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Dark #16

Dark Curse

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Born into a world of ice, and slave to her evil father, Lara Calladine knew only paralyzing fear as a child—and escaping with her mysterious gifts unbroken would be the only way to survive her great Carpathian heritage as a Dragonseeker. Human, yet mage, she was of the blood of three species yet belonged to none. She walked her chosen path alone, guided by the wisdom of her aunts—to blend in and let no one know of her ancestry and powers. And never trust anyone. For beyond the frozen hell of her youth was a world of even greater mysteries and dangers.

Today Lara is the leading expert in the field of ice cave study around the world and the healing microorganisms that thrive in them. She’s also in search of something else: the source of her nightmares—the cold dark corners of her childhood. Only one man has the will and the powers to help her: Nicolas De La Cruz, for whom centuries of hunting and killing have long since taken their toll. Dangerous and arrogant, he still longs to feel sensual love without the hunger for blood. Now, between Lara and Nicolas, a tenuous trust has emerged, and a passion neither has ever known before as a melody of dark promise begins.

But as each scales the treacherous land of the Carpathian in search of their past, they also harbor a secret that could save or destroy them. And as each may be desirous of a new beginning as lifemates, they are also haunted by the unknown dangers of a dark curse.

397 pages, Paperback

First published September 2, 2008

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About the author

Christine Feehan

173 books50.3k followers
Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author multiple times over with her portfolio including over 90 published novels, including five series; Dark Series, GhostWalker Series, Leopard Series, Drake Sisters Series, the Sisters of the Heart Series, Shadow Riders and Torpedo Ink. All of her series have hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.
Her series include:
The Dark Series - https://www.christinefeehan.com/darkb...
The GhostWalker series- https://www.christinefeehan.com/ghost...
The Leopard Series - https://www.christinefeehan.com/leopa...
The Shadow Series- https://www.christinefeehan.com/shado...
Torpedo Ink series- https://www.christinefeehan.com/torpe...




IN HER WORDS:
I've been a writer all of my life -- it is who I am. I write for myself and always have. The ability to create pictures and emotions with words is such a miracle to me. I read everything; I mean everything! All kinds of books, even encyclopedias. I am fascinated by the written word and I love storytellers. It is a great privilege to be counted one myself. (www.christinefeehan.com)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 394 reviews
January 10, 2021
4 Breaking Free Stars

First read Sept. 2012 Reread February 17, 2016
Feb 10 2017
Jan 9/2021

*Spoilers*

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"I know very little about your traditions or culture. Just stories my aunts told me when I was a child, but no matter what you've done to tie us together, know this: I don't know you. I don't love you. I don't care anything at all about you. I spent the first years of my life a prisoner and I will never- never-allow anyone to imprison me again. If you try to take anything from me by force, if you try to break my will or manipulate my mind, I will fight you with the last breath in my body. So you make up your mind-choose life or death for us."-Lara

Dark Curse the 19th book in the Dark series was great. I can't believe after 19 books this series still has me held captive. I am still so engrossed in the plot, and totally infatuated with these sexy Carpathian men. I don't know what it is about this series, but I just can't get enough. CF must weave a spell on the books that make us readers obsessed!

Nicolas De La Cruz, informing his brothers how they should handle their lifemates, so certain he knew best for everyone around him, after all, he was faster and smarter and had lived so much longer. And yet his own lifemate, the woman he had sworn to protect, to make happy, he had driven to this-taking her own life rather than submit to him.-Nicolas

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I am all you think I am, but I can learn. I will learn. I have many sins, palafertiil, not the least is arrogance, but I am not above admitting my mistakes. Come with me. Come back to me and give me a second chance.-Nicolas

Nicolas De La Cruz was like all the De La Cruz brothers, rough, controlling, and dark. When he found his lifemate Lara, he like most Carpathian men figured she would obey him and do all the changing. Nicolas learned very quickly that his lifemate would rather die then ever be helpless like she was when she was a child being held prisoner by her great-grandfather Xavier and her father Razvan. I loved that Nicolas really grew in this book. Though his brothers that found their lifemates soften a little I feel Nicolas is the only one of them that really grew and changed on a deeper level. Which is why he is my favorite of the De La Cruz brothers. He really seen how much he hurt Lara trying to control her and did everything he could to make her happy, and empower her. The one place he didn't give up control in was the bedroom, damn but the man was sexy and dominating. Lara was very broken in ways, but she had a core strength that grew as the book went on. Lara was a survivor and a fighter. Her past demons overwhelmed her a few times but she did her best and met her fear head on, overcoming it to help others and be a good lifemate to Nicolas. Lara was not only a powerful Mage but her Dragonseeker blood was strong which gave her some bad-ass power.

"I need to go back to the ice cave," she blurted out. "That's the reason I came here in the first place. I have to go back. Not you. Not the other Carpathians, but me. My aunts kept me alive, no, they did more than that. They kept me sane, and I suspect they kept my father sane as long as they could. I owe them and I need to go find them. Dead or alive, finding out the worst, it doesn't matter, I have to do this."-Lara

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"And I want to feel your body under mine and hear you scream with pleasure. I plan on taking my time, having you over and over all night long until neither one of us can stand up, until you cannot think, only feel. I want to give you every sensual experience that I can." He brought her hand to his mouth. "I have waited several lifetimes for you, Lara."-Nicolas

I loved Lara and Nicolas together. They were both so giving and supportive. They both went out of their comfort zone to meet the other half way. Their passion for each other was very strong as was their respect for one another. I could almost feel their love it was so strong. I really connected to their relationship and them as individuals. I loved that Lara was the one to help saved the babies(Gregori and Savannah's twins still in womb, Raven and Mikhail's son still in womb, and Shea and Jacques's son already born) and that she is the one who found a huge clue to what was causing the lost of all the babies in the first place. I really loved the Warrior cave and the fight between the men and women on if the women should stay home. Gregori as always stepped on some toes in this book and, he and few others almost came to blows. Oh my Gregori I just love you and your caveman ways!! I was glad the aunts were saved in this book. Poor women have been prisoners forever! I can't wait to get to their books. I only have 2 small complaint about this book and it's why I gave it a 4 star instead of a 5 and that is this book had a little to much of the Carpathian language. A few lines here and there is fine, but line after line of gibberish gets a little boring to read just sayin'. Also Lara's spells! I don't need to read all of her spells. Line after line of nursery rhyme sounding spells also gets a little boring and kinda bogged down the book. Maybe if it was a really important spell but not every single time she uses her magic! I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what else CF creates in this amazing world!

Free will. Have you forgotten that small little detail? We take that away when we bind them to us, do we continue to do so after they are our lifemates? I suppose we can reduce them to little more than puppets who do our bidding at our will. But I know both Raven and Savannah would walk into the sun before submitting to such enslavement." "O jela peje terad. Sun scorch you, Mikhail," Gregori growled. "You have become modern and liberal in your old age."-Mikhail and Gregori
Profile Image for Julie (jjmachshev).
1,069 reviews280 followers
September 5, 2008
Let me first say that Feehan's 'Dark' series is akin to literary crack for me. I just can't stop reading them! I agree that her books have become very predictable, yet I still love those Carpathian dudes. I want one for myself. Anyway, I picked up "Dark Curse" which is #16 I believe. If you've read one, you know the story. He's a tortured hero who's ready to give up his soul to the dark when suddenly...he hears the voice of his lifemate and is saved. He quickly falls under her spell, and now he has to learn some gentleness and patience (which never comes easy for these Alphas) to lure his lifemate into loving him while saving her from the dark creatures who hunt for her. And YES, this book is the same story...but I still like it.

He is Nicolas. She is Lara. He is one of the famous De La Cruz brothers. She is the daughter of the ?evil? Razvan and granddaughter of the wicked Xavier. She still has flashbacks to her nightmare childhood where she was kept for food by Xavier and Razvan. She escaped with the help of her two great-aunts, full blood Dragonseekers, who were also held by the wicked pair. Now that she's an adult, she has come to find and bring the bodies of her great-aunts home.

What I liked: Feehan gives us a lot more information on Xavier's plot against the Carpathians. We find out why Carpathian women have such difficulty with pregnancy and why their children are so fragile. We find out more about Razvan including some facts that should provide at least one, if not two, novels in and of themselves! The sex is still mega hot.

What I didn't like: Several indexes about the Carpathian language. This isn't high fantasy...get over yourself. The cutesy, non-rhyming, chants (which are WAY too detailed). Lara being a bit too whiny. The diatribe about women fighters. A happyish ending, but Lara is still not Carpathian and can't be turned for a while which means Nicolas and she will continue to suffer. BOO.

Is the book worth reading? If you have been following this series, then absolutely. If you haven't...read Dark Prince (the very first one). If you like it, you'll pick up a couple more. Then you'll be hooked like the rest of us!
Profile Image for Cyndi.
336 reviews218 followers
February 10, 2017
Not my favorite, but it was good. Nicolas was a big jerk at first, but he did redeem himself. I liked Lara- she was mostly strong and always willing to help the others. I loved that I got some Gregori! He is still my main boyfriend from this series. I also got some time with Vikirnoff- my other boyfriend! I didn't like any of the Razvan info- he had sex with loads of OW which bugs me even though Xavier was possessing his body. He also said he loved Lara's mother, but she wasn't his lifemate. And Xavier and Razvan both referred to Lara's mother as Razvan's wife. All that isn't for me! I don't like my paranormal H's to have kids with OW or past loves- I will be skipping his book!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heather.
176 reviews20 followers
September 11, 2008
First off, I LOVE The Carpathians! I know that these guys are almost always overbearing, controlling and bossy... but I still think they are sooooo sexy! Yum! This story about Nicholas and Lara is no exception.

Lara is part mage/dragonseeker/carpathian and as a child is kept captive by her evil grandfather Xavier and her "evil" father Razvan. These two baddies have made an appearance in quite a few (if not all, I dont remember) of the Dark books. They use Lara for her blood as often as possible and they torture and abuse her as they see fit. Only her Aunts, the two Dragonseekers that are kept in the form of Dragons all the time, speak to her in her mind and keep her safe. They are the ones who sacrifice themselves in order for Lara to escape.

Fast forward 20 years and Lara is a Caver. She explores caves for scientific research and she remembers only some of her horrible childhood in the ice caves with Xavier. When she and two of her colleagues are exploring a very creepy cave in the Carpathian Mountains, a freaky creature attacks them and her friend gets injured. She uses a little magic to get away and they head into town to the Inn that Slavica owns. She is a friend to the Carpathians. Lara feels her dragon mark glow and she fears a vampire must be close by... however, up walks Nicholas. He is so shocked, he utters the bonding words and bites Lara! She knows who and what he is and now she knows they are bonded, but she freaks out when he bites her! She is terrified of other people taking her blood.

Nicholas and Lara have to learn to work with each other because neither of them is used to that. They have a ton of adversity to overcome, Lara wants to see if she can save her Aunts (the dragons), Nicholas wants to keep her safe, and Lara thinks she might be able to help with all the miscarriages the Carpathian woman keep having. They ultimately have to learn what all lifemates have to learn. To love and trust.

I just thought this book was hot hot hot!! Nicholas and Lara are so great together... the sex was amazing and I love the inner dialogue between the two of them. Plus, the plot was really good in this one. I was just as interested about what was going to happen to the aunts and the pregnant woman as I was about Nicholas and Lara's love story. There is just something about these Carpathian men. I wish I had one for myself. ;)

xo
Profile Image for *CJ*.
3,998 reviews433 followers
December 24, 2017
“Dark Curse” is the story of Nicolas and Lara.
Lara Calladine has lived a difficult life. After being tortured and mercilessly used as a blood prey by her father and grandfather- she escapes with the help of her aunts- and vows to live with the humans with plans to rescue her saviors.
When as an adult cave explorer, she and her friends are attacked by a deadly virus- she finds support in an unlikely Carpathian, Nicolas De La Cruz- who turns out to be her mate.
The usual Dark series plot about a Carpathian about to turn finding his mate in the unlikeliest of place, this one actually had a different and interesting storyline.
Lara’s past and her desperate actions after mating were heartbreaking. For once I am happy that the hero understood what his forceful will did to the heroine- and then eventually strives to do the best for his relationship. I loved his groveling and the eventual lovemaking scenes.
This book also leads to progress of the mage/dragonseeker storyline, the truth about Razwan and Carpathian fertility/ babies, and a breakthrough in their research.
A wonderful addition to the series with a lovable couple. One of my few 5 stars of this series.
Safe
4.75/5
Profile Image for KatieV.
700 reviews430 followers
February 2, 2016
This is one of my favorite 'dark' books. Nicolas was delightfully dominant and arrogant in the vein of the earlier Carpathian heroes. He was softened just enough by his heroine but kept that core bad assness that I love so much in a PNR series, but he had his struggles.

The uber cave-alpha versus more modern open-minded hero is all about reader preference. I respect that Feehan has tried to give all her readers heroes they can root for. It's like any series, some heroes will do it for certain people and some won't. I'm just glad to see that the old school Carpathian hasn't disappeared from the series entirely. In fact, we get a lot of time with Gregori and Mikhail and other heroes from the early books. So great to have everyone being brought back together.

I also love that some of our long standing questions are beginning to be answered, such as why women are miscarrying. The mythology was deepened and expanded in very interesting ways. I feel like the series has been given a real boost.

Some may be a bit bothered by the 'separate spheres' argument that seems to be heating up in Carpathian society. It seems to be leaning toward accepting that the women do need to be trained to fight the vampire, but only in 'have to' situations. There's a stronger push by Mikhail, Gregori, Nicolas, and others to bench or otherwise reassign some of the women who have been actively fighting vampires. Mikhail was even leaning toward a royal decree. There's also a lot of emphasis on women's unique strengths and abilities, hence my 'separate spheres' comment. I see it being a strong debate within the series for some time to come and probably a debate with some readers.

Be aware, this book is dark in parts. There are some scary/disturbing things going on. Trigger warning for child abuse and suicide.
Profile Image for Mariana.
388 reviews1,668 followers
August 3, 2015
Este es el segundo libro que leo de la saga de los carpatianos. Como ya mencioné en la reseña de “Lobo Oscuro”, esta saga puedes ser intimidante pues cuenta con más de 26 libros (y la autora sigue publicando más), así que si no saben nada de los carpatianos y quieren leer este libro, les aconsejo que se busquen un wiki o blog (los hay por montones) en donde les expliquen más a fondo sobre las características de este pueblo.

Una vez dicho esto, la verdad es que la historia se enfoca en la relación entre Lara y Nicolas por lo que si tienen ganas de un romance paranormal con bastantes escenas eróticas (explícitas) pueden leer este libro sin necesidad de haber leído sus antecesores.

El personaje de Nicolas del la Cruz me gustó bastante en su faceta de misterioso y poderoso luchador pero me costó trabajo conectar con él debido a su idea de “macho-dominante-hago-lo-que-quiero”.

Sigue en: https://vikingalectora.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Malinda.
1,852 reviews228 followers
February 5, 2017
4-4.5 stars

This was a really good story. I liked both Lara and Nicolas and their story was very enjoyable and engaging.

Lara is a Dragonseeker, an ancient race that is closely linked with the Carpathian people. Unfortunately, Lara is the granddaughter of Xavier, an evil mage that grew jealous of the Carpathian people's long lifespans and used dark magic to extend his life much longer than it should have. Xavier kept Lara, her father Razvan and 2 of her aunts captive when she was a child and it took their combined efforts to help Lara to escape. She grew up thinking that she must have imagined her childhood but is drawn back to the area to try to find the caves she was held captive in as a child.

Nicolas is one of the 5 De La Cruz brothers that own a large cattle farm in South America. Nicolas is an ancient Carpathian male; Carpathians are born vampires with abilities like shape shifting (to any form, even mist), magic spells and psychic powers. The males of the Carpathians have a darkness in them and if they don't find their lifemates, they can lose their souls and become evil. Nicolas decided to come to the Carpathian mountains to pay his respects to his people's Prince before meeting the sun (the Carpathian version of honorable suicide before the darkness overtakes them and they become evil vampires).

Lara works exploring and studying ice caves and has 2 friends that work with her. When the story begins, Lara and her friends are already at the place where the ice cave from her childhood should be located. Lara is sure they're in the right place but has some trouble finding the entrance. A trap is accidentally tripped and one of Lara's teammates is injured. They head back to the Inn and their rooms, hoping to find a healer that can help and Lara runs into Nicolas (almost literally). They have the instant connection of lifemates and Lara has some idea of what is going on because of stories her aunts used to tell her. Unfortunately, Lara was not treated well during her captivity as a child and had blood forcibly taken from her. This makes things rough for Nicolas because his first instinct is to feed off his lifemate and he doesn't realize how badly it will affect her.

Nicolas makes some mistakes in how he deals with Lara at first and it seriously messes things up. However, the results of that mess up is good in the end because it makes Nicolas fully realize what Lara went through. Nicolas really just wants Lara and for her to be happy so once he was confronted with this, he adjusted his actions and restrained his needs accordingly. Lara had some issues to deal with and things are a bit hard at first but once she understands that she can trust Nicolas, it goes much smoother. While Lara and Nicolas deal with their budding relationship, they also have other things to deal with. Raven and Savannah are both pregnant (and the pregnancies are in trouble) and Lara's shattered memories may be the clue to finding out how to help not only them, but all the Carpathian women. Not to mention the need Lara still has to go back to the ice cave... Let's just say that there is plenty going on to keep things interesting and in the end, Nicolas and Lara are together and heading towards a well-deserved HEA.

