Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: my book has the smaller one, which do you prefer? I think the big one is too busy/crowded with images.
Buried alive for hundreds of years in a volcano in South America, Dax worries that he has become the abomination that every Carpathian male fears, a victim of the insidious evil that has crept relentlessly into his mind and his body over the centuries. But Dax isn’t the only one emerging from the darkness…
His name is Mitro, and he once stood by the side of the prince of the Carpathian people. Now he is the epitome of malevolence, and perpetrator of one of the most shocking killing sprees known to man. No one escaped the bloodshed, including his lifemate, Arabejila.
Now, between Dax and Mitro, a violent game has begun – one that has marked Riley Parker, the last descendant of Arabejila, as the rewards.
Riley Parker is travelling with her mother to a specific mountain in South America. They have done so every few years, to perform a ritual, thought from mother to daughter for hundreds of years. But this year it is different. For one, Riley’s father just died, and her mother is grieving hard. Riley can feel her draw back. And she knows that the couples in her family are tighter than others, when one dies, the other quickly follows. But Riley is not ready to loose her mother just yet, and she hopes that giving her a new purpose to live for, will prevent loosing her mother as well.
Everything seems to go wrong though, their usual guides are all sick, and they had no other choice but to travel with some strangers. A archaeology professor and his two students, looking for ruins from the Cloud people, a couple of well armed men looking for some plants that should not be in South America at all, and three mining engineers, of which one is a very obnoxious man who does nothing but make sexist remarks about Riley and her mother. And if that was not enough, nature itself seems to be attacking them, and especially her mother. Which is strange, as plants and animals usually respond to her mother in a very good way, plants seem to grow where she walks by and try to touch them. Something is very wrong, and it is affecting the natives as well, especially the porters.
They are later than usual, and their time is running out. When her mother is killed by one of the porters under influence of the strange spell, Riley has no choice but to struggle on, before the mountain, the volcano, erupts. Her mother’s powers have gone to her, and suddenly she knows what it is al about, the earth itself seems to welcome her. If only her mother had told her more about their legacy, and why the ritual is so important!
Gary and Jubal and even Ben stay with her, while the rest is heading back to the river, and Riley is very grateful for them to help her. But she is too late after all, and cannot keep the evil contained inside the mountain, and calm down the volcano again.
But the evil one was not the only one sealed in the mountain, there was also one of the Carpathians most feared hunters after him. They were always too well matched for one to be able to kill the other, and so Riley’s ancestress sealed them both in the mountain, with the hunter’s approval. Mitro doesn’t know his enemy has died centuries ago, and that he is faced by her descendant, but Dax does. He felt Arabejila die hundreds of years ago, and he has been fighting Mitro ever since. But living inside a volcano has changed both of them. Dax has bonded with the soul of a Fire Dragon, while Mitros has become even more evil and deadly. Dax will have to keep the humans safe, especially Riley who is his unexpected lifemate, while Mitros has no other desire than the kill as many humans as horribly as he can, and feed on their blood and fear.
Seeing two dragons fighting in the sky, after the evil has escaped the mountain, and Riley has successfully diverted the majority of the blast to the other side of the mountain, is something wonderful and dreadful. Gary and Jubal are friends with the Carpathians though, and they can explain some of their history to Riley, especially when the red dragon transforms in a gorgeous man in front of their eyes. Dax certainly doesn’t like seeing strange men with his lifemate, but they will keep her safe while he is resting during the day. He will have to continue hunting Mitro until one of them is dead, there is no one else capable of killing what Mitro has become.
It has been over 2 years since I read the last Carpathian book, and I was getting tired of the series. So much repetition in the books, it was not readable any more. So I am very happy to say, that this new one is a huge improvement. There was a tiny bit of repetitive thoughts by Dax mostly, but not enough to annoy me.
I liked Riley, and the new angle this story has, her powers of working with the earth. I do have my question marks by how easily Riley accepts it all, that Dax is not a vampire but a Carpathian and a good guy, and how she embraces his lifestyle and wants to become one as well. I know she is still grieving from losing both her parents, and that she has nothing left, but still. A bit of resistance, hesitance, would have been more believable.
Dax is of course an ancient Carpathian Hunter, and he now shares his body with the soul of a real dragon who was around when the earth formed in the sky. Talking about ancient. But I liked the combination, and how they learned to work together, and especially how they both felt for Riley.
So yes, I will read the next book in the series instead of giving up altogether. But I do look more forward to the new Sisters of the Heart book next year.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian