Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dark Hunger, Christine Feehan

This is another novella, so I read it as a part of Darkest at Dawn, which has Dark Hunger (14) and Dark Secret (15).

We meet the first of the De la Cruz brothers in this one. The 5 brothers are ancients that were sent out to fight the vampires by Mikhal's father. Most of the hunters were sent out as individuals, but the brothers stayed together and resettled in Brazil. They've made a home there.

We've heard about the jaguar people before, and we meet some here.

Juliette and her sister, jaguars, attack a research facility in the middle of the rainforest they think is experimenting on animals. While in there rescuing the animals, Juliette runs across Riordan, a Carpathian who is being kept prisoner. See it's not really a animal research facility, that's just the front, really it's a way to trap and experiment on vampires, which for them means anyone they feel like. Drained of blood, in constant pain from shackles and chains coated in vampire blood, he doesn't immediately see Juliette as his savior, but as another captor. Before her, the human society of vampire hunters only came in during the day when he couldn't do anything, so he sees her presence as their first mistake.

Of course when she speaks, he realizes who she is to him, plus she's clearly rescuing him. Once she takes off the chains, he feeds. He doesn't really warn her, so she's obviously not pleased. He does it because it's the only way they both get out, but still, a bit of warning would be nice. He figures he can't take the chance she'll refuse.

Juliette is what I was really thinking when I asked for a vivacious woman (Dark Prince). Now I said something like this in reference to Jaxon in Dark Guardian, but this is much more on point. Jaxon was a cop, so she had that angle, but Juliette is a match for vivacious.

She's very sexual, and very comfortable with that. She really embraces it. Being jaguar, she goes into heat on occasion, so being sexual has never been an issue. She's also highly independent and comfortable with her own abilities. She's lived with her sister, Jasmine, and her cousin, Solange, for most of her life, battling and hiding from the jaguar men. She knows who and what she is, and she's happy with it.

The jaguar men have been kidnapping jaguar women to get them pregnant. Which means gang rape until their victims are pregnant. We discover the reason for that is, at least in part, because of a vampire's influence. Jasmine is kidnapped by one group so Juliette and Solange go after them while Riordan has to sleep. They find her, but unfortunately it's too late to save her completely. She's still alive though. They wait as long as they can so Riordan can join them as soon as possible, but they have to engage before he can.

They rescue Jasmine, but Solange and Jasmine want nothing to do with Riordan or his brothers, despite being offered safety at the family's ranch. Riordan has to take Juliette to convert her because her wounds are so bad.

I liked this one for it's simplicity. That doesn't mean it had no interest, none of that depth I've been going on about. Just that it was...light, maybe? No, that's not right, because there was the whole gang rape thing. That's close though, it was mostly a pleasant and light read. I guess it's that there wasn't a lot of mistrust and back-and-forth between Juliette and Riordan like in the other books.

Dark Hunger, Christine Feehan

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