Title: Dark Peril
Author: Christine Feehan
Page Count: 400 pages
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me
50 words or less: Dominic Dragonseeker figured he'd go out in a blaze of glory, doing one last service for the Carpathian people. He never figured that the same jungle that shelters Evil Evildoers is also home to his lifemate, the battle scarred, capable jaguar-lady, Solange.
The Carpathian series is one that I find myself returning to over and over again, not because there's something new to be discovered, but mostly because there isn't- I know that a book from this series will deliver the same sort of punch over and over again, regardless of where it is in the series. While the later books, particularly this one and the last two are showing the series to start to kind of branch off in a different direction, for the most part the flow of the story and the order of the plot points remains pretty much the same across stories.
What makes each story unique, in my mind, are the dynamics between the starring couple and what background and experience they bring to the story. Dominic and Solange are an excellent example of this, because while the trajectory of their story may not necessary be unique, their interactions and the path they take to becoming a couple is definitely not standard fare.
Dominic and Solange are way more alike than either of them would like to admit. Both are loyal, noble and self-sacrificing to a fault, and neither of them thinks they'll ever find someone who could possibly love or understand them. Solange thinks this because of her quest to save the female jaguar shifters from their psychotic male counterparts, and Dominic thinks this because he ingested poisonous blood to be able to travel in vampire territory and act as a spy, and therefore he's going to die soon. When they accidentally discover that they're lifemates, their initial plan is to just enjoy the sensation for whatever time they have; once they realize that forever isn't going to be long enough, they both start to fight, not only for others, but for themselves.
We get a little bit of advancement in terms of the overall story; we defeated the evil mage in the last book but it's apparent that the threat to the Carpathians isn't just from him, and that his evil plans were just the beginning. We learned that the superbug parasites were the cause of the high infant mortality among the Carpathians; in this book, we see a way to cure them without someone like Lara from two books ago having to do something really dangerous. In a way, this book was less about advancing those storylines than about reframing them, cutting away the excess, and getting ready to move forward in future installments. I'm in with this series for the long haul so I don't mind waiting to see how things develop from here, but for folks who are in this series for the overall plot and not for the individual couples, I can see how that would be frustrating.
Speaking of individual couples, I'm really, really hoping that the next book is about either Dmitri and Skylar (probably too early for that but I can hope) or Zacharias and whoever his lifemate is. Either way is good for me!
Anyway, if you're interested in this series then I would definitely start at the beginning, as there's a relatively wide cast of characters and having read the books in order definitely makes it easier to keep everyone straight.
Overall Grade: B+
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