Dark Carousel (Christine Feehan)

Title: Dark Carousel

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark Series/Carpathians #30

Date: August 2, 2016

Blurb:

In the new Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, a woman falls prey to the seductive allure of the past—and a vampire warrior’s intoxicating embrace…

The moment Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, Tariq Asenguard’s blood is set on fire. The ancient Carpathian had given up hope of finding his lifemate, but now he will do anything to make Charlotte his own. What Tariq doesn’t know is that Charlotte is using herself and her best friend as bait—to try to draw out the bloodthirsty killers who have already murdered Charlotte’s brother and mentor.
 
Charlotte is familiar with Tariq. Not only is he one of the richest and most eligible bachelors in the city, but he’s also a renowned collector of old carousel horses, which Charlotte restores. Their shared passion opens Charlotte up to trusting him with her life and with the desire she can no longer control. But it also makes her vulnerable to a centuries-old curse that will unite her and Tariq in a war against the enemies of humans and Carpathians alike…

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Review Day! 

August has been a good month! May things on the making, including the book launch for The Razvak Hunter (at last!), the final touches to the prequel novella Heroes of Vallenthar (which has become a bigger undertaking than what I initially planned), and a bunch of other things that have piled up together without me noticing. But anyways, after a while, we get a new release of a favorite series and, of course, I’ll deliver a review (we can talk about all those things later!).

For today, let’s take a look at the new Dark Series book by Christine Feehan, Dark Carousel

I am actually extremely happy with this author, because it’s been a while since we got two full books on a single year. And especially when it comes to a book with as much expectation built up around it as this one.

Dark Carousel is number 30 (it’s getting old!) and so far it shows no signs of stopping or slowing down any time soon. Feehan has the gift of weaving amazingly complicated plots and introducing fascinating characters that only leave you wanting more, even for those of us who, like me, have gone through each of the 30 books in the series. 

So, let’s talk about Dark Carousel. 

The Review ———-30002352

This book connects directly with the evens of Dark Crime (a short story previously published in the anthology Edge of Darkness). It takes us back to America and the city of San Diego, and to the vampire plot happening there. Things are thorny in California, but luckily, we have our hero (and a good assortment of side kicks added up) to the rescue.

The male lead fans of the series know already very well. A long time ago, a urban legend says that Feehan had this particular book already finished years ago, but she lost it and was only able to recover one chapter. That chapter was released to the world, and ever since, it has been steadily building expectation in favor of these two characters.

Tariq Asenguard and Charlotte Vintage.
I must say, all in all, the couple doesn’t disappoint. 

Tariq is an unusual Carpathian, who has chosen to spend his life among humans and knows them well. He is more progressive than the rest of his brethren in that sense, and more “modern” (if such word can be applied to a man of thousands of years). It’s definitely a breath of fresh air in a sense, but also, a little different from the initial impression we got from him back when he was introduced some ten books ago. Still, it was enjoyable to read about him. He is a very caring man and can be protective without being overpowering, which is very important. 

Compared to him and his strong presence, the heroine, Charlotte, is a little dull around the edges. She is powerful, with a good personality and overall likable, but doesn’t have anything that really makes her stand out. Sadly, in a world where the males have really strong personalities, you need a woman as well-crafted as them not to pale in comparison and Charlotte is not that. She is very forgettable, and probably in a couple of books I’ll be talking about her simply as “Tariq’s lifemate” unless she gets some more protagonism in future books.

The rest of the story flows really well. We have some new and old characters introduced, including a new conflict that will make more than one shed a tear or two. There is much to be sad about in this book, but also much to enjoy and love.

Overall, the book is a good reading, remarkable not so much because of the central romance as because the intricate plot-line. Something big is brewing in this corner of the world of the Dark Series, and all the action that during the past books had been centered around the Carpathian Mountains is now migrating here. We can expect many old faces to return in future books as they come to join the fight that is coming. Really, it left me very anxious to know what is going to happen next (hopefully I won’t have to wait a full year to find out!)

 

 

I believe fans of the series have much to look forward to in Dark Carousel, and they are sure to be left wanting more after the last page of this exciting new novel is turned.

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.

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Dark Promises (Christine Feehan)

Title: Dark Promises

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark Series/Carpathians #29

Date: March 15, 2016

Blurb:

Lovers challenge destiny and risk their lives in the new Carpathian novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance.”*

Gabrielle has had enough of battles, of wars, of seeing Gary Jansen, the man she loves nearly lose his life when it isn’t even his fight. Once he was a gentle and very human researcher. Now he’s a fearless and lethal Carpathian warrior with the blood of an ancient lineage coursing through his veins—a man Gabrielle still needs and desires and dreams of with every breath she takes. All she wants is a life far away from the Carpathian mountains, far from vampires and the shadows cast by the crumbling monastery that hides so many terrible secrets. But Gabrielle soon learns that promises made in the dark can pierce the heart like a dagger.

