Book Critique - Dark Desire (The Carpathian Novels #2)

For reviews of other books in this series: Go here

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: If you like paranormal plots with hint of romance, eroticism and the other world abilities involving immortals and vampires along-side humans with super-abilities, then this is a series to go for.

Dark Desire is the second book in the longest series, Dark Series, by Christine Feehan which was published in December of 1999. As mentioned in my previous review of the first book in this series, Dark Prince (My review of the book here), I am re-reading the series and posting the reviews as I move along. The second plot revolves around Jacques Dubrinsky – Prince of Carpathians Mikhail Dubrinsky’s brother – and Shea O'Halloran – a human doctor with immense psychic abilities. The plot is set roughly 25 years after the events of Dark Prince. This book has had a few nominations and came third place in 2000 Awards Romance Books and Readers under Fantasy category.

Carpathians are a powerful and ancient race who are near-immortals living for thousands of years with powers and gifts that no man can fathom. Despite their gifts and extended lifespans, they are at the age of extinction as fewer and fewer children are being borne and far lesser of females. Without their female counterpart aka "lifemates" the male Carpathians lose the ability to feel emotions leaving the males with hard choice: either become vampire or "greet the dawn" (i.e. commit suicide). Now that Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky finds a lifemate in a human female who has immense psychic abilities and is capable of converting, there is hope for all the other Carpathian males who have been holding off from turning into vampires – the very creature that they hunt and kill to save the humans and Carpathians alike.

Jacques Dubrinsky has been betrayed by one of his own to the human hunters and tortured endlessly losing his mind slowly. Yet during his tormented state his one thing to grasp and keep him from going insane was this female whom he can vision and call with thoughts. Shea O’Halloran, a genius medical surgeon, is pulled to this stranger who constantly beckons him to the fascinated land of Carpathian. And when she finally sees him for real and how much he has been tortured, her first instinct was to save him. But, with a fragmented mind as such and only vengeance on his mind, his first reaction was to harm Shea and kill her. And still there is something tangible between them that neither can ignore. Will she save him? Or will he kill her? Or will they act upon that tangible thing between them?

A powerful erotic plot woven by Christine Feehan around these two Carpathian lifemates revealing more of the life and perils of the Carpathians. Since the plot was set 25 years after the first book, I see glimpses of beginnings of technology in her plot. Christine has Shea working on a desktop computer. More abilities of the Carpathians are revealed and their struggles and perils in the 20th century as they approach the 21st century. The antagonists seem to be acquiring powers that they should not in normal ways acquire. Would be interesting to read how Christine would connect these dots in future books.

On a side note, I see card inserts for free books in this book as well. I don’t think anyone uses this format anymore. Oh I wish one would, it is so nostalgic. Also at the end of the book there is a page highlighting about Dorchester Publishing Company and how to reach them online as well as via phone. Although their website dorchesterpub.com doesn’t seem to be existing anymore, apparently the company also doesn’t exist anymore per Wiki. More about that company here. I tried the 1-800 number and it rings but no one answers it and their mail box is filled too. I guess they are closed for good.

Reading a book written in pre-social media era made me remind my childhood and the best things that I had then along with connection with people in real. It would be an interesting journey for me as I re-read the entire series now to see how Christine transitions from that era to an internet / social-media filled era. I can’t wait to get hold of the next book soon. Definitely a book to pick for a powerful series that follows and enjoyable to read.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Sub-Plots:

a. Lifemate pairs introduced as the series progresses: Will Christine have a plot for these pairs sometime in future? Since I have read all the books already, I know for sure there isn’t one yet. But hoping she will have some kind of plot around them in future.

i. Eric and Celeste – Celeste is pregnant with child.

ii. Vlad and Eleanor - Eleanor is pregnant with child.

iii. Tienn and Diedre – take up the responsibility of Rand and Noelle’s male child.

b. Other Carpathians who are waiting for their lifemates as of this book and we meet as the series progresses are:

i. Gregori Daratrazanoff - right hand to Mikhail, a powerful Carpathian healer, and an equally powerful ancient Carpathian that even Mikhail perhaps cannot kill if he turned

ii. Byron Justicano - Jacques’ best friend and would become his right hand if ever Mikhail succumbs

iii. Aidan Savage - a golden-eyed ancient Carpathian who is sent to United States, one of the Golden Twins

iv. Julian Savage – Aidan’s twin brother, powerful ancient Carpathian who prefers heights and lives alone

v. Dimitri Tirunul – another ancient Carpathian mentioned briefly for the first time in a conversation between Jacques and Shea in this plot.

c. Gregori sends Aidan to United States to aid the Carpathians in the first book Dark Prince. Another clear segue that Christine throws at the readers of what we will see in the remaining books and that the plots will extend beyond the Carpathian Mountains.

d. Being so many few Carpathian females born, a few females that Christine still manages sneak in her plots are:

i. Shea O’Halloran – first female born after more than 500 years.

ii. Raven Dubrinsky is pregnant with a female child. And Gregori insists that she is his lifemate. Another segue to a possibility that Christine could base her next book on Gregori.

2) Plot reveals:

a. There has not been a female born in Carpathians in more than 500 years, last of them being Noelle who was killed by human vampire hunters in the plot of Dark Prince. And now it is revealed that Shea O’Halloran is daughter of Maggie O’Halloran and Rand – Maggie perhaps was a true lifemate to Rand and that’s why he could beget a female child.

b. Technically Shea is Jacques’ niece through Rand. But the relationship is so similar to what we have in India, where in some families girls are married to their maternal uncles (Mother’s brother) if both are of similar age.

c. Noelle – Mikhail and Jacques’ sister – and Rand have a son together in the plot of Dark Prince. I was wondering what Christine would do of him. But she gets him killed by the human vampire hunters in this plot. Very short and sad ending.

d. There is mention of Mikhail having another brother, other than Jacques, whom Gregori had to hunt when he had turned. This in itself proves that Christine shows both sides of a coin for this race too, even though they are powerful, may be being powerful they have more share of having bad seeds than good seeds.

e. Rand mixes some kind of poison in his blood and infects Jacques and now Byron which causes them to severe the mental path the Carpathians share. I have to see if in future books Christine elaborates on this and finds a remedy for the Carpathians.

f. Byron is hurt and tortured by the human assassins who call themselves as vampire hunters. This is a segue for a reader such as me to think that Christine would base her next book on Byron.

3) Grammatical / Geographical / Location / Character / Historical Errors:

a. On pg.66, first para, last line, “the” is not required after “his” in the beginning of the line.

b. On Pg. 282, second para, last line, it should read “..Rand had said?”.

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