Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dark Desire, Christine Feehan

OK, so another terrible cover, and the title is pretty horrendous, too.

According to the author's note, it wasn't Feehan's first choice. She wanted Dark Madness, which, while still cheesy, is way better. And more descriptive.

So, we meet Jacques, Mikhal's brother, in this one. Well, technically, we met him in Dark Prince, but we get to know him here.

We also meet Shea, a doctor researching her strange blood disease. She also has some psychic powers and a sun allergy.

Sounds familiar, right?

She travels to the Carpathian Mountains to research her father's people based on her mother's journal. Also because she's running from people who want to research on her. Funnily enough, they think she's a vampire.

The timeline here is a little funny, but the best I can make out, book 2 of the Dark series takes place about 20/25 years after book 1. At the end of Dark Prince, the Carpathians are planning to hide out for a bit. Raven and Mikhal have been attacked. The vampire hunters are dead, but they want to avoid stirring up a vampire hysteria like in the old days. Doesn't seem like it worked based on this book.

Anyway, about 8 years before this book, Jacques leaves hiding and returns home. The hunters find him about 6 years later and torture him. They then stake him and bury him alive. Luckily they didn't hit his heart so he doesn't die. Sadly, they didn't hit his heart so he doesn't die.

2 years in the ground, people!

Are you seeing why Dark Madness might have been a better title?

Shea feels his pain, but doesn't realize what it is. She's a doctor, a scientist, she looks for a medical reason for her sudden blinding pain. She also dreams about him, but thinks they're just dreams. Nightmares really.

Meanwhile, the mad guy in the box can't figure out why she doesn't help him. In his...fragile state, he thinks she must be part of the group that attacked him. Revenge is all that keeps him going. He's paralyzed, physically and mentally, starving, and in pain. Alone.

When Shea is close enough, he can finally compel her to come to him, he attacks, but doesn't kill her. Thankfully, since she's trying to save him.

They're lifemates of course.

What's more interesting is who Shea is.

In Dark Prince, we met Rand, he was a little...loopy, but not a vampire. He was married to Noelle, Mikhal's sister. They weren't true lifemates, but they were...obsessed with each other. Noelle had Rand's son just before she died. Turns out, he'd met his lifemate, a human, but was afraid to come forward and claim her publicly. Noelle knew about the human and threatened her if she didn't leave Rand alone. Threatened Rand, too.

So, basically, it was a human relationship.

Mikhal, not knowing about the human, sends Rand to ground for several years after Noell's death, and we all know what happens when lifemates are separated. The human doesn't really know or understand what Rand is and what her relationship is. She thinks Noelle must have killed him (the separation probably doesn't help), so she takes their baby (yup, baby) and leaves, hiding from those who seem just a bit too interested in the baby. The human becomes depressed and withdrawn, barely able to care for her child.

And of course, the baby is Shea.

As horrible as Shea's childhood is, knowing how lifemates work, her mom had a pretty epic will to hold on as well and as long as she did for Shea. I would have liked to see that explored more and some forgiveness by Shea. We really only see fear she'll end up like her mom.

As far as Raven and Mikhal are concerned, we do see a bit of them - Mikhal is obviously interested in his brother's well being. He of course thinks Jacques is dead or he would have saved him long ago. Anyway, Raven is preggers. So, yay!! Gregori is also around and wants the baby, a girl, to be his lifemate. It's not quite what I had in mind, but more than that, I don't know if he'll make it that long. He seems pretty close to turning. And I wouldn't mind him finding out he's wrong and stumbling across his lifemate some random place - maybe at a self defense class? :)

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised that this book was nothing like the first one. Granted, some themes remained the same, but Jacques' ordeal and journey back from insanity makes for a really interesting read. It did not feel redundant.

I actually liked it a bit better than Dark Prince.

Dark Desire, Christine Feehan

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