This was a very enjoyable story. Lara was a good heroine...she had a couple of TSTL moment (one literally) but those few times were promoted by her abuse in her childhood and once you read what she went through, you can forgive a few freak-outs considering the circumstances at the time. Nicolas was kind of an arrogant jerk at first (like most Carpathian males) but he came around real quick. Once he got past that, he was a great hero. My one complaint is that the end felt a little unfinished (but in no way is a cliffhanger) because Lara hadn't been fully transformed to Carpathian at the end and it seemed weird to end with that not done. Outside of that, the story was very good and stayed interesting (keeping me well engaged throughout) and I really liked the characters (both primary and secondary) so I'd recommend it. :)

* note - I listened to the audio version of this story and the narrator did a pretty good job.
Profile Image for Inky.
32 reviews12 followers
August 23, 2008
I have an addiction to Christine Feehan's Dark Series. I admit it. Sometimes the writing is awkward. Sometimes the characters are inconsistent. But I read on, compelled by the emotion infused into the story. If you haven't read any of the Dark books, this is not the place to start. That being said, stop reading now if you don't like spoilers....

Dark Curse brings Nicolas De La Cruz together with his lifemate Lara Calladine, the descendant of an evil mage out to destroy the entire Carpathian race. The two come together just as Nicolas resolves to meet the dawn, choosing suicide over surrender to the darker impulses that would turn him vampire. Their bonding feels a bit artificial, mainly because the dialog in the beginning of the book is forced and unnatural. I couldn't believe the passage that had Lara accusing Nicolas of being a "sweet and syrupy" ladies man. Groan.

Feehan also presents Lara as warrior-like and fierce, a woman of Dragonseeker lineage, but her behavior in the book waivers from that -- a lot. And I had a hard time with the silly rhymes that Lara says as she works her magic. A lot of it was flinch-worthy and just interrupted the flow of the story. And if uber-alpha to the point of misogyny bothers you, stay far, far away.

That being said, Feehan has created a world that I can't help but return to, even when the trip is the cost of a hardback. I like the Carpathians, and in the book, we see a lot of familiar characters. Nicolas and Gregori go toe to toe. Mikhail has a lot of cameos. Shea and Jacques, along with their infant son, appear. A warriors' council brings together a lot of the males, with a few new faces being introduced for future stories. And good God, when is Feehan going to write Dimitri's story? His suffering without a lifemate is breaking my heart.

And there's where the hook comes in. No matter what complaints I have about the execution of Feehan's stories, I care about what happens to the characters in the book world she's created. Sigh.

In Dark Curse, Feehan also gives us the cause behind the Carpathian women's growing inability to conceive female children and carry any pregnancy to term. This won't come as much of a surprise to anyone who's read Destiny's story. It was pretty clear what the problem was going to be.

Lara, who as a child was food and entertainment for her abusive mage relative Xavier, discovers the reason and is able to save Raven, Mikhail's mate, and Savannah, Gregori's chosen, both on the verge of miscarrying. There's a lot of flashback to Lara's experience as an abused child that might put off some readers. I thought Feehan used it very skillfully to show Nicolas, a powerful ancient warrior, what helplessness really is. It also underscores Feehan's strong point -- writing to evoke an emotional response.

Some of the side stories weren't really handled well. I knew what was going to happen to Lara's friends as soon as I finished the first chapter. And we don't see or hear much from them again until the end of the book. I know the emphasis in paranormal romance is the romance, but the supporting cast deserved a little better, I thought.

And don't expect to see all the story lines tied up here. Lara, whose unique ability to eradicate the cause of infertility in Carpathian couples, isn't fully converted by Nicolas at the end of the story. And the climactic battle in the ice caves still left Xavier free to continue his war against the Carpathians. We do finally find out who the dragons are that appeared in Natalya's story, Dark Demon. They're sure to be getting their own stories.

And could someone do something about the silly bookcover? For God sake, the guy on front is bare-chested in a cape!






This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
March 27, 2019
4 1/2 stars

I originally read this book 10+ years ago, but I recently re-read it. It was as good as I remembered!

Lara is a half dragonseeker/mage and half Carpathian who finds herself drawn to the Carpathian Mountains for reasons she isn't entirely sure of, but she cannot resist the pull. As difficult as it is for her to return to where she suffered unspeakable trauma as a young child, she feels she must find answers. The most important thing she must know is what happened to her aunts, dragons kept in captivity by her sociopathic grandfather, Xavier, who as a wizard is not immortal but sought to trap and drain dragons and Carpathians to extend his life. Lara's father, Xavier's son, was one of the captors but also was magically coerced into using Lara for Xavier's gain. When she was 8 years old, her aunts managed a nearly impossible feat of setting her free, but she feared it was an act that led to their murders. Many of her memories were suppressed for her own protection and mental health, but she is driven to learn the truth.

Nicholas has returned to the Carpathian Mountains, his birthplace and home, after spending many centuries with his brothers in South America to deliver an important message to Mikhail Dubrinsky - the Prince of their people. He is, as many ancients are, feeling that his days are numbered as he has long sought his lighter half and believes he will be soon consumed by the darkness. In fact, he is almost certain that this mission will be his last. When he encounters Lara in the nearby village, he is blinded by her light and knows he has finally found his lifemate. While Lara knows some of the Carpathian ways, she is skeptical that all of what Nicholas tells her about her heritage is true, so she agrees to allow him to assist her in finding the truth. But when all is revealed, will it make Lara stronger or destroy her?

What I liked:
--- Lara and Nicholas were a great couple and well matched
--- Intricate story line with plenty of heart-stopping action
--- Revisiting characters from previous books
--- This story built on the overarching series plot nicely
--- Yummy steamy goodness

What I didn't like as much:
--- Lara was pretty insecure about why Nicholas liked and wanted to be with her --- I wish she would have let that go a little sooner in the book and been more confident
--- Some of the encounters with the previous MCs were volatile and made me like them a little less for being a-holes to Lara who was doing all she could to help them
--- A slower burn than I typically like

Overall, another great installment to the series that built on the larger story line and introduced more characters to love.

Plot --- 5/5
Main Characters --- 5/5
Supporting Cast --- 4.5/5
Steam Level --- 3/5
Violence --- some battle scenes were descriptive but nothing overly gory
Language --- not egregious
POV --- 3rd
Profile Image for Susan.
572 reviews71 followers
February 10, 2009
Nicolas De La Cruz has come back to the Carpathian mountains to deliver a serious message to Mikhail Dubrinsky, the prince of the Carpathian people. The De La Cruz brothers have discovered a terrible plot against their people and the prince, and must get word to him and the other Carpathian hunters to remain vigilant. Once he has delivered his message, Nicolas has every intention of meeting the dawn and ending his life. He has been living in an emotionless, colorless world for many centuries, and has become tired of battling the enemy. He has no idea that destiny will bring his salvation to him that very night.

Lara Calladine spent the first years of her life trapped in the ice caves, a victim of her demented grandfather Xavier, the dark mage. After escaping, she learned to hide her "special" abilities from the humans around her, and has returned to the Carpathian mountains seeking her answers from her past. Part human, part mage, and part Carpathian, she will need all of her power to cope with the aggressive Carpathian male claiming her as his lifemate.

Nicolas must move beyond his domineering instincts toward Lara and help her find her way back into the deadly ice caves, for within her memories lie the key to the problems the Carpathian race has been facing for years. Lara has the power to unlock the mysteries surrounding Carpathian pregnancies and the high infant mortality rate. She may be the only one powerful enough to save the Carpathian people.

Dark Possession seems to follow the new pattern that has emerged in the last three books. The series is evolving, adding new and exciting elements, while giving us thrilling stories of new lifemates. Lara and Nicolas were compelling characters, and their story was very well-written. Dark Possession added to some of the other stories, and some lurking questions from the last few books were resolved. The only problem I have with this book is that it had a weak ending. I realize the purpose was to really leave things open for future books, but it was still a little disappointing.

Overall, Dark Possession was a little different and refreshing. Now I just have to wait until September to see what happens next!
Profile Image for Pat Cromwell.
198 reviews8 followers
February 12, 2009
Another hard cover that was worth the money. I felt so sorry for Lara. Her story is the 2nd of the series that made me friggin cry. If you read previous reviews, you know the first was Lucian and Jax's story. I felt so bad for this girl I could not think straight. I was so overcome when Lara and her aunt my girl Natalyia discovered the truth about Lara's father! I read the book and saw so many sequels. Daark Curse has breathe new life into this series. There are so many possibilities and sequels. The ending breaks my heart because for IMO the hero had to truly make a sacrifice. This is one of the best. I about died the way it ended, rushed to her website to see if she had another scheduled in the near future.

