As a child, trapped and tormented in a labyrinthe of ice caves, imprisoned and fed on by her father and grandfather, Lara Calladine saved her sanity by talking to her aunts, great dragons who were also imprisoned, encased in ice. It was their sacrifice that allowed her to escape and find a life for herself away from those who tortured her so. Now she returns, haunted by the memories that she isn’t quite convinced were real. Half-Mage, half-Carpathian she wants to reclaim her heritage and her childhood. Meeting the arrogant, dangerous and virile Nicolas De La Cruz was definitely not amongst her plans and especially not being his lifemate.
This is the first book by Christine Feehan I have read and I have to say my initial impressions were not good. I found it hard to get past how incredibly mysogynistic and chauvenistic the male characters were. I found it offputