Darius and Tempest, the mechanic.
She's human, but can talk to animals. So, we're more back to human/Carpathian storyline. However, I do finally get something I want: a woman who chooses to convert! She's not even dying! Well, the situation is still life and death, but....Beggars and Choosers, people!
I'm getting ahead of myself again.
Ok, so Tempest is hired on as the mechanic and of course as soon as Darius sees her, he knows. He comes on strong, too. :) It seems Carpathian males don't know any other way.
He drinks her blood and erases her memory, only because her brain is a bit different, it doesn't work. So, of course she freaks, thinking him a vampire and runs. Unfortunately, she gets in a car with a bad man who tries to rape her. Darius saves her before he gets to far, but we find out this wasn't her first incident. It happened once before when she was barely an adult.
This allows her and Syndil to talk about their experiences, which is a really nice moment. Darius learns a bit, too. Syndil seems to be healing, though she and Barack are still not together in the beginning. It seems having someone who understands is helpful.
Something I really found entertaining about this story was Tempest's ability to get into trouble. Every time she's alone, something happens. And it doesn't seem like a new development in her life. It made me smile.
And my favorite part is her conversion.
Once they bond as lifemates, they encounter a problem. Darius needs to sleep as a Carpathian, but that means Tempest won't be able to reach him. And as we know that can be really hard. So, that leave Darius weak because he's not getting the rest he needs.
Darius has made the decision that Tempst will not convert. He doesn't tell her this, of course. *eye roll* He decides he's going to age and die with her. Deseri and Syndil let it slip - ok, they purposely tell her in the hopes that she'll convert. But really, it's her life and body. Now, since her death would mean Darius', it really should be a decision they make together, but of course he doesn't want to risk it and doesn't mention it at all.
Events overcome them, as they do, and Tempest makes the call on her own. Tempest is kidnapped, in an attempt by the society to capture a vamp. Their plan is to torture and kill her - regardless of her status as a human. Darius saves her, but takes wounds. He then depletes his energy healing Tempest's wounds. She wakes up to find him almost gone. She makes the decision to give him her blood, knowing when he wakes up he'll give her his and she'll convert. If she's not deranged, she'll be Carpathian.
It works of course. :) Though he's still pretty pissed at his sisters for telling her and putting Tempest through the pain of conversion. Of course, if she didn't convert, she would have had to deal with the pain of his death, so....
Anyway, it gives me what I've been looking for: consent. She's a little wary of the whole lifemate thing, having been abandoned by everyone in her life. But she knows exactly what's happening and what will happen when she cuts her wrist and has him drink.
At the end, the band takes some time off touring. Tempest and Darius are taking time together. Julian and Deseri are traveling to San Francisco to see Aidan and Alexandra. With leopards in tow. Barack and Syndil are together and working out their relationship while they travel back to their homeland. They plan on meeting others of their kind, including their prince, Mikhal.
Last, but not least, Dayan, the other male band member, Darius' 2nd, and the only unattached male left in the group, is headed to Canada. One of those times Tempest gets into trouble? Yeah, she meets a man named Cullen Tucker. Like Gary from Dark Magic, Cullen was part of the vampire society who didn't like the way things were going. He decides to warn Tempest and the band about the threat, at great risk to himself. The family takes him under their wing, and after all the dust has settled, Cullen goes with Dayan to Canada. It's not really clear to me what Cullen thinks about the Carpathians. I don't know that he knows exactly what they are, but knows they're not what they seem. He doesn't seem to fear them though. Dayan will keep Cullen safe until the band starts touring again, then they'll both come back to the band.
Which brings me to a problem: I can't predict the next one! Cullen believes in vamps because one killed his fiancee (a woman), which makes it seem unlikely he and Dayan are lifemates - not impossible, but it doesn't seem to support the idea - so I don't think I'll be getting my gay story line here. But that leaves me at a loss. If it's not the 2 of them, well, then I just don't know. There hasn't been anyone else mentioned.
Which reminds me, one other thing I enjoyed was the information about Carpathian history. Oh! maybe that will be the next. Darius mentions twins Gabriel and Lucian, ancestors of he and Gregori. The twins, like Gregori were great hunters and healers. They had a pact that if one turned vamp, the other would kill him and then kill himself. It's believed they killed each other, being so perfectly matched in battle. Maybe the next book will be about one or both of them. Maybe they survived, or maybe the good one found their lifemate and had children?
I donno, but I'm liking these recent ones a lot. Keep 'em comin'!
Dark Fire, Christine Feehan