Series: Carpathians (Dark Series)
Author: Christine Feehan
Read copy: Paperback
Published: September 9, 2010
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Dominic of the Dragonseeker lineage, one of the most powerful lines the Carpathian people has, ingests vampire blood laces with parasites in order to be able to go the very heart of the enemy camp and learn their plans. It is a one way mission. He knows he has little time once the parasites and the blood go to work. He plans to get in fast, relay the information to the leader of the Carpathians living in the area and go out fighting—an honorable way to end his life.
Solange Sangria is one of the last of the jaguar people, a royal pureblood. Her people, once many are now nearly extinct, a dying species that cannot recover from the choices they made over hundreds of years. She has long been alone, fighting to save the remaining women who are able to shift, from the hands of Brodrick the Terrible, her own father who slaughtered her family and everyone she loved. Wounded, weary, she plans one last battle, hoping to stop the man who has made an alliance with the vampires, accepting she will not come out alive.
They are two warriors who have lived their lives alone. Now, at the end of their time, they find each other, a complication, neither saw coming.
They were both ready to die—one last mission (a suicide one) for him, while she knew sooner or later the Jaguar-men would catch up to her and she wouldn't let herself be captured alive.
They were both dreaming of their perfect mate, never knowing those weren't dreams...Until one day, in the middle of the jungle, when a desperate cry awoke his emotions and his world turned into color. But the parasites in his blood, the ones he ingested to infiltrate the enemy camp, doomed their relationship even before it started...
This was yet another winner from beneath Ms. Feehan's talented and proficient fingertips. This series is a perfect example of how a series could evolve in a good way (there are so many examples out there of a bad evolution in a series and while I stopped reading those, I'm sticking with this one for the time being). We went from dominant, arrogant alpha Carpathians dictating to somewhat TSTL, fragile, and whiny heroines when the series started to dominant, arrogant alpha Carpathians trying to dictate to self-reliant, self-confident, kick-ass heroines that are as much warriors as their male counterparts (and those male counterparts wouldn't want them any other way).
This is perfectly illustrated at the beginning of this book when Dominic thinks about his "dream woman", how he made her a warrior like himself, because that's the type of woman that suits him, the type of woman he needs at his side - the warrior to aid him in battle, the woman for...anything else. ;) He knows full well, a fragile woman would never do for him.
And that's the beauty of the last two books in this series. The heroine is as strong as the hero in battle. Bye-bye whiny, spoiled, selfish and childish heroines, welcome kick-ass, Amazon-like heroines.
And I'm liking this new angle so much I cannot describe. There isn't a thing I would change in either Dominic or Solange. They were absolutely perfect as individuals and equally perfect together. True partners in all aspects of their lives, and they knew it, accepted each other flaws and all.
The action scenes were great as per Ms. Feehan's usual, the man arc is nicely evolving, there's a new angle involving royal Jaguar blood, and a promise of Zacarias' story in the future. Dare I guess who his lifemate might be?
Another keeper in this amazing series.