Dominic of the Dragonseeker lineage, one of the most powerful lines the Carpathian people has, ingests vampire blood laced with parasites in order to be able to go the very heart of the enemy camp and learn their plans. It is a one way mission. He knows he has little time once the parasites and the blood go to work. He plans to get in fast, relay the information to the leader of the Carpathians living in the area and go out fighting -- an honorable way to end his life.
Solange Sangria is one of the last of the jaguar people, a royal pureblood. Her people, once many are now nearly extinct, a dying species that cannot recover from the choices they made over hundreds of years. She has long been alone, fighting to save the remaining women who are able to shift, from the hands of Brodrick the Terrible, her own father who slaughtered her family and everyone she loved. Wounded, weary, she plans one last battle, hoping to stop the man who has made an alliance with the vampires, accepting she will not come out alive.
They are two warriors who have lived their lives alone. Now, at the end of their time, they find each other, a complication, neither saw coming.
I’ve loved Christine Feehan’s Carpathian novels for years and never find myself getting tired of her writing or the stories. But that changed with Dark Peril. And although I love a good romantic story with lots of tension and sensuality…page after page of sexual relations becomes tedious and boring. There was little to no action and the story moved at a slow pace. I found the inner dialogue of the main characters to be repetitive: how many times do we really need to read that Dominic is lost without a lifemate or that Solange and her jaguar despise the idea of a dominant, abusive male? Solange lost a lot of herself upon entering a relationship with Dominic. She swore that she would never let a man dictate to her, but that is exactly what Dominic did—even if it was out of a misplaced idea of love and protection—she became meek and compliant to nearly every demand from him.
As a fan of the series, I’ve been enjoying the underlying story of the vampires joining forces to become a more powerful and vile entity for the Carpathians to defeat. They aspire to destroy Prince Dubrinsky and everything the Carpathians stand for. The premise of Dark Peril sounded interesting and I was looking forward to reading this installment of the series, unfortunately it was bland and the major plot revealed by the vampires became lost in Dominic and Solange’s peculiar relationship.
Dominic thoughtfully doesn’t push Solange for sex due to her horrific dealings with men in the past, but at the same time requests that she dress in barely there, sexy dresses—something she is clearly not comfortable in—but she does it anyway to “please” him. WHAT?? A battle-scarred warrior woman who refuses to give in to any man, just simply folds under the pressure of not pleasing a guy she finds attractive. I think this is one of the things that really made this book go downhill for me. Everything in their relationship seemed to revolve around Dominic revealing Solange’s softer side, even if she is not quite ready. One thing I will say he did right was to help her recognize her own self confidence and self worth, in a round-about way.
Fans of the series will enjoy Dark Peril as a stepping stone to the next book, unfortunately as a book on its own this was rather mediocre in comparison to the rest of the series.