Book 22 in the Dark series, published September 2011.
Christine Feehan delivers the most startling novel yet in her “must-read” series (Night Owl Romance) as an immortal male comes to the end of a long and violent journey—only to reach a far more dangerous and inescapable threat…
As brutal as the undead he hunted, Zacarias De La Cruz was a master executioner. Over the long, dark centuries, he plunged into so many battles they blurred into an endless lifetime of evil that hardened the soul of this merciless, ruthless and implacable dark predator.
Now his stark and savage journey is over. After a thousand years in a gray world, he has accomplished everything he set out to do. His brothers are safeguarded. Each has found a woman who completes them. And they are at peace. For his brothers, Zacarias has walked the edge of madness, but with centuries as a killing machine now left to the past and without a hunt to define him, Zacarias wonders, for the first time in his life, who he really is.
The answer awaits him back home in Peru, in the betrayal of a woman who is readying her trap, in the vengeance of an old enemy, in the inevitable consequences of a bloody family legacy, and in the deliverance of a lifemate he never could have imagined.
Okay, that blurb is once again, nonsense.
Zacarias De La Cruz is one of the oldest Carpathians still alive, and not turned vampire. He has hung on to his honor, but now that his four brothers are settled with their lifemates, it is time to end his existence. He will not take the chance that he crosses the line and become one of the things he has hunted his whole life, forcing his only friend and his brothers to hunt him in turn. The great battle with some Malinov brothers and their allies is over, and Zacarias just walks away, refusing to be healed first by taking Solange’s blood. Zacarias goes back to Peru, to face the sun.
He is content doing so, having not felt anything for so many centuries now, he has even lost the memories of feelings, of love for his brothers. He should be happy for them, but he doesn’t know how that feels. He is already lying down, burning, when Marguarita gallops home and saves him. She covers him up, and drags him to the barn, where she administers to his wounds. Even though he forbids her, she cannot fight the compulsion. She has to save Zacarias. She knows the repercussions will be harsh, but she has been born and bred to serve and protect the De La Cruz family. And when Zacarias saved her life a few months ago, that bond between them became even stronger.
To his own surprise, Zacarias starts seeing Marguarita in color, only her, not the surroundings, and she can even make him laugh, and of course, make him mad. She defied him! When she has been taught to obey the De La Cruz family in everything, she defied him, she saved his life and risks everyone on the ranch in doing so. He is determined to teach her a lesson, she has to obey him! So he brutally takes her blood, not thinking about her awful experience with the vampire months ago. The vampire ripped out her throat, and though Zacarias was there to heal her, she can not longer talk. So yes, Zacarias manages to terrify her, and when he goes to earth to heal, Marguarita runs away into the rainforest, to lure him away from the ranch, and to call the hunters. Of course she can’t escape him, and Zacarias soon brings her back. When she understands he hasn’t gone vampire, Marguarita is very much relieved. She loves Zacarias and will do anything for him.
But evil never gives up, and Zacarias soon has to fight some vampires. The longer he stays in one place, the more he puts his workers and Marguarita at risk, and that is something he is not prepared to do. But neither will he leave Marguarita behind, she is his and she will obey him.
I have to admit, I am disappointed in this book. It was very slow, and totally focused on Zacarias. How he thinks of himself and the darkness inside him. A life filled with duty and honor, and little else. I have gotten used to books filled with many Carpathians, lots of battle and the very exciting ongoing and developing overall storyline. There was nothing of all that in this book. I was loving the feisty Carpathian females, fighting alongside there mates. And Marguarita is just a human, and she wants to do anything for Zacarias, give up everything of herself for his happiness. Of course she is defiant when it comes to his safety, but in everything else he demands, she complies. Zacarias really is a throwback to the very first Carpathian novels, where they are way too alpha and dominant for my liking. Marguarita is just young and naïve, and not feisty enough. Ofcourse, being unable to talk, and having to communicate with others in writing, is difficult. She cannot yell or scream or curse, only in her head. Which is handy as the Carpathians communicate a lot telepathically.
So even though I admire Marguarita for what she does, how she defies Zacarias to keep him safe, I just can’t like her. She is too docile for that. And Zacarias, well. Like all the Carpathians he is a hunter of vampires, and very good at that. He is ancient, and very old-fashioned in his views of woman. He knows nothing of mating, and the bond between them, still he does not contact his brothers for help or advice.
The fighting scenes were of course superb, and I loved reading those. The love scenes are very hot, but it all takes place in just a few days and I think it just too much.
Still, I will continue loving this series, and reading them as soon as I get them in my greedy hands. Lets just hope for more action in the next book, and more developments in the Carpathian Mountains. I want to meet my favourites again. Christine Feehan is one of my autobuy authors and has been for years now. She has a very descriptive writing style, and really knows how to build up the suspense. But this book just was not to my liking. If you love the romance part above the plot and action, this book will be more your thing perhaps. But please don’t start reading this series with this book, you will be confused.