And she isn’t the only one in search of answers in the corners of the unknown…

Trixie Joanes has come to the Carpathian mountains in search of her wayward granddaughter, fearing that she has been lured there by something unspeakable. Instead, Trixie has stumbled into the path of a desperate man and a woman in love and on the run. And they’re all fated for the lair of a mysterious ancient with revenge in his soul and the undying power to make bad dreams come true.

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Review Day! 

 

Wow! It’s been forever since I did one of these. Ever since I started the blog I’ve learned quite a couple of useful things. Like the fact that authors are not supposed to review other authors’ books (as per Amazon TOS), and many other interesting tidbits. So now I’m only reviewing books I was already fan of before I started writing. Or books I read and enjoy specifically as a reader and nothing more. For today, we have the latest Dark Series book by Christine Feehan, Dark Promises

Dark Promises is not the first Feehan book I’ve reviewed here (check here for #28, Dark Ghost) and I’ll say again, I am fan of this author. I wait her books eagerness and I’m not afraid to admit that at this point there is nothing she can do that will make me drop the series (except killing Mikhail, Feehan, that is NOT allowed!).

That said, however, I struggled with this book. I’ll tell you why.   

The Review ———-Dark Promises ('Dark' Carpathian)

The book follows the path left by Dark Ghost, takes us to the Carpathian Mountains where the series started and shows us some more of the Carpathian world. For those fans of the series, you all know what this world is all about, and for those who don’t, here’s the summarized version: Carpathians are a race of beings that can fly, shapeshift and control nature. They feed on the blood of the humans but they do not kill. The Carpathians are almost extinct because of a particular trait of their race: each member can only have one partner for life. The males are the darkness, the females are the light. If the males do not find their mates in time, they risk being overcomed by the darkness in their souls and turning into a vampire, a mindless killer whose only purpose is to murder humans.

For Dark Promises we have not one, but two parallel stories (I’d go so far as to say there’s 3), which mean we have more than 2 main character.  Let’s start with the easy ones, shall we?

Two of the main characters are Fane and Trixie Joanes.

Dark PromisesFane and Trixie are already familiar because of their involvement in Dark Ghost. Fane is the Guardian of the Gates to the mysterious monastery that holds a group of Ancients too close to turning to be in the outside world. These Ancients keep to themselves and seclude themselves in the monastery in the hopes that, if they do succumb to the darkness, they won’t be able to harm anyone before their cellmates end them. Fane is funny and endearing, sexy and with a great sense of humor. Truly, his and Trixie’s pairing was a joy to read and I kept laughing non-stop through their scenes. Trixie is Teagan’s (Dark Ghost lead female) grandmother. She is feisty, sassy, sure of herself and yet vulnerable. She had a very difficult past but she didn’t let it bring her down, and instead made a good life for herself and her family. I really enjoyed reading about her. The problem was, these two didn’t have much time on the spotlight. 

That honor belonged to the other main couple (or threesome?).

Gabrielle Sanders and Aleksei are the other two. Aleksei is one of the ancients from the monastery. He is hard, domineering, dangerous and pretty much all we are used the Carpathians to be. Perhaps he takes it a teeny-tiny bit beyond (some hints of BDSM here and there), but nothing too radical. Personally, I had no trouble with him.

Gabrielle was the one who ruined the book for me. Gabrielle, for those who remember her, is sister to Joie, another leading girl, and was turned into Carpathian earlier in the series, after being stabbed almost to death. While she was still a human, she fell in love with Gary Jansen, another human that helped the Carpathian people. Fans were really eager to see how the relationship of these two would end up, specially after Gary was turned a couple of books ago, when he almost die in a fight. Needless to say, expectation was high. The problem is, as I mentioned before, Carpathians have one and only mate for life. They cannot have another or take another, and it’s against their law to take a partner that is not your mate. Gabrielle didn’t get the memo. Her obsession with Gary and with rejecting what she had become bordered on fanaticism, and her childish actions didn’t allow me to empathize with her situation. I kept seeing a three-year-old, spoiled brat set on her favorite toy, without any regard for the damage she left behind. With her selfishness, she hurts Gary, Aleksei and herself. The dynamic of her relationship with Aleksei is shattered at the very beginning because of her obsession with Gary, and sadly, it never recovers.

The rest of the book for these two is all about sex and domination, with Aleksei trying to impose himself on the woman he believes betrayed him, and Gabrielle unable to accept the fact that she was wrong in clinging to Gary as she did. In the middle of it all, Gary remains the saddest victim. He loses everything because of what Gabrielle did, and now is in real danger because of her selfish actions.

The only saving grace of this book was, as I said above, Trixie and Fane. Other than that, it was a no for me.

My rating:

3 stars

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.

Dark Ghost (Christine Feehan)

Title: Dark Ghost

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark Series/Carpathian Series #29

Date: September 01, 2015

Summary:

He wasn’t civilized or tame. He had his own code and he lived by it.

Monk. Bounty hunter. Vampire slayer. Andre Boroi has spent centuries battling the undead, holding out against the dark with honor. But now, gravely wounded by master vampire Costin Popescu, Andre will be easy to track—his spilled blood marking the killing trail for Popescu and his hungry band of underlings. Andre’s only chance is to disappear into the gray mist of the Carpathians. To wait. To hope.

She had a healing touch and a scent that was his lifeblood.

In the mountains in search of a precious crystal, geologist Teagan Joanes suddenly finds herself hunted by those she once trusted. Then she comes across the warrior—wounded, wanting and irresistible. Andre has been craving her for an eternity: his lifemate. Her warmth envelops him. Her scent pulsates. And with every beat of her heart, Teagan surrenders to a passion she can’t possibly comprehend.

Now they are bound by destiny, but is it enough to keep them safe from a stalking, relentless darkness that threatens to swallow them alive?

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Review Day! 

Here we are again. After a relatively inactive week (first time visiting Los Angeles, I was so excited I forgot how to type!), here I am again with a new review, this time a book of my favorite Romance series in the entire world.

Bestselling Author Christine Feehan delivers her new Carpathians novel!

Dark Ghost is the brand-spanking-new installment (#29) of the Dark Series, also known as the Carpathians Series. A personal favorite, the Dark Series was what inspired my Romance Writer dreams, and Feehan’s Dark Prince, the first book of the series, was the first adult romance book I ever read. Such good memories…

Anyways, the Dark Series is a Paranormal/Vampire Romance series in the traditional style of Dracula, with vampires that are grotesque-looking and can shift into wolves, mist and bats. On the other side of the spectrum, we have the Carpathians, an ancient race of beings in the brink of extinction that hunts and destroys the vampires, protecting humanity

With a classic fantasy setting, fairy tale-like magic and ancient languages, The Dark Series is a gift for the Epic Fantasy lovers out there who want a little more spice to their love stories.

More information, visit the author’s website: christinefeehan.com

Now, let’s do this! ———-

I’ve been a fan of this series since the very beginning, and despite the author’s’ literary mishaps over the years (a rather large amount of them, sadly), the basic core of the stories still enchants me to this day, 29 books later.

The concept of the plot is a simple one: Carpathian people are an ancient race of beings that come from the earth. They have amazing powers; they can fly, shapeshift, control the natural elements, and their lifespans are nearly infinite.

However, there is a price for these gifts: they cannot go out in daylight, they have to drink blood to survive, and when they are born, their souls are divided in two. All the darkness in a soul goes to the male, all the light to a female. They must unite in order to be complete. And if they don’t do it in time, the darkness inside the male will overcome him and he will turn into the most despicable creature that there is, a vampire.

The men are forever looking for the other half of their souls, their lifemate, while fighting the whispers of darkness that haunt them night after night. If they don’t find her, they will be doomed, and their minds, hearts, their very souls will be engulfed by the shadow.

The main characters in Dark Ghost are Andre Boroi and Teagan Jones.

Andre is a character that was introduced a while ago, and who got the attention of many of the fans of the series. Some people might be disappointed by the fact that the plot of his book is kind of simple. To those people I say they should revisit the beginning of the series and how the books were back then. Over the last ten novels, the author has been upping the amount of action and plot included in every book, and although that it’s definitely good and interesting, personally, I must say that I have missed the uncomplicated topics of the first books. The times when it was all about the couple, and the villain was but an inconsequential fill-in are long gone from the Dark Series. And, although this is definitely an improvement, sometimes it just doesn’t quite feel like the series I fell in love with all those years ago.

Andre’s book takes me back to how it all started. To the simple charm of a man too haunted by shadows to go on living, and the woman who comes out of nowhere to give him back his soul.

Teagan is a character that I liked a lot. A modern, independent, outspoken woman, she is the perfect counterpart to Andre’s old-world ways. She is funny, she is smart, she is kind. She sees the suffering in Andre and just can’t let it go, even knowing it could mean danger for her. She is not a really deep character, I would say, but even with that, it works in the setting, because she is basically an archetype of the lifemate that Feehan has been creating throughout the last 28 books. You accept that this is the way that she is supposed to be, and don’t expect anything more.

Those who expected Dark Ghost to be a big event are going to be sadly disappointed. Even I am a little bummed at the fact that the author completely ignored the plotline she’s been building for a while now, but even so, it doesn’t bother me that much. Dark Ghost is a simple book, with no real high pretensions. It’s a nice book that it’s not incredibly interesting or groundbreaking, but it’s not boring either. Although it probably will not become a favorite, I did enjoy it, and it brought me great memories of the times books of this series used to be, and why I fell in love with them in the first place.

My rating:

4

“Almost There!”

A very good book, with just a couple of minor details that didn’t appeal to me personally, but that in no way diminish the value of the entire piece.