Dark Desire is the 2nd book in Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series. It picks up roughly 20-25 years after the events of Dark Prince. And this installment centers on Mikhail’s brother Jacques.
A quick review of the mythology of the series: There’s an ancient race of people who hail from the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. They drink blood; they can shapeshift and speak telepathically; they can’t go in the sun. And after about 200 years, their men lose their emotions and their ability to see in color. That is, until they find the other half of their souls… their lifemates. Over time, living without a lifemate leaves a Carpathian man with two choices: ending his life or turning into a vampire, an evil being who lives to torment and kills his victims.
So, at the beginning of our story, poor Jacques has been kidnapped and tortured by some vampire hunters. Ironically, their strings are being pulled by a real vampire, and they are targeting the good Carpathians. Anyway, Jacques is tortured within an inch of his life, and is then buried alive in a coffin, where he suffers for seven years. During that time, his mind reaches out to Shea, the lifemate he has never met.
By the time seven years are done, Jacques is just about crazy. He doesn’t remember who he is. And Shea is the only thing he knows, beyond his hate and quest for vengeance. He lures Shea from the US to Romania to free him. In all the years he had been making contact with her, Shea didn’t even believe he was real… until she found him.
Once she comes to his gravesite, Shea frees Jacques and tries to heal him. (She is a doctor.) But he ravages her and takes her blood. In fact, he goes on to perform the requisite 3 blood transfers required to turn a human into a Carpathian. Despite his brutality and his serious mental and physical problems, Shea feels connected with Jacques. She reveals that even before the conversion, she was different from most humans. It turns out her father, Rand, was Carpathian. She never knew him. In fact, he left her mother before she was ever born and the loss of him drove her mom crazy. Shea grew up basically alone and had to deal with her physical differences on her own.
Jacques’ madness is very sad, since we knew him as a sweet and easygoing guy in Dark Prince. And it’s wonderful to see Mikhail, Gregori, and others as they find the man they thought long dead. I could do without some of that Carpathian he-man pushiness, but I’ve learned that is par for the course with heroes in this series.
There’s plenty of action as the vampire hunters search for Shea and the other Carpathians. The love scenes are hot, and fortunately, not quite so flowery as in the previous book. And it’s high drama when the identity of the vampire is finally revealed.
A great chapter in the Carpathian series. 4 1/2 stars.
Dark Desireby Christine FeehanRelease Date: December 1999Publisher: Love Spell