The stranger silently summoned her across the continents, across the seas. He whispered of eternal torment, of endless hunger . . . of dark, dangerous desires. And somehow American surgeon Shea O’Halloran could feel his anguish, sense his haunting aloneness, and she ached to heal him, to heal herself.
Drawn to the far Carpathian mountains, Shea found a ravaged, raging man, a being like no other. And her soul trembled. For in his burning eyes, his icy heart, she recognized the beloved stranger who’d already become part of her. The imperious Carpathian male had compelled Shea to his side. But was she to be his healer. . . or his prey? His victim . . . or his mate? Was he luring her into madness . . . or would his dark desire make her whole?
I am not going to lie. I love Jacque. He was fun and lighthearted and sweetly adorable while also being a fierce fighter and protector. He is a good foil for Mikhail and Gregori. Raven liked him immediately because of his open, cheerful nature and they became fast friends in the first book, Dark Prince. Saying that, I am heartbroken about what happened to him. It wasn’t immediately clear who he was in this book, and he was so damaged I ended up hitting the internet to verify he was who I thought he was. Which was part of the point, but still. And once I knew who he was, I spent the next several chapters trying to figure out why the hell Mikhail and the others hadn’t saved him. WTF guys?! He’s the Prince’s brother! And Raven’s bestie. They are all super close-knit and have shared blood so they can find each other. WHY WAS HE LEFT TO BE TORTURED??? That drove me crazy, and I was really ticked off that they had abandoned him. I was ready to quit the whole thing over it because it was so out of character for them all that I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I pushed on, hoping they’d realize he wasn’t dead and feel horrible, gut-wrenching guilt for leaving him. And maybe throw themselves into the sun for good measure.
It took a while to unwind that one. Christine did a great job of explaining how he ended up in the hands of his torturers and why the others believed him to be dead. When we met them again, they are all in mourning and deeply affected by Jacque’s supposed death. It was very satisfying to know they didn’t leave him out in the cold and that they were deeply wounded by his death even a decade later.
So, anyway, our heroine, Shea. She is a doctor and affected with a rare blood disorder that requires her to ingest blood. She does not like to do it, so she is in a constant state of physical stress and struggle because she needs the blood and won’t drink it until her body is ready to give out. She also has had these visions of a man being tortured for as long as she can remember. People are after her because of her disorder and she’s on the run, trying to find a cure and keep away from those that would take her. She smart, independent, strong, and resilient. She’s also horribly lonely and struggles because of her lack of relationship with her mother. We find out more about that over the course of the story and it works well with the overarching storyline of the series.
Jacque spends much of the story not knowing who he is because of all that was done to him. He is crazed, violent and initially believes that she is the reason he was hurt. He strikes out at her, wanting her to hurt as he does. Eventually he realizes that she is not to blame and comes to rely on Shea for his sanity. He has been alone in the dark for years and Christine did a great job walking the line between who is his now and who he needs to become to be with his life mate.
When the others show up, they also believe Shea is the cause for Jacque’s disappearance and react accordingly. It’s a very intense scene but they get it all sorted out. Gregori shows Shea how to heal the way he does and wants to learn more.
I can’t imagine how hard the character arcs were to develop on this story and she really did a terrific job of making the changes believable and natural over the course of the book. Shea and Jacque didn’t have quite the power struggle that Mikhail and Raven had but they do still struggle a bit as he tries to keep her safe and she does the same in return.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and immediately started the third book, Dark Gold. I highly recommend Dark Desire and if you’re a fan of adult vampire romance, this is definitely for you.
If you would like to read Dark Desire by Christine Feehan you can find this book on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases.