At a time when most girls are worried about prom dresses, Lorelei Stamper is worried about losing her skin—literally. Receiving a sealskin from her Aunt, her world is changed. Not only is she a selkie, but she holds the key to breaking a curse affecting all selkie. Now, monsters are stalking her, forcing her to decide if she will end the curse before she even really understands what’s happening. When Declan, one of two bodyguards sent to protect her, wakes her sleeping heart, she must try to balance love, surviving her senior year, and deciding whether she wants to be human or not. No matter what she chooses, the fact remains that breaking the curse demands blood. Hers.
This is a family heirloom. It’s sealskin from your great-great grandmother. Whatever you do, don’t lose it. Always keep it hidden, and above all else, never put it on.
Someday I’ll tell you the story behind it. Until then, keep it safe.
Love, Aunt Celeste
I snorted and put the note aside. Sealskin? Why on earth would anyone wear it anyway? Wasn’t that illegal?
I peeled away the paper, revealing a soft, mottled brown pelt. As I brushed the short hair, a tingle moved up my hands, flowed over my body, as if I’d walked through a field of static electricity. The scent of the sea intensified, and I had the uncanny urge to pick up the skin and rub my face on it. It was like being handed a piece of a dream I couldn’t quite remember. But I knew I liked it.
“What did Celeste send this time? Something—” my mother, Miranda Stamper, stood, mouth hanging open, unable to finish her sentence. She stared at the skin like it was a snake, poised to strike.
“It’s sealskin. I don’t get it. Her gifts are usually weird, but this really tops all.” The nonchalance in my voice sounded strained, even to me. I offered the article to my mother, though I didn’t want to. My arms shook with the effort of ignoring the urge to cradle it to my chest.
“Put that back in the box, Lorelei. Never take it out again.”
My mother trembled, her eyes never leaving the fur in my arms. She looked fearful and backed up a step, brushing a hand over her eyes. Her voice shook. “I said, put it away.”
Shoving it back into the box, I couldn’t resist dragging my fingers over the skin one last time as I closed the flaps. As soon as it was out of sight, the compulsion to touch it lessened, but didn’t leave. I could still feel it, thudding like a strong bass beat in my chest.