The danger in having a favorite writer is that the way for what they do is so far and inbetween. I am so jealous of James Patterson fans because he churns hit after hit out every 4 mos or so while we Christine Feehan, Sandra Brown, Pat Cromwell, Linda Howard, Lora Leigh fans have to wait

(He He He I slipped my name in -- its called subliminal messaging -- LOL)
Profile Image for Laura (Kyahgirl).
2,050 reviews145 followers
May 24, 2011
I tried, I really did. For the audio books listening challenge I wanted to start a series and get sucked in. However, its kind of embarrassing but I was at the gym, forcing myself to listen to this book and by chapter 5 I was muttering 'for Christ's sake' and shutting it off and my workout buddy was laughing at me...'another bomb? she says'. Yeah. Between the 'old, wise' Carpathian warriors arguing ad nauseum about letting their 'little women' go into battle, the endless foreign language passages, and Lara and Nikolaus' doomed relationship, I decided it would be best to move on. My TBR pile is too high to waste time forcing myself to finish another book I don't like. I learned my lesson with Shadowfever.
Profile Image for Natalia815.
1,465 reviews53 followers
May 8, 2016
Esta saga siempre da una de cal y otra de arena. El anterior no me gusto mucho. Este me ha gustado bastante, empezando por la protagonista. Daba pena leer como lo tuvo que pasar en su infancia. En cuanto a Nicolas, pues como todos los carpatianos de la saga, son adorables, pero cuando se ponen en modo macho alfa me sacan un poco de quicio.

La trama central que llevamos arrastrando durante varios libros me gusta mucho. En breve leeré el siguiente. Me llama mucho la atención la historia de los dos protagonistas.

¿Lo que más me ha gustado? Cuando se reúnen para decidir algo y se "enfadan" entre ellos y ver como defienden a sus compañeras eternas. Me encanta que las mujeres no se dejen arrastrar por el machismo que algunos carpatianos dejan ver.
Profile Image for Jane (PS).
2,496 reviews91 followers
March 30, 2011
Loved it! Just loved it! Can't wait for the next one... Thank heavens I already have it! :)
Profile Image for Judith Parra.
21 reviews
September 1, 2014
SPOILERS!!! Dark Curse is the story of Nicolas De La Cruz and Lara Calladine. Let me just say that I LOVED the character Lara. Boy was she strong and a worthy lifemate to Nicolas who learns quickly to value her strength and character. Lara Calladine is the Razvan's daughter and niece to Natalya. Lara spent most of her early life in the ice caves of the dark mage Xavier. She was more or less raised, protected and sheltered by (as much as they could) by Branislava, Tatijana and Razvan....whenever he wasnt in control of Xavier. Branislava and Tatijana are daughters to Rhiannon and Xavier.

Lara is instructed by her aunts to hide the true extent of her powers so that she has a chance to escape Xavier's greedy hands. At this point, I have learned to despise the mage. Wow, he is one of the worst evil men that I have ever read about! At great cost to themselves, Tatijana and Branislava manage to help Lara to escape the ice caves at the tender age of 8.

About 20 years later, Lara returns to the mountain that hides Xavier's labyrinth of ice caves. She was taught well to create mage spells and to fight Xavier's brand of magic by her aunts. They had suppressed her memories and little by little, they are returning. Lara is accompanied by her partners Terry Vale and Gerald French, fellow researchers that are experts in of extreme cave environments and extremophiles. Extremophiles are organisms that thrive in all kinds of harsh environments whether it be fire, ice, or water. The research that Lara is most famous for will become important in the fight against Xavier and what he has done to affect the conception and birth rate of Carpathian children. It is here that I realize that Christine Feehan has done massive work and research to get her facts right. I love that about her and makes her book all the more fascinating! Go Mrs. Feehan!

The treacherous mountain reveals its dangers when it attacks the three researchers who were trying to find the entrance to the ice caves. Terry Vale was attacked by a mutated worm or snake and was injected with deadly parasites designed to kill or enslave the victim to Xavier's influence. While in the car, Terry rips off the snake heads and splashes Gerald in the face with his blood. Lara drives them to the inn and goes to find help. It is then that she runs into Nicolas who is so close to turning vampire. He sets her in a trance and takes her blood nearly losing himself in the process. Lara is forced to stab him to save herself. Being the typical chauvinistic male, Nicolas immediately claims Lara after taking her blood and leaves it up to her to choose to reject his claim or not. She chooses to save him....along with a few choice, not so lady like words.

Lara tells Nicolas of what happened on the mountain and that she needs help for her friend Terry. Mikhail and Gregori are summoned to help. Gregori's appearance triggers post traumatic syndrome in Lara. His silver eyes remind her of Xavier and she senses Gregori's great power. She almost hurts everyone in the room with her power out of pure fright. Terry is healed for the moment but he is weak. Lara is more determined than ever to enter the caves and save her aunts or at the least bring their bodies for proper burial....much to Nicolas' disapproval. But first, Nicolas must attend the council meeting arranged by Mikhail from all Carpathians to discuss the upcoming war against Xavier and Razvan.

The countil chamber is a place of power for the Carpathians. Warriors, even those who have lost their emotions feel clarity and even slight lifting of the darkness that threaten to consume them. Many topics are on the table in the council meeting and one of the most explosive is the topic of women fighting. Like most Carpathian males, Nicolas believes that women should be protected and not allowed to fight. Mikhail disagrees with most of the men, he knows that if the women are forced to stand by while the men fight and make decisions for them will divide the women from the men at a time when unity is most important in the fight against the dark mage and his forces. It is here that Mikhail earns my full respect and shows his wisdom and worthiness of being a leader. He tells the council that if a woman wants to fight, she may do so and that women should be trained to fight in case they are forced to protect themselves..

Meanwhile, Lara fights her attraction to Nicolas. She is horrified to know that her body reaches for him despite her misgivings. Lara certainly has my sympathies there! Falling in love or caring for someone when all you have known is pain is terrifying! Lara understandibly lashes out. Nicolas is furious on how Lara sees him...a manipulator who uses humans like cattle and keeping her a prisoner. He is also angry that she entertained the thought of leaving him without protection at his most vulnerable hour. Nicolas chains Lara to him to prevent her escape by using magic. This forces Lara who has a traumatic aversion to imprisonment (and for good reason) to try to kill herself. She is in the shadow world when Nicolas notices what is happening. He is furious at himself for looking at his mate like a possession and driving her to try to kill herself to escape him. He feels great remorse and that redeems him in my eyes just a slight bit.

However, he wins me over completely (darn him) and Lara too when he finally sees that his own arrogance and refusal to get to know her drives her to chose death rather than life. He heals her and promises to her and to himself that he will try to temper down his dominant nature to make her happy. Nicolas goes after her spirit which is drifting and reliving her horrific childhood in brutal detail. Shauna (Lara's mage mother) and Razvan had lessened her memories in order to protect her. One of the worst memories was the time that Shauna and Razvan created a hidden passage for Lara to use as an escape. Xavier catches her and forces Lara to watch her mother die at his hands. Razvan is helpless to stop him. Xavier pours parasites and maggots all over Shauna and forces Lara and Razvan to watch the things eat Shauna's body. Nicolas and Lara go through more memories and it is through her painful childhood that Nicolas learns to genuinely care for his mate. He learns to be gentle and caring for her.

I love the occasional reminder that Carpathian males can be romantic and tender towards their women. I loved how Nicolas was able to create a beautiful illusion of the outdoors for Lara. The illusion was complete with the sights and sounds of the night...I especially loved the dancing dragons in the sky. I also loved that Christine Feehan gave us a piece of Nicolas' personality. He is a musician! He loves to create music and is gifted with a guitar. That was a major swoon moment!

This book is full of awesome revelations that I did not notice the first few times that I read the book. Nicolas finally admits to himself that it is the Carpathian male how must make the sacrifices in the relationship to make his female happy. It is the male who benefits the most from the Carpathian mating ritual not the female. That makes him more determined to make Lara happy to be with him. He decides to take her to the ice caves to search for her aunts.

The warrior council resumes. It was cancelled earlier due to Raven having trouble maintaining her pregnancy. At the council, it is revealed that the Morrison Center for Psychic research (this center has been mentioned several times in the Dark series) has gathered a list of psychic women that are targeted for murder. The Carpathians decide to acquire the list and protect the women, especially since some of the women could prove to be lifemates to many of the males. Mikhail makes it clear that the women are not to be stalked and that the list should be entrusted to someone who is trustworthy. He also makes it clear that the Carpathian women predisposed to fight and protect people be allowed to fight and be trained. He feels that women who want to learn to defend themselves must be able to do so when the enemy might bring war to the their very doors.

While the men are at the council, Lara goes to the shadow world to save Raven's baby. Lara sees the signs of disease in the tree of life targeted towards children. Lara realizes that Xavier used an extremophile housed in a fungus within the shadow world to target the ability of Carpathian women to carry children. Xavier shows his mad desire to exterminate the Carpathians by hitting them where it will hurt most....the killing of their children. He designed the microbe within the extremophile to make the body of the mother see the infant as a parasitic intruder. It hits the infant with a stinger that marks the infant for attack from the mother's body resulting in miscarriage. This happens despite the mother wanting the child. Lara sees the true extent of the damage cause by the microbe when she disguises herself as an infant. The microbe is lured to the surface by Lara and killed by Natalya. The price that Lara pays for taking out the microbe is reliving her childhood.

As soon as she recovers from saving the children to Raven and Savannah, she is taken to the ice caves. Lara and Nicolas are joined by Vikirnoff and Natalya. It is in the ice caves that Natalya finds a message written by Razvan about everything he tried to do to protect her, Lara and the rest of his children. Everyone in the cave realize what Razvan suffered in order to protect the women most important to him. He made everyone think that he was evil. They continue through the icy labyrinth and they find Xavier's laboratory. It is here that he found ways to bring the Carpathian people to near extinction. They find the cause for the women's having mostly male children and why miscarriage occurs often. The traps set within the ice cave are triggered and they are forced to fight to escape. Lara destroys the creature who was being used to breed the microbes and parasites aimed at destroying the Carpathian people. Nicolas encouraged her to kill it to empower her.

They manage to break out the aunts (Branislava and Tatijana) and fight towards the surface. The ice cave attacks them in earnest. Death soldiers arrive to finish them. They are shadowy warriors that have no honor and are just as evil as vampires. Nicolas calls for help and a Carpathian army is on its way to help them. I just got to mention that when they finally arrive, it is a fight to be seen! A huge battle ensues and it was exciting! I LOVE THIS SCENE and this is one of my favorite books. The Carpathians make it out of the cave with the aunts in tow.

While waiting for the naming ceremony, Lara and Nicolas are visited by Jacques and Shea. Their son Stefan is dying and is saved by Lara. The microbe can travel from mother to child. Lara is asked to not be converted until they can find a way to find and fight the microbes without her. Stefan is named in the naming ceremony and the story ends with hope.

Profile Image for iamGamz.
1,511 reviews42 followers
May 4, 2018
So much excitement!

So, the little girl who escaped Xavier’s ice cave has grown up and has returned to find her dragons.

Lara spent her childhood being tortured by her father and great-grandfather. Her aunts helped keep her sane and helped her escape from her prison of ice. She has returned to the Carpathian Mountains to find her aunts.

Instead she meets a crazy, macho De La Cruz brother who happens to be her lifemate. He’s an over the top alpha, controlling idiot who honestly believes his word is law. With today’s #metoo movement, his ass would be in sooooo much trouble! #hotbuthellnah!

He does loosen up a bit, but not until AFTER Lara tries to commit suicide! It was a horrible time for all. He learned quickly what Lara experienced and worked hard to help her deal with the traumas of her childhood. Point for him.

My favorite bit was the trip to the ice cave. So much action! There was running and slashing and good old fashioned spell weaving. Lots of fun.

There was no conversion on this book. The hardass hero learned his lesson well and put his lifemate’s needs before his. Maybe there’s hope for the anachronistic Carpathian men after all.
Profile Image for Kristina Deluise.
309 reviews3 followers
February 15, 2019
first of all let me say i am determined to see this series through........

but its getting really hard to continue

page 78

there is no reason for our women to be with us other than the way we are able to bind them ....

there was no reason for their women to accept them other than the binding word that locked their souls together

page 122

you think i could not make you want me?you are my life mate your body responds to mine no mater what your ridiculous mouth says.

ok, i'm thinking, what date rape drug,would do the same thing?

eve dallas books they call it rabbit.........

so in addition to the above pet peeve,

this obsession with childrenand pregnancy is really really really getting old

especially for someone who was unable to have any of her own.

damn i am reading for vampires and romance,

but the constant refusal of romance in these books is horrible.

Profile Image for CC.
1,682 reviews236 followers
May 21, 2017
This one was tough. It was a hard story to read - because of the flashbacks. Nicholas was a typical Carpathian. A bit too much too take, but Lara wanted NONE of it. It is hard for me to rate a book highly when the heroine tries to kill herself to get away from the hero. I did not agree with her, but knowing her background I understood how she could have been that freaked. But it taints the romance for me.

3,067 reviews24 followers
August 31, 2017
Nicholas has come to confess the DeLaCruz's sins to Mikhail and to tell him of the shadow world of vampires that are looking to cross back... he plans to talk with Mikhail, and then seek the light... he knows he is too dark...

Lara, a cave explorer, has glimpses into the terrors of her childhood and slight memories of two aunts trapped in ice... and she is looking for the ice caves of her dreams - finally making it to Carpathian mountains... she almost believes her memories are only fantasy, and never happened...

She comes across Nicholas in the town square, and her dragonseeker mark burns, and stops burning, and burns... burning means that she is near a vampire... Nicholas is so close to turning, the mark feels his darkness... and it takes Nicholas a bit, but he finally recognizes his emotions coming as he has found his lifemate...

Nicholas has very specific beliefs of what a lifemate is and should be, and imposes those expectations on Lara with small patience... Ulimately she goes with him, and he at least has the sense not to take her blood or have sex with her, but he binds her arms so she cannot leave him when he is in his sleep... she swore she would never be a captive again, and as he sleeps, she slashes her wrists...

When Nicholas awakes - and at 1st is happy that she is not harping at him - but then realizes that she is almost dead, he desperately merges with her to c, all her back to him... instead he enters her nightmares, and relives many of the horrendous things of her early life, and feels the helplessness in not being able to protect her, even though he takes the tortures for her...

She goes back to him... and his perspective is changed... he starts to love this woman, and he wants to help her in any way he can... even when it means going with her back to the ice caves to find her great aunts... He is much more gentle with her and genuinely wants to be there for her...

Lara is attracted to him, and she comes to trust him... she takes blood from him - the first few times when they are having sex, but it takes much more before she will take blood from him... He is dominating when having sex with her, but she trusts him to expand her limits without going too far... The first time they have sex is as dragons, when he helps her shift to dragon form, and reacts to her mating behaviour in the air... hmmmmm...

The warriors, and the women, both have caves of santuary for them to hold council and to support one another - the descriptions of the rituals & the environment more in this story than the few times it is touched upon in the past... The warriors meet twice - once to hear Nicholas & make preliminary plans to counteract, and second to discuss whether women should be allowed to fight alongside their lifemates... This is countered by the women gathering, in an attempt to help Raven & Savannah, both who are pregnant, but are beginning to miscarry... they have telepathic connections with the fetuses and are distressed by the pain in their babies...

All the women are chanting a Carpathian lullaby (which Lara remembers her aunts sang to her)... and Syndil (who can heal the earth) and Francesca are weaving a magic with a chant and dance, trying to reinforce the rich earth... Lara starts to join them, recognizing the movements, but realizes that the spell requires 4 .. . she calls for Natalya (Razvan's sister & with her dragonseeker blood) to forgo the warriors meeting and to come to help them... This helps Savannah, but not Raven...

Lara gets an inkling that perhaps Raven's baby is infected, and she takes a mental trip to look for a parasite, then to entice it out to allow Natalya to kill it... to entice it, she must again become the vulnerable child, and although she is successful, she is exhausted... when Natalya offers her blood, and with a part of her still in the mental world, she 'explodes' - but Nicholas is there to protect her... The parasite goes to the man when he is to ground, and enters the woman shen they have sex, and the waits until there is a baby... and then it wears at the baby, sending off negative messages and encouraging the baby to give up...

Lara has exchanged blood twice - the third time will make her Carpathian, but both she & Nicholas know that she is needed to insure the parasite does not harm the babies, the mothers & ultimately the fathers... She helps 2 or 3 a day, but it takes much out of her - reliving her past...

And Lara, Natalya, Virkonoff, and Nicholas go to the caves to seek her aunts... they fight many curious enemies... they find Xavier's lab... getting a glimpse in how he is infecting the ground (a fight to stop at a later date)... kill the serpent with its multiple tenticles that spew vampire parasites... they free her aunts, who are barely alive... and are rescued by Carpathian warriors who fight so well together...

And there is optimism among the Carpathians, that they have a handle on why babies are having so much trouble... hmmmm...

and Lara will not go for the 3rd exchange until there is another way to safeguard the babies... I hope they follow up on this in the next book... and her two aunts... someone's lifemates?... Hmmmmm
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Aparna.
497 reviews7 followers
November 12, 2018
Stars: 3.5 / 5
Recommendation: If you like paranormal plots with hint of romance, eroticism and the other world abilities involving immortals and vampires along-side humans with super-abilities, then this is a series to go for.

Dark Curse is the nineteenth book in the longest series, Dark Series, by Christine Feehan which was published in September of 2008. The primary plot centers on Nicolas De La Cruz - the fourth brother of the De La Cruzes - and Lara Calladine - part Carpathian, part Dragonseeker, part psychic human, who has a deep urge to go to the Carpathian mountains. The plot is set right after the events from Dark Possession. This book also is listed on some of the bestseller lists, and has been #1 on New York Times Bestseller List.

This also forms the fourth book in the five-book series within the Dark Series about the South American brothers - who had been sent away by Prince Vladimer Dubrinsky (Prince Mikhail's father) centuries ago to fight Vampires. They settled in South America with trusted humans who take care of their cattle ranch during the day time. This book has made it into several best seller lists.

Carpathians are a powerful and ancient race who are near-immortals living for thousands of years with powers and gifts that no man can fathom. Despite their gifts and extended lifespans, they are at the age of extinction as fewer and fewer children are being borne and far lesser of females. Without their female counterpart aka "lifemates" the male Carpathians lose the ability to feel emotions leaving the males with hard choice: either become vampire or "greet the dawn". Now that Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky finds a lifemate in a human female with psychic abilities and is capable of converting, there is hope for all the other Carpathian males who have been holding off from turning into vampires – the very creature that they hunt and kill to save the humans and Carpathians alike. The series now ventures into other species - Jaguar Species (with the 10th book Dark Symphony (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...)), Dragonseekers (with the 16th book Dark Demon (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...) and Werewolves (with the 18th book Dark Possession (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...))).

In her 31st book, Dark Legacy (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...) released in September of 2017, Christine had introduced a new Carpathian female, Elisabeta Trigovise - an ancient and sister to Traian Trigovise and thought lost to them. Christine tends to bring back her characters and tie all the inconsequential details that she leaves around in her plots. The mention of Traian Trigovise made me want to re-read the series again since quite a few facts she had brought back in Dark Legacy were lost on me.

In Dark Possession plot, we see that Nicolas De La Cruz is sent back to the Carpathian Mountains to make the Prince be aware of the dangers from the Malinov brothers and the Mage Xavier. He takes up this as one last task before he seeks the dawn and commit suicide. After living for so long in the grey world, saving the world from the vampires, Nicolas has become very close to turning. Only a miracle can save him if he doesn’t seek dawn. Just when he fails to feel hope, he comes across Lara Calladine, all in full gear, set to fight the vampires.

But she has not come back to Carpathian Mountains to fight vampires, but instead to go up the mountains and rescue her two aunts from the ice caves that she was able to escape. Now teaming with Nicolas she finds him as an asset on her side in her and hopes that she could free her aunts. But the mage Xavier has other plans for her. Will it be a curse for them or a blessing to be side by side and fight the mage is what the rest of the plot ends up being.

Their introduction is very amusing and at the same time nerve-wrecking since they fight to the vampires while keeping the Prince safe along with the villagers and friends of Lara. So much is put into just that one incident and so much more it carries the reader forward. Again in this book as well it was a bit confusing at first to understand that memory journeys that Lara took and the way Nicolas accompanied. Yet very intriguing to come up with such a novel idea.

As much as damaged Lara feels herself, Nicolas treasures her more than she expected someone to provide that for her. Nicolas even though powerful and dominant, stays exactly the way Lara want him to be. Such a balance is shown between both Lara and Nicolas.

With this plot, Christine brings quite a few breadcrumbs to a closure - about the twin dragons (red and blue colored) that Natalya Shonski and her lifemate Vikirnoff Von Shreider and Traiain Trigovie and his lifemate Joise Sanders find in the ice caves; about the fate of the little girl with bright copper curls who had been food source for Razvan Dragonseeker in the ice caves; about why Gregori has silver eyes;

Christine also gives us reasons as to why Carpathian women cannot breastfeed their children and why they couldn’t carry their babies. In the process she shows a lot of Carpathian ceremonies to the readers. I can't imagine how Christine comes up with the different ideas of showing evil, good and everything in between. Some of them are mind boggling for the reader.

In Dark Celebration, we did see a lot of Carpathian males in close quarters with energy surges all around. We see a similar situation in this plot, and I must say Christine has made her Carpathian males behave much better than how they were in Dark Celebration with regards to energy surges and holding power.

The book kind of forms a central point for the entire series with new doors opening, taking the readers into realms that Christine has yet to explore more. And more of what the evil Xavier had in store for Carpathians is revealed. I was especially pleased to see Razvan in a different light. He has taken a soft spot in my heart and can't wait to read his story soon.

The book that I have also contains three deleted scenes that were not part of the original publication. The appendix sections continues to stay but this time it is only of the Carpathian Language.

A few tidbits:
This book misses the hard card inserts that gives reader an opportunity to either join a book club and win books, or buy a book and get a few free. And the family chart appears again with more details incorporated.

Christine provides a jigsaw puzzle of the book cover on her website. It is quite interesting. You can solve it here too: http://www.jigzone.com/puzzles/8F13C8.... And she has the Carpathian lullabies and the chants also in MP3 format on her site.

Another powerful paranormal plot woven by Christine Feehan keeping us thoroughly entertained and immersed into the world of Carpathians. As always the fight scenes are excellent and love scenes are very romantic, not yet erotic. Christine has certainly left the readers with so many minute details that they would be craving to read those details becoming important in future plots. Watch this space for more reviews of the next books in the series.

Spoiler Alerts:

1. Plot reveals:
a. Raven is pregnant with a boy in this plot.
b. Lara being mage could detect the microbes that Xavier has created specifically so they would inject the males and through them to their lifemates and through them to the kids. These microbes make the babies in the womb suffer and resort to suicide. If she converts she may be unable to detect the microbes. At the end of this book, her conversion doesn’t happen. Both Nicolas and Lara suffer not being fully bonded to each other, for the greater good of the Carpathians.

2. Sub-Plots:
a. Would love to ask Christine Feehan as to why she didn’t have Barack claim Syndil early on, why make him wait till after Darius makes his clam on Tempest? Also why not a separate book or a novella for Barack and Syndil instead of spreading their story within two books - fifth book Dark Challenge and sixth book Dark Fire?
b. In Dark Descent (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...), we see quite a few sub-plots, more meat for future books.
i. Gabrielle Sanders and Jubal Sanders are siblings to Joie Sanders. As of Dark Demon plot they reside in Carpathian Mountains taking care of the kids during the day, whom Sarah Marten and Falcon have adopted. Gabrielle is turned to Carpathian in Dark Demon plot and tied to Vikirnoff for all time. In Dark Celebration it is revealed that Joie Sanders and her siblings and parents are from pure Jaguar blood-line. And that all of them had dormant Jaguar blood in them.
ii. As of Dark Celebration plot, Traian Trigovise resides in the Carpathian Mountains. So we assume that the threat to him by the vampire is removed. And now I am curious to see how she shapes Elisabeta Trigovise, Traian's sister whom we saw first in the 31st book, Dark Legacy's plot. I still have to read the additional 100 pages she added to Dark Descent plot later on.
c. In Dark Celebration (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...), we see quite a few sub-plots, more meat for future books.
i. Quite a few Carpathian women are shown pregnant - Tempest (lifemate to Darius Daratrazanoff), Savannah Dubrinsky (lifemate to Gregori Daratrazanoff, perhaps with two twin girls thus confirming the forecast that Julian and Savannah had in Dark Melody (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...)), Sara Marten (lifemate to Falcon).
ii. The plot also reveals a possibility of another powerful Carpathian lineage who had ability to heal earth, water, plants, ability to regrow plants with rich nutritious soil all around, aiding in the birth of Carpathians. Syndil is last surviving descendent.
iii. Also shows a few more developments for the Jansen and Chevez offsprings - Perhaps a budding romance between Josef - Byron's nephew - and Ginny - Colby's step-sister; that Paul and Ginny have Jaguar blood in them by way of their mother. Although Paul is tied to Nicholas De La Cruz by blood bond since Dark Secret plot.
d. In Dark Possession, it is revealed that MaryAnn Delany, lifemate to Manolito De La Cruz, is a werewolf and now a carpathian with werewolf capabilities hidden beneath.

3. Unique / Repeat Characters who are not Carpathians but with the possibility of them being expanded by Christine Feehan in future books:
a. Gary Jansen first time introduced in Dark Magic, doesn’t have a story of him yet - 18 years since his character had first been mentioned. Recently Christine announced in her blog on Goodreads that Gary's story has to wait as his lifemate is a child now. I wonder who that child was and if she had already introduced that child in any of the recent books. And if she is basing her on one of her granddaughters' - just like Skyler - and she would wait till the grand daughter would grow in real life before penning a story between her and Gary. In Dark Celebration, it is revealed that he is Colby and her step siblings uncle - their mother's brother- and that he has Jaguar blood in him albeit dormant.
b. In Dark Dream (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...), Sara Marten adopts seven sewer children - three girls (Emma, Chrissy, Blythe) and four boys (Travis, Jase,) - all with psychic abilities. The other two boys names yet to be known.
c. Skyler Rose Thompson is first introduced in Dark Legend, as a 14 year old girl psychic human female who is battered and injured in every way. We are going to see more of her. In Dark Celebration it is revealed that she is lifemate to Dimitri Tirunul. And that she could have been fathered by Razvan Dragonseeker making her part human part dragonseeker.
d. In Dark Legend, Francesca muses if her child would be one of those rare females since she had perfected the art of living like a human and walking in the sun. Wonder what would the fate of this child would be in Christine's hands.
e. Barry Woods, a reporter in the Dark Legend plot doesn’t have a closure like other reporters in other plots. Perhaps a future character?
f. Jasmine Sangria - sister to Juliette - and Solange Sangria - their cousin - are introduced in Dark Hunger (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...) plot. Strong psychics from the Jaguar species who could potentially be lifemates to Carpathians just like how Juliette is for Riordan. As of this book's plot, Jasmine is pregnant. And Solange is targeted for the Jaguar men and the vampires / mages for her royal blood.

4. Perils that the Carpathians face:
a. Children born rarely survive their first year, and with female born very rarely. Shea Dubrinsky along with Gregori Daratrazanoff are working hard towards a solution.
b. With Dark Symphony, Christine introduces a new concept while converting a psychic female with Jaguar blood - Antoninetta Scarletti's blind eyes seem to be giving sight back to her.
c. Vampires are congregating; doing a hypnotic dances and holding spells; able to inject a fast acting poison impacting the nervous system; can cause Carpathians to sever the mental path the Carpathians share; casting a silvery net to capture the hunters in their molecular form; master vampires running the show together; use animals such as rats, birds and insects to pry on others; a multigenerational poison that could attack the healers, fighting the master mage Xavier (introduced in Dark Demon plot), ingest parasites so their blood can recognize between vampires and carpathian males.
d. Society of Human Vampire Hunters who constantly hunt the Carpathians mistaking them to be Vampires. The Morrison Center for Psychic Research is targeting psychic humans and jaguar females, documenting about them to kill them in the end.
e. Malinov Brothers are introduced in this Dark Secret plot; they were sent to Asia by Vladimir Dubrinsky to fight vampires, instead they become the very thing that they were sent to kill - Kirja Manilov killed by Rafael De La Cruz with aid from Vikirnoff Von Shrieder in Dark Secret; Maxim Malinov killed by Mikhail Dubrinsky in Dark Celebration plot; Ruslan Manilov is the eldest of them.

5. Lifemate pairs introduced as the series progresses: Will Christine have a plot for these pairs sometime in future?
a. Eric and Celeste – Celeste is pregnant with child in Dark Prince, but no mention of them in the books after.
b. Vlad and Eleanor Belandrake - In Dark Symphony we see that she has given birth to Benjamin "Benj" and also adopts Josef - son of another Carpathian pair who are lying in ground now, Lucia and Rodaniver.
c. Tienn and Diedre - Diedre is sister of Vlad.
d. Vladimer Dubrinsky and Sarantha - Mikhail and Jacques Dubrinsky's parents - They are shown as dead as of Dark Guardian (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...) plot.
e. Soren - a half Carpathian and half mage - and Samantha, a human - Natalya and Razvan's parents and dead as of Dark Demon plot.

6. Other Carpathians who are waiting for their lifemates as of this book and we meet as the series progresses are:
a. Dimitri Tirunul – another ancient Carpathian mentioned briefly for the first time in Dark Desire plot. First introduced almost 15 years ago, we as readers already know that his story would not be until the 25th book in the series. He is a renowned scientist; works for preservation of wolves and guards them in the reservations of Russia; and has a wolf foundation. He is lifemate to Skyler Rose.
b. Dominic Dragonseeker - Introduced in Dark Symphony, with added little details about wizards / mages and a war between them and the Carpathians. He is looking for his sister - Rhiannon Dragonseeker - a powerful mage although just an apprentice, thought to be lost. As of this plot, Dominic ingests the parasitic vampire blood and leaves the Carpathian mountains to the heart of the Morrison Center for Psychic Research.
c. Remaining De La Cruz Brothers - Nicolas and Zacarias - living in South America are introduced in Dark Hunger plot along with Riordan. Riordan, Rafael, and Manolito find lifemates in Dark Hunger, Dark Secret and Dark Possession respectively.
d. Razvan Dragonseeker - Introduced first in Dark Secret, Natalya's brother, shown to have joined forces with Xavier, the powerful mage working against Carpathians. He has three children with three different women - Colby Jansen who lived in CA before she became lifemate to Rafael De La Cruz and moved to South America; Skyler Rose could also be his daughter and Lara Calladine, lifemate to Nicolas De La Cruz.
e. Tiberiu Bercovitz - an ancient mentioned in Dark Celebration plot. He was known to be amazing with weapons.
f. Luiz, a Jaguar converted to Carpathian by Manolito De La Cruz in Dark Possession.
g. Andre - an ancient Carpathian who keeps mostly to himself, introduced first in this plot.
h. Tariq Asenguard - an ancient Carpathian, who was sent to North America by Vlad, introduced first in this plot.

7. Being so many few Carpathian females born, a few females that Christine still manages sneak in her plots are:
a. Shea O’Halloran – lifemate to Jacques Dubrinsky, first female born after more than 500 years, a natural healer. Her story is in Dark Desire (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...) and has given birth to a boy as of Dark Celebration plot.
b. Savannah Dubrinsky - daughter of Prince Mikhail and Raven Dubrinsky; lifemate to Gregori Daratrazanoff. Her story is in Dark Magic (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...).
c. Desari Daratrazanoff - lifemate to Julian Savage, sister to Gregori and Darius; has the power to sing that could bring peace to all beings. Her story is in Dark Challenge (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...)
d. Syndil - lifemate to Barack, both part of the troupe Dark Troubadours, with tremendous healing powers and has an affinity to earth. Her story is spread in two books - Dark Challenge and Dark Fire (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...)
e. Francesca Del Ponce - lifemate to Gabriel Daratrazanoff. Her story is told in Dark Legend (https://inspirethoughts.livejournal.c...). She is a powerful healer; has ability to bring peace to anyone who is in her vicinity or by touch; makes stained glass patterns and quilts that are specific to one's need and bring healing to them..
f. Rhiannon - a Dragonseeker who was kidnapped by the powerful mage, Xavier, eventually giving birth to triplets - two daughters and a son - with Xavier who had killed her lifemate. Natalya and Razvan are descendents of that son.
g. Natalya Shonski - lifemate to Vikirnoff Von Shrieder. She is part human, part mage and part Dragonseeker. She also has the tigress inside he and has ability to see the past of anything that she touches.
h. Ivory Malinov - youngest and only sister of the Malinov brothers and to De La Cruzes as well. Thought to have been killed by a vampire with no trace left.
i. Lara Calladine - lifemate to Nicolas De La Cruz. She is part human, part Carpathian and part Dragonseeker; and a daughter of Razvan Dragonseeker.
j. Branislava "Bronnie" Dragonseeker and Tatijana Dragonseeker - Twin Dragons (Green and Red respectively), great aunts to Lara Calladine, aunts to Natalya and Razvan, who had been in capture in the ice caves in the form of dragons by Xavier and finally freed by Lara and Nicolas in this plot.

8. Next Generation Carpathian male and female kids:
a. Tamara - daughter of Gabriel Daratrazanoff and Francesca Del Pounce, born after the Dark Legend plot.
b. Josef and Benjamin "Ben" Belandrake - Carpathian male kids, first introduced in Dark Symphony. Nephews to Byron Justicano.
c. Corrine Wentworth (lifemate to Dayan) gives birth to a female psychic child - Jennifer - in Dark Melody.
d. Stefan Kane Dubrinsky - Shea and jacques Dubrinsky's son born in Dark Celebration plot.
Profile Image for Bety.
107 reviews20 followers
March 21, 2022
Simplemente no puedo continuar leyéndolo. La historia no me atrapó, no me gusta la relación de los protagonistas. No es lo mío.
Profile Image for Mishel Forte.
225 reviews23 followers
March 5, 2010
I have a lot of respect and admiration for Ms. Feehan. I owe my entire love for paranormal/fantasy/romance in general to her. I remember browsing through Barnes & Noble years ago and stumbling into the romance section. I never read romance before because I was just never into sex in books and I suppose the old school covers with the hero and heroine completely turned me off. I must have been mighty bored on that trip because I found myself walking down the romance aisle. I came across a number of books by her and decided to pull at least one out and see what they were about. Dark Guardian was the one I grabbed. There was a really hot guy on the front and a wolf on the back. What more could I ask for? Curiosity made me read the back cover and I said "What the hey, just give it a try." And the rest, my friends, is history.

So with that said, I'm particularly loyal to Ms. Feehan and her Dark Series especially. Even though they aren't my favorite. And sadly they have been a bit disappointing and repetitive over the years. Number 19 (including anthologies) in the Dark Series, Dark Curse, wasn't exactly holding high hopes for me in light of its predecessor, Dark Possession, being a complete let down. But of course I was going to read it.

Lara is first introduced in the ice caves of the Carpathian mountains. She is a very small child at the mercy of her great-grandfather, Xavier. Evil dark mage filled with jealousy and hatred toward the Carpathians, Xavier tortures Lara daily as he feeds off of her. Razvan, Lara's father, is also seen hurting his daughter and siding with Xavier. However, with the help of her two great-aunts, Branislava and Tatijana, Lara manages to escape the ice caves to an outside world that scares her just as much as her imprisonment.

I absolutely love the concept of lifemates. And I'm sure it's hard to come up with fresh new ideas on how to portray the same thing over and over again with different couples. So I won't fault the author for that. Nicolas De La Cruz is a lot like any Carpathian male; dominant, arrogant, possessive, etc. Extremely close to turning into a vampire when we first meet him and after seeing Lara he undoubtedly claims her. Like most of the males he does so without her consent and really without any care of the consequences.

