Dark Predator …. A Carpathian Novel by Christine Feehan
Back Cover …..
Zacarias De La Cruz is an ancient, with old world values. His lifemate would have been a gentle soul, a mother to his children, a light to his darkness. But she has yet to appear, and he honestly knows he couldn’t have a “modern” woman, they want to help their lifemates fight, they no longer want to stay at home cooking and cleaning. All of his brothers since meeting their mates have changed their opinions (they are too soft, he would have put the women in their place and be done with it)
Marguarita has loved and worked on the De la Cruz ranch since she was little. She loves working with the horses. Her family have always been in their service, they are generous and they are protective of their “adopted” family, if you give your loyalty to the De la Cruz family, you will always be protected. But Marguarita was in the wrong place at the wrong time (a vampire attacked the ranch they thought Zacarias was resting in) she refused to tell the vampire where he was, so he ripped out her throat !!!!
Their first meeting I found really hard to read. Yes I know he’s an ancient (so you need to approach it that way…. if after 800 years of NO emotion NO colour NO love, how would you be ? An empty shell probably, they have their duty and honour to cling too, they have to kill close friends and even family members that can’t hold on, or seek the dawn) countless centuries of doing that, then having to watch a colour and emotions are leeched out of your body and mind, until nothing is left. So with that thought firmly in place, I carried on ……
The thing with this book is that Zacarias doesn’t get instant emotion and colours back, he gets just a little at a time, so at first he is suspicious, who or what is causing this ? And why now ? Why when he faces his decision to face the dawn, does this happen to him……
Marguarita knows the rules, they have been part of the families “caretaker” duties and rules for as long as she can remember….. Above all the De La Cruz family have to be protected …… so seeing the eldest brother sat in a field with the sun rising, gave Marguarita cause for alarm, was he so injured that he was unaware of his surroundings ? She couldn’t take the risk, she had to rescue him.
Zacarias is fuming!!!! How dare this puny human female thwart him from his honourable path? Does she not realise that all human and Carpathian’s alike will be in danger, he needs to end this loneliness and empty existence, the darkness has him in its grasp, he can’t wait any longer. And this “lunatic” does know what she has set in motion …… but once he rises …. then she will definitely know!!!!
The story is a really well thought out. The author needs us to Understand the ancients a little more (we will be seeing a lot more in future books) how domineering they will be, how cold and aloof they have become.
Marguarita brings light and colour to Zacarias, but not in the usual way (is that because she has no voice? Maybe) She floods him with warmth and love, he can then “feel” and “see” all that she sees and feels. He takes trips down memory lane, he smiles at his brother’s antics, and then his greatest fear …… he had to kill his father (he had just lost his lifemate, and instead of instantly following her into the next life, he turned vampire) his father could only feel emotions when his lifemate was near, and as soon as she died, he lost his reason for living and turned vampire.
The part of the back cover description that had me puzzled was (the betrayer who is readying her trap?!?!) well I read the book, and I don’t think Zacarias ever called Marguarita a betrayer, a mage who probably cast a spell on him (he thinks that several times) there is a part where a friend betrays Marguarita’s trust and a ranch hand that betrays the trust of the De la Cruz family.
So back to the story, Zacarias can only see in muted colours and has watered down feelings then Marguarita is close, but as soon as she enters his mind, she brings brilliant colours and a full range of emotions. Both have to come to terms with the others characters (Marguarita is fiercely loyal and won’t let anyone hurt him, Zacarias is always in charge and in total control) so finding a balance is a long road, and a few mistakes are made.
The way Zacarias is with Marguarita reminds me a little of Jacques and Shea’s book (Dark Desire) how he is always with his lifemate, in her mind, never able to fully leave.
We also meet the eldest Manilov brother (definitely a vampire) the vampires are coming together more and more, and now we know why, they have plans to kill the prince and the entire family!! They are amassing data about psychic women (you have to be psychic to be converted) so the women need to be found and protected (but that’s for another book) 😉