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Dark Desire (Carpathians 02) Paperback – Import, 2007
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From the Back Cover
They were masters of the darkness, searching through eternity for a mistress of the light . . .
The stranger silently summoned her from across the continents, across the seas, whispering of eternal torment, of endless hunger . . . of dark, dangerous desires. And somehow American surgeon Shea O'Halloran could feel his anguish, sense his haunting aloneness.
Drawn to the far Carpathian Mountains, Shea found a ravaged, raging man, a being like no other. And she trembled. For in his burning eyes she recognized the beloved stranger who'd already become part of her.
But was she to be his healer . . . or his prey?--This text refers to the Digital edition.
About the Author
Christine Feehan has had more than forty novels published, including four series which have hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is pleased to have made it onto numerous other bestseller lists as well, including Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Washington Post, BookScan, B. Dalton, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, Ingram, Borders, Rhapsody Book Club, and Walmart. In addition to being a nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award, she has received many honors throughout her career, including a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and the Borders 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.--This text refers to the Digital edition.
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In the course of the book it is revealed that half her make up is the same as Jacques, that is Carpathian, and that is why they are inexorably drawn together as moth to flame. But Shea does not actually find him for many years, leaving Jacques in agony until she does.
The Carpathians are an ancient but dying race with supernatural powers. They are dying out because they rarely conceive and when they do, it is rarely female. This creates a situation where there is an excess of unattached males. The longer they go before finding a lifemate, the more likely they are to turn into vampires.
I love thrush descriptions in this book, being drawn into the scenes, feeling and sensing what the characters do. This book contains some violence and some highly erotic sex scenes.
In this universe Carpathians are a separate species in which the number of females is very low. Male Carpathians begin to lose the ability to feel emotion or experience color around their 200th birthdays unless they have joined with their lifemate. There is only one lifemate for each Carpathian although they can mate with someone who isn't their lifemate. Without a lifemate these older males are susceptible to becoming vampires in the traditional sense as killing during feeding offers a type of high similar to being a drug addict. Once a Carpathian becomes a Vampire the other males will hunt and kill him hopefully before he kills too many other Carpathians or humans. Males are overprotective of their lifemates. It is this where I have problems with the series. While the men say they only want their lifemates happiness, they also only want their lifemates happy with them. They have no problem forcing their lifemates will to their own.
As for the story, I enjoyed the beginning while Jacques was not quite aware. I was also very happy to see Mikhail and Raven from Dark Prince: Author's Cut Special Edition (Dark Series) return, but it would have appeased my individualistic nature if the Carpathian men weren't so domineering.
Overall, I did enjoy the story, I like that there is a thriller edge along with the romance. We also get more time with the vampires to see how they actually differ from the Carpathians.
I have already purchased and am reading the next book, Dark Gold (Dark (Avon)), and will probably also read Gregori's, Dark Magic, story. However, if by then I still feel that the H/h s are basically cookie cut outs of the original without unique personalities of their own, I won't read further.
ETA: After reading the first three books in the series I have come to this conclusion:
If you like strong heroines and heroes that want a strong partner and not a damsel in distress I recommend giving this series a miss.