Monday, November 8, 2010

DARK PERIL by Christine Feehan

A Carpathian Novel #21
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Date published: September 2010
ISBN: 978-0-515-14824-4
Romantic Fantasy
Reviewed by Tammy
Obtained via: publisher

Christine Feehan’s latest Carpathian novel, DARK PERIL, is the story of Dominic of the Dragonseekers and Solange, one of the last royal pureblood jaguar people.

Dominic, an ancient Carpathian of the Dragonseeker line, has ingested vampire blood in an effort to sneak into the enemy camp and learn their plans before the parasites in his blood force him to end his life. He has no idea that the dreams he has been having of a fierce and beautiful female warrior are in fact real. When he realizes she is his life mate, all his plans are put in question.

Solange is one of the last of a dying breed of jaguar people. She has been fighting for years to save the mistreated female jaguar people who have been slowly killed off by Solange’s birth father, Brodrick, as he believes women are for breeding and if they can’t produce shifters, they serve no purpose. Now that she has decided to go on a suicide mission to kill Brodrick, she finds her dream man is actually her destined life mate. Together they will save their people or die trying.

Feehan’s Carpathian books all follow a basic blueprint: overbearing alpha males who are at the end of their endurance fighting vampires and barely hanging on to the hope of meeting their life mate, the one woman created solely for them, who completes them and brings light to their darkness. Theirs is a life without color or emotion until they find their life mate and color and emotion come rushing back. So if they go a little overboard in the protection and seeing to their life mate’s happiness department, I suppose it can be forgiven. DARK PERIL both follows this same blueprint and veers a bit from the path.

This reader was really pleased to see that unlike all the Carpathian men before him, Dominic is able to give Solange time to get used to the idea of having a life mate before she must undergo the transition and bind herself to him for all time. Solange remains true to herself throughout the book while trying to learn to trust Dominic and accept happiness for herself for the first time in her life. For this reader, the lack of the usual endless sex scenes was a welcome relief. The build up to the big event was far more satisfying and sensual than reading one sex scene after another.

Where this book disappoints is in its pace. The story flows slowly as we wait for Solange and Dominic to finish their “missions” and there really wasn’t enough suspense to keep the storyline moving along. Once you have read a few of these Carpathian books, you pretty much know how the fight scenes with the vampires are going to go and how they are going to end. So suspense is a key ingredient to making these books work.

Christine Feehan has an enormous fan base for her Carpathian books, so I have little doubt that DARK PERIL will be well received, even with its lack of suspense and dragging pace. A big thank you to Feehan for allowing Dominic to slow down the mating process and get to know his life mate. It may be time to bring this testosterone filled series to a close. After all, this is not Feehan’s only great selling series. Her Drake sisters and Ghostwalker books are still highly anticipated books. Still, if she pens another Carpathian book, no doubt this reader will be unable to pass it up. When you find a really great storyteller, you do tend to stick with them.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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