Dark Challenge

Dark Desires

Dark Magic

Dark Prince

Dark Fire by Christine Feehan
(LoveSpell, $5.99, R) ISBN 0-505-52447-3
Dark Fire is another story in the popular series about Christine Feehanís Carpathians, the creatures who sound a lot like vampires but arenít - unless something terrible happens to them. In this instance the hero is Darius, the protector of a small group of Carpathians who were orphaned early and had to depend on Darius and each other for survival.

Several centuries later, Darius fears he may be sliding over the edge toward vampirism. Every male Carpathian needs a female lifemate but there are far fewer females than males in this closed world. Without a lifemate a male Carpathian eventually loses his soul. Darius knows he canít hang on much longer even though he feel tremendous responsibility to his ďfamily.Ē

Thatís when Tempest - Rusti to almost everyone - appears. Sheís beautiful, able to communicate with animals and Darius instantly recognizes her as his lifemate. But sheís human. Humans and Carpathians arenít meant to be lifemates . . . for one thing Carpathians donít age. Then there is the whole sleeping under the earth, need for blood, and Carpathian malesí alpha tendencies. Tempest is attracted and repelled at the same time. After all, Darius is also sensual, handsome and utterly devoted.

Tempestís problems with Darius are similar to the readerís. What is irritating and what is exciting about the story is the same thing - Darius. Is he sexy or overbearing? Darius is larger than life. He is literally willing to give his life for Tempest. Very sexy. Then again this is what Carpathian men do. Their devotion is enthralling - and in every Carpathian maleís genes. Itís like a dog chasing its tail. A Carpathianís gotta do what heís gotta do. . . that is, become completely a part of his mate. Is it sexy if the couple has no choice?

All of this summation sounds negative but, intertwined with the negative there is the whole world of the Carpathians, which is detailed and rich and completely thought out. And, last but not least, thereís the sexy part. The hero and heroine have intense chemistry. Carpathians ooze sex. They adore those they love. The ďlove bitesĒ are made intensely sensual for both parties.

Sexy or overbearing? Both. Feehanís intensity makes a compelling read even when you want to shake the hero. My final recommendation? Dark Fire is definitely worth reading, even for those who arenít in love with the vampire genre.

--Irene Williams

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