Just when you think you’ve met the oldest and most powerful of Christine Feehan’s Carpathian males, she produces one who’s even older and more powerful. We’ve heard the stories about the legendary Daratrazanoff twins, Gabriel and Lucian. Gregori’s older brothers were great fighters and protectors of the Carpathian people. Everyone has believed them dead for centuries, but they’ve really been locked beneath the earth all this time.
The brothers made a pact early on that should either one become a vampire, the remaining sibling would take his life. When Lucian began to show all the tell-tale signs that he had succumbed, Gabriel tried to keep his promise. The two clashed over and over again, with neither emerging the victor… until Gabriel tricked his brother and bound them together underground.
A disturbance awakens the twins in modern-day Paris. Shortly after rising to the surface, Gabriel meets Francesca, his lifemate. It turns out that she’s lived hundreds of years without him… convinced he sacrificed their chance at happiness to be a guardian for his people. Now he must break through the walls she has built around herself and convince her that they are meant to live together as one.
Francesca isn’t your average Carpathian heroine. For one, she’s already Carpathian. Two, she herself is an ancient. She is powerful in her own ways, as well as resourceful and determined. She has suffered in Gabriel’s absence all these years… but at the same time, so has Gabriel. He is, of course, a bossy, alpha, Carpathian male. But at least he values her mind and her gifts; he cares about her feelings; and feels real guilt for the way his actions have impacted her life.
I really enjoyed the twin dynamic between Gabriel and Lucien. Unlike Aidan and Julian, these two have a tangible connection. And the addition of young Skylar to the family, touches a real chord. Already, Feehan is laying the foundation for that one day love story between her and Dimitri… you know, the one I’ll get to read before I collect Social Security… or maybe not.
As with all the books in this series, there’s a bit of repetition. We get reminded of the same facts over and over. And Ms Feehan reminds us again that her favorite words are velvet, lightning and sheath. Still, one of better books in the series. A little over 4 stars.
Word count: Velvet – 18; Sheath – 9; Lightning – 24 (though to be fair, a few of those actually did refer to the weather phenomenon.)
by Christine FeehanRelease Date: January 2002Publisher: Leisure Books