Ms. Feehan is known for her long-winded sex scenes. And I must admit, they can get pretty heavy and pretty irresistible. However, I found myself skimming a lot of the sex scenes in this book because I really wanted to read the story that was building behind the two of them. But I'd be lieing if I said I didn't like some of the scenes.
Lara is part Dragonseeker, part mage, and part human. She has never really fit in anywhere and has never had any family. After meeting Nicolas, her childhood memories that have been locked away for her protection come back to her in small but violent pieces. And her memories and knowledge may be the key to solving the birthing problems that have been plaguing the Carpathian people. I was very excited to see Lara use her amazing mage skills throughout the book. She isn't a warrior like some of the other women in the series (Jaxon, Natalya, Destiny), but she has a serious arsenal of mage magic that she uses. A lot of it seems a little "coincidental" at times. The fact that she just happens to know a spell that can help out at exactly the right time...*raises eyebrow* But that fact that she contributes so much is really nice to see.

One thing that bothered me a little was the excessive use of the Carpathian language. And even the appendices in the back of the book. I admire Ms. Feehan for doing the research and incorporating the beautiful language in the book. I totally skipped over it though. You can go to her website and hear samples of the language but I just didn't really feel the need to have so much of the language spoken in the book. But thank God, for translations (= She graciously included them almost every time. After a while, I did start to recognize words, so maybe I should thank her for the language lesson.

The book was good. It continues the story of the Carpathians and we may finally have a solution that could save the entire race. There were a lot of unexpected twists with the characters and the story itself which made it great to read. I especially liked the ending, and I honestly didn't want it to end. So even though I struggled through the middle of the book, I'm very glad I read it. Anyone who likes the Dark Series should read this just for the continuation of the story. Lara and Nicolas are very like able characters and they weren't really a disappointment.
Profile Image for Karyn.
509 reviews36 followers
July 5, 2009
I know when i reviewed Dark Secret i said i probably wouldn't like any of the South American Carpathian men because Rafael was just so obnoxious to me, but i think Nicolas more or less redeems all the brothers in this one. Eventually.

The prologue itself got me completely involved in the book and with Lara. I've been looking forward to reading more on Razvan, Xavier and the past between the mages and the Carpathians, and this book added a lot to that story.

Nicolas is here to tell Mikhail about an old conspiracy against the Carpathians which they believe is now being carried out. But before that can happen, he sees Lara. The whole scenario of how Lara and Nicolas meet was absolutely ridiculous and seemed completely out of some cheesy movie

He sees her and bites her. She stabs him with her knife. He uses the Carpathian binding words and gives her the knife back so she can kill him if she wants to: "It is not my choice. Life or death is the choice of my lifemate. If you reject my claim, then you are condemning me and I willingly die by your hand."
All this in the half a page since he's met her.
And Lara's words more of less sum the whole situation up : "You might be the hottest man in the village, but your brain is about the size of a pea"

Lara was the small girl who Natalya had seen through Xavier's knife in Dark Demon. She's Razvan's daughter and here to rescue her aunts. And there's more of her horrible childhood with Razvan and Xavier in this book.

In the beginning, Nicolas thinks he knows whats best for Lara and makes decisions for the both of them without any regard to her needs. What ended up was a very very bad trip down memory lane for Lara and a huge awakening for Nicolas. I liked Nicolas after that.

Lara finally helps with the answers for why the Carpathians aren't having kids - a solution which means she cannot be converted to a full Carpathian until the problem is solved.

Dark Curse also brings back Vikirnoff and Natalya, who is Lara's aunt - my favourite couple. They do a suspense filled double date back to Xavier's cave to rescue Lara's aunts - the same ones who were in dragon form in Dark Demon.

This book didn't end in the typical Feehan manner. Dark Curse went from a woman who was ready to do anything it took to get away from the man who had bound him to her to a couple who needed each other for their very breath. It added more characters and more promising stories in the books to come.

The only part i didn't like was the constant reference to spiders in all of Lara's spells. But i figured that wasn't reason enough to keep this great book from a 5 stars.

I like the latter part of the series where the stories are more varied and more captivating compared to the ones at the beginning. Although they all were good in their own manner. The only thing i can say now is Write Faster Woman!! I know Feehan has quite a few series running, but i cannot wait to find out what happens next in Razvan and Ivory Malinov (Dark Slayer, releasing September 1st 2009)
Profile Image for Mojca.
2,133 reviews143 followers
December 13, 2009
When she was a child, Lara's father Razvan and grandfather Xavier (the big bad dark mage), used her as a food supply. It was only thanks to her two great aunts that she managed to escape her icy prison, and she swore to herself she would never be a prisoner again...And no one would take her blood without her consent.

Well, 19 years later her promise comes to a test, when she restores Nicolas De La Cruz's emotions and colors, thus becoming his lifemate. And lifemates don't shy away from donating blood to one another. Despite all her reservations, though, and his domineering ways, Lara soon learns to trust this towering, sexy hunk of a man, and just in time it seems, because her world and everything she thought she knew is about to come down tumbling around her.


This story was classic Feehan. A domineering male that suddenly realizes his heart is at stake, a somewhat stubborn (and sometimes borderline TSTL) heroine that doesn't want to trust said male, but is unable to resist, the ancient battle between good and evil with some unwanted birth control thrown into the mix, and loads and loads of steam.

This book was scorching hot, and I guess whoever wrote on the back cover knew what they were talking about. This was the most sensual Carpathian story to date. Hot damn! Don't get me wrong, they are all hot, blood sucking, sexy fiends with wolfish grins, smoldering gazes, and capable of whispering inside the mind usually are, but this one surpassed them all. It was more daring, more darkly erotic, more hot, more everything.
And of course it all tied in nicely with the romance between two utterly different yet somehow incredibly similar individuals. It was all bout control with them, and they both had to learn to let go of some of that control in order to compromise and make a life together.
I loved both Lara and Nicolas separately and together, because there was something so sweet and cute about them that just made me go all "awww" inside.

The big bad Xavier also made a creepy appearance, and his plan of destroying the Carpathian race is so brilliantly twisted that I just couldn't help but admire his genius all the while hating his guts.
But the biggest whopper of a surprise came with his grandfather, Lara's father (and father of many, many, many more children it would seem), Razvan. The guy we all (readers and Carpathians combined) though of as the villain turned out to be the most tortured soul of all, completely at the mercy of his demented and utterly evil grandfather. Determined to protect his sister and his daughter, he sealed his fate for all time...Or did he?

After the flop that was Dark Possession, IMHO this was a true comeback for the series and I can't wait to sink my teeth into Dark Slayer next. Methinks it will be all about forgiveness and redemption and you know how much I like those types of stories. ;)
Profile Image for Mskychick.
2,199 reviews
May 24, 2011
I first read this on 5/24/11, and I really didn't like it then. I re-read it in April 2012, after winning it in an online contest. I thought I was getting a Carpathian novel that I hadn't read it before, but when I received it and started reading it, I realized right away that I had read it already. Since I got it for free, I decided I might as well read it again. I'm not sure why I didn't like it the first time, because I really appreciated it this time around. I seem to either love or hate the Carpathian novels; perhaps it is what else is going on in my life when i read them that makes me like or dislike them? Since they are all fairly similar in content and feel...

Anyway, the plot is the same as all the others: broody and gorgeous Carpathain male is saved at the last minute by finding his lifemate. Lifemate is an independent female who has a hard time trusting men. Eventually they realize they have to compromise, have amazing sex, contribute in some significant way to their Carpahtian communithy, and all is (briefly) well. you would think with such a repetative storyline that these books would become boring, but not so.

I was interested in how much native american culture was brought in under the guise of Carpathian symbolic culture. It made me curious as to how much deep research Christine Feehan has done on shamanistic rituals. Of course, anyone who has written a near-whole language for their book's make-believe culture has done lots of background research on many things, I think!
September 30, 2010
well... as for all her books, there is so much emotional descriptive fluff, that sometimes i skip a couple pages to get to the point. If it were consistant I wouldn't mind, but she will be nondescriptive of actions, it isn't as visual.

I don't need 3 pages to tell me about every muscle that ripped through each of them when CF could have just said in so many words... He pissed her off because he was so bossy. I think I can visualize that instead of being walked through sllloooowwwwlllyyyy... see just stretched out too much, and we can already see whats happening.

I guess, it starts out for the first 2/3 I cannot put it down, and then I get frustrated & start skipping. Points are too drug out.

AND NO It did not end completely resolved. A couple of folks were never mentioned as being alive or dead even when they found fresh bolld. The subject was dropped completely, and they were being chased... what??? really?

Profile Image for Tasha.
241 reviews37 followers
September 29, 2008
I didn't really enjoy this book. The constant ice cave scenes were so boring; I really had to force myself not to skip a couple of pages. And Lara, ugh! I know she was traumatized as a child, but can she not try and seek some help? I just kept getting really annoyed with her and her behavior. Many times throughout the book she nearly killed people because she was freaking out. Nicolas didn't help the situation by babying her everytime she would spaz out and nearly kill people. I totally agreed with Gregori for going off on Lara. Overall I didnot like this book. I did however like how they brought alot of the characters from the previous books into the story, but it was not enough to save it. I liked Nicolas, he seemed to be a good man and lifemate, but Lara was not the right match for him. I could not work up any sympathy, empathy, or like for her.
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