In Arcadia, being different is HERESY.
Heresy is DEATH.
To survive, citizens must live, dress, and even love according to the United Council’s will. Their power is absolute—until a rebel bomb ignites at a national ceremony and unites the lives of three unlikely people.
When the bombing goes wrong, Nicolette Howell, a young heretic, finds herself alone and on the run, bearing secrets that Arcadia would kill for. When she’s captured, she must escape, but how can she, when her best chance lies with the son of her sworn enemy?
Driven by the execution of an innocent, Jacob Osgood, a United Councilor’s son, hunts for the truth about the heretic movement that Arcadia has hidden. But truth could cost him the one thing he cannot stand to lose: the girl who saved his life at the bombing.
Shiloh Haven, the orphaned daughter of heretics, is forced to become Arcadia’s spy in a sinister plot to destroy the heretic army. She faces a terrible choice: survive or risk everything to save the boy she might just love and the rebels who are her only chance of being free.
As their fates entwine, the three must answer an impossible question.
WHAT WOULD YOU DIE FOR?
She yanked at his shirt, ripping through buttons to bear his red stained chest and abdomen. She pulled off her own shirt and pressed it to his wound to slow the bleeding. That was what the first aid class at school had said. Apply pressure. Stop the bleeding.
But her white shirt rapidly turned red.
“If you wanted to get me naked,” Osgood said through clenched teeth, “you could have just asked.”
“Shut up!” Now was not the time for joking. It certainly wasn’t the time for her cheeks to burn, realizing she now wore only her bra. “Froq, do you ever stop flirting?”
“Nope.” He’d probably meant to say it glibly, but the word ended in a gasp of pain.
Focus, Shiloh. You need a plan.
She could drag him to a place to take cover. A classroom was only ten feet away, but it might as well have been a mile. Or, another option, she could leave him and crawl away to safety.
That was Rule #1, right? She stood a better chance of survival if she left Jacob Osgood here. And, after all the things she’d lost, wouldn’t it be justice that Councilor Osgood lost something too? But when she glanced at Osgood’s face, for once barren of the cocky smile he always seemed to wear as he strode around campus like he owned the place. For once, she didn’t see the Councilor. She only saw a boy as terrified as she was.
I’m not going to leave him.
“Hey.” Osgood’s breath came faster and faster. Panic? Or a collapsing lung? “What’s your name? We could die in here together, and I don’t even know your name.”
Shiloh glared at him. “Survive, and I’ll tell you my name. Now push yourself up.”