When Luce Price enrolled at Sword & Cross for her senior year, she never expected to learn her life had been repeated again and again. She had been seeing the shadows lurking near for a long time, long enough that she has stopped taking her meds. However with the recent confusing event that took place, her boyfriend burning right after their first kiss—her first ever—Luce had to convince everyone she was stable enough to stay off the antipsychotics. Her sentence on the other hand was leaving her best friend Callie and her beloved Plymouth Fury behind for reform school, mandated by the court.
Sword &Cross, a grim and creepy place with plenty of mold, barred windows, and a barbed wired fence surrounding the grounds, where cell phones are prohibited, cameras watch you’re every move, and the other students are juvenile delinquents. In a school with a messily 80 students Luce makes a few friends, and is quickly befriended by Arianne, one of the fallen angels staying at Sword & Cross. Arianne knows all the ins and outs in the school whose motto is “Meds, beds, and reds.” However, the one classmate she wants to know the best, the one she feels strangely familiar with, doesn’t want anything to do with her.
Daniel, a fallen angle who falls madly in love with Luce every seventeen years, shares a part in an ancient curse that destroys Luce and continues the cycle of her reincarnation. Daniel try’s to avoid Luce for her own good, but when evil Molly lands them both in detention; the shadows come and place Daniel in a position of having to save her.
While Daniel continues to avoid Luce his fallen enemy Cam comes in to sweep her off her feet. Cam is everything Daniel isn’t. He is kind, caring, and knows exactly the right times to make Luce feel better.
When Luce has the desire to be desirable the most because of Daniels constant belittling of her, Cam snatches her away for a little romantic picnic in the graveyard. When Neutrogena-model-look-alike Gabbe finds the two of them, she interrupts an almost kiss. What Luce didn’t know was a kiss shared with Cam might change everything she feels for Daniel. It might change her destiny, the curse, and the world as we know it.
Daniel decides to take a short break from his usual avoidance of Luce and take her to a lake for a swim. Luce interrupts the casual fun when she questions the familiar connection between them. Daniel turns back on the sadistic side and leaves Luce behind in the middle of the lake.
The shadow’s that have been lurking around Luce for twelve years only get more constant and aggressive while Luce is at Sword & Cross. She discovers she can fight them back, but when she is in the library doing some research on Daniel, the shadow’s become more aggressive than ever before. A fire breaks out in the library and Luce along with innocent Todd choke their way through the thick smoke to the exit. When they reach the hallway it’s not the smoke that they have to battle but the dark shadows lurking overhead that try to keep them from reaching the outside. Things get confusing when Luce and Todd are picked up and flown to the outside door. The bright light outside had Luces attention so she didn’t see the shadow that was coming toward them. The impact of the hit sent Luce flying to the ground and knocked her out. The impact of the force that hit Todd broke his neck and now Luce was left reliving her worse nightmare. The nightmare of that one day, the day that changed everything, and the day that got her sent here in the first place. Just like Trevor before, Todd’s’ death looked to be her fault.
When Luce shares with Daniel her deepest darkest secret, the secret she swore never to tell anyone, Daniel realizes that Luce can see the shadows. The Luce’s of the past has never been able to see them before. Daniel realizes this life is different.
Cam gets a little affectionate with Luce in front of Daniel. In Daniels rage he knocks Cam off of Luce and they begin to fight. Luce realizes just how much Daniel does care for her. In fact things at school get heated when both guys make it obvious as to care for her. Cam and Daniel continue competing and fighting for her attention. Luce has to do the right thing and tell Cam they can’t be together, however, is Cam willing to let her go?
Luce agreed to meet Cam by the front gates only to give back the serpent necklace he had given her and tell him how she felt, except for the part where she felt every devastating blow Cam laid on Daniel. When Luce goes to meet Cam, it’s not Cam she finds but a note and a ride to take her to him. When Luce arrives at the nasty old sink drain of a bar, things don’t go as planned. Cam gets into another fight when a homely drunkard picks a fight. Scared enough by Cam’s strength, Luce runs out the door and into the arms of Daniel there to rescue her.
