Enter the enchanting world of the Carpathians, where dark adventure, mystery, and love await, and the desires of two daring hearts unite in one irresistible passion.
A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney helps catch some of the most depraved criminals. But her work keeps her from getting close to others, and has drained her body and spirit. In need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks on a vacation far from home.
Mikhail Dubrinksy is the Prince of the Carpathians, the powerful leader of a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night. Engulfed by despair, fearful of never finding the mate who can save him from the encroaching darkness, his soul cries out in loneliness. Until the day a beautiful voice full of light and love responds, softly soothing his pain and yearning.
From the moment they meet, Raven and Dubrinksy are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them. But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them and their fragile love. Yet even if they survive, how can these two lovers — Carpathian and human — build a future together? And how can Dubrinksy bring Raven into his dark world without extinguishing her beautiful goodness and light?
Okay, I started listening to these years ago at my mom’s suggestion. It’s been so long that I didn’t remember the details but remembered that I liked them and wanted to reread them. I only got a few books in before life happened, and I lost track of the series. But my mom, she’s a dedicated fan and adores these books. She’s picked up almost all of them. I can’t promise I’ll be able to get through thirty-five 13+ hour listens before I die, but I do like the series well enough to go for a while.
This series is credited as one of the breakout series in the paranormal romance genre and so I wanted to revisit it from that perspective as well. We must pay tribute to the books that have gotten us where we are today! All the marvelous books we’re able to read now are in part because this series was published, and they realized there was a huge market for it.
So, onto the story.
The world building here is interesting – the vampires aren’t your traditional garden variety vampires. They are more like a type of earth elemental almost. They are deeply connected to the earth. They need it to heal, they can do magic to manipulate it, they respect it and tend it on a level that everyone should without being obnoxious about it. All good things.
However, their race is dying. Women can’t maintain pregnancies and babies are not making it to childhood. Very few female children are being born. We don’t know why this is happening just that the consequences are devastating for their people – and not just because their race is dying out. They represent balance – the males are darkness, and the females are light. Without their life mate to balance them, the men are going dark side and are more destructive and dangerous than your typical evil vampire. And when they go dark, they go dark. Killing becomes the only high, they have no emotions, and they eventually only see in black and white. It’s a pretty lousy existence and is driving them slowly mad. All men – good and evil – are obsessed with finding their life mates or taking one they feel suits.
The first book is not my favorite and parts of it haven’t aged well. Mikhail is kind of an old-world jerk. The world building is sufficient that you understand why he is the way he is, but that doesn’t make him any more enjoyable most of the time. He is the leader of his people and takes his responsibility to them seriously. When we meet him, he is getting ready to walk into the sun. He’s over 600 years old and done waiting for his life mate and inching ever closer to the dark. He dares not cross the line because his brother and friends are the ones that would hunt and kill him, and he doesn’t want to do that to them. Raven hears his despair and reaches out to him.
Raven is a powerful psychic that chases murderers using her gifts. It takes a huge mental and emotional toll on her, and she struggles to wield her power without it overwhelming her. She cannot touch other people because she is overwhelmed with their thoughts and feelings. It’s lead to a lonely existence and when she realizes she can be around Mikhail without the usual problems associated with people, she can’t resist spending time with him.
When the Carpathians find their life mates, they can see the world in color and for Mikhail, he completely accepts that this woman is it and the powers that be must have a plan for it to be a human instead of a Carpathian. He worries he’ll hurt her or that she’ll go mad as so many other human women have when they tried to take them as life mates. Eventually, he must turn her to save her life, but he never pushes away from her thinking she isn’t the one. Raven is very sheltered for all that she chases madmen for a living. She isn’t sure what to make of what’s happening between them and isn’t sure this is the right thing for them. But his love is clear, and he does win her over.
For his part, he does his best to take care of her and understand her and her motivations. They butt heads when she pushes to be independent and not allow him to dominate every facet of her life to “keep her safe.” She stands up to him and he pushes back, and the balance of power is constantly being tested between them. In the second and third books, you see they have struck a balance between her staying reasonably safe and being herself. She doesn’t let him push her around too much and he respects that she must be independent and can handle herself well enough to not do anything stupid.
The character arcs are well drawn and there’s enough going on that you want to know how it’s going to end, if everyone is going to be okay, and if they are going to make it as a couple. You meet several other characters during the story and start to learn more about them as well.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and went on to read the second book, Dark Desire. I highly recommend Dark Prince and if you’re a fan of vampire romance without the creepy teenage element, this is definitely for you.
If you would like to read Dark Prince by Christine Feehan you can find this book on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases.