He’s at the very center of it all.