On the way back to Sword & Cross, Daniel pulls the car over to go for a walk on the beach. Luce expresses her frustration with Daniels hot-one-minute-cold-the-next attitude by taking it upon herself to go after him. Luce gives Daniel a kiss on the lips, and though she felt the intense heat when he kissed her back, she did not burn up or disappear. Daniel on the other hand was confused. He knew something had to of changed, but he didn’t know what.
The next day Luce finds two notes under her door. One was from Cam wanting a chance to apologize for the night before, the other from Daniel asking her to join him by the lake. Luce wants to run to Daniel right away, however, she still owed Cam an explanation and decided to clear the air so she could really be with Daniel without confusions. When Luce meets with Cam, he forces her into a kiss. The kiss had Luce lost, she couldn’t remember Daniel or anything before that moment until Daniel and Gabbe steps in to roughly brake it up. While Gabbe takes care of Cam with her supper angel fighting abilities, Daniel takes off with Luce to explain the impossible.
Daniel tells Luce that he gets to live forever but is doomed to fall in love with her every seventeen years, because she never survives the kiss. Of course Luce doesn’t believe him. She doesn’t believe him when he tells her about her many past lives and she can’t wrap her mind around it when he tells her that she knows it to be true, although she feels it to be true.
The more Daniel said, the more she felt something inside her wake up. The more he said the weaker she felt. Luce had to get away, she needed to lie down. When she leaves Daniel broken in torment at the cemetery, she goes to her dorm where she finds the book her and Penn had been looking for. The book was written by one of Daniels relatives, so she thought.
Inside the front cover of the book revealed a shocking picture of Luce and Daniel in one of her past lives. The picture provided evidence of what Daniel had told her. Still, she couldn’t make sense of it. She needed Penn to help her reason with what knowledge she had been given. Penn however, could not be found, instead Luce runs into Miss Sophia. When Luce realizes that Miss Sophia knows more about her life than she does, she gets the overwhelming feeling to run to Daniel. Luce and Miss Sophia run off together toward the cemetery where Luce had left him.
At the cemetery, a lot more was going on than just a broken heart. Sparks were flying everywhere in the center of the graveyard, and a huge cloud of locus was perched high on the canopy of a tree. The peace between the angles had been broken and a battle was in the works. Luce had no idea what her still being here has done. She had no idea what anything even meant, but Luce none the less was in the middle of it all.
Miss Sophia ran with Luce and Penn, who had showed up in the cemetery, leaving Daniel and Cam to fight the angelic battle. Their mission was to run to safety, their fault was trusting Miss Sophia. One of the twenty-four elders, Miss Sophia earned some very unwanted attention in Heaven when she killed Penn and tried to sacrifice Luce.
Miss Sophia explains the difference in this life. In previous lives, Luce had always been baptized; she was always brought up with religion. In this life, Luce was not, her soul was up for grabs and Miss Sophia saw it as a means to end the war.
Daniel broke into the church/gym just in time to save Luce from the blade in Miss Sophia’s grip. The traitor might have gotten away for now, but the battle was still continuous and no one was safe yet. Luce had to leave Penn behind, she had to trust Daniel to give her friend a proper burial, and leave the school. Luce had no choice but to put her trust in another one of Sword & Crosses teachers. Mr. Cole however, is and will only be just mortal. After a too short a goodbye with Daniel, Mr. Cole flew Luce away from it all to a place where she will hide from all the dangers that want to do her harm.
It’s the curse that binds the two of them together, it’s the kiss that takes her away, and it’s the shadows that watch every move. This life however, is different. In this life Daniel can kiss Luce without losing her. This may be Luce’s last life. If she dies she’s not coming back, and there are a lot of fallen angels that want Luce dead. Caught in the middle of an ancient war, Luce has answers to find. She has huge decisions to make, and little help with discovering them.