Conspiracy Game

Dark Challenge

Dark Demon

Dark Desires

Dark Fire

Dark Legend

Dark Magic

Dark Melody

Dark Prince

Dark Secret
Dark Symphony

Hot Blooded

Lair of the Lion

Lover Beware

Night Game

Wild Rain

 
Turbulent Sea
by Christine Feehan
(Jove, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-515-14506-9
**
Reading Feehan's latest Drake sisters novel was like jumping into the turbulent sea of its title: I found myself drowning in the poorly-plotted story. For one, I couldn't keep up with all the different subplots. For another, I had such a hard time making sense of the different players and their much-touted magic that I couldn't always follow the main story. This may be because I'm not a diehard fan of the series; more devoted fans will probably beg to differ.

Joley Drake's major magical gift is music and song. She has used this talent to build a career as a highly successful singer with a rock-and-roll band. She spends much of her time touring and considers the members of her band as family. She avoids the drugs, debaucheries, broken marriages and wild parties that go with that life style, especially anything sponsored by Sergei Nikitin, a Russian mobster. She cannot, however, deny the attraction she feels for Ilya Prkenskii, one of Nikitin's bodyguard with an agenda of his own.

The story surrounding Ilya is one of the areas that remain unclear to me. Here's what I can make of it: he grew up without a proper family and underwent rather unpleasant special training (I'm assuming as some kind of spy or undercover agent). He has gone into deep cover to investigate a human trafficking ring (sometimes all the many law-enforcement  members of Joley's extended family are aware of this; sometimes they aren't). He also has some magical powers of his own (the origins of which remain pretty vague). In some previous episode he has put some special brand on Joley's palm. This ties him to her and allows them to engage in relatively arousing foreplay. They can also communicate telepathically.

It is pretty obvious that Joley and Ilya are very attracted to each other. What is not so obvious is why they don't do anything about it and how this develops into love. Joley's suspicions about Ilya's involvement with Nikitin and Ilya's need to keep undercover partly answer the first question. On the other hand, the fact that they have the mind thing going for them should make up for a lot. It doesn't. They spend far too much time confronting unsatisfied longing and do very little to discover what makes each other tick. They lust after each other; Ilya's brand ensures they bond with each other, but I rarely got the sense that they treat each other as humans. Despite this, they have a fairly passionate relationship and on these grounds, the novel is very satisfactory. Readers who prefer sentiment to passion may be disappointed.

The rest of the novel deals with issues involving either band members or threats against Joley. The first is relatively interesting, but it did distract me from the main story. The second remained far too confusing. For instance, Joley once confronted a religious fanatic on television and this person seems to have it in for her. This subplot, like several others, is not concluded to my satisfaction. Perhaps it leaves matter for the next installment. Given the unsettled and unsatisfied feeling this book inspired, I will certainly not be waiting.

--Mary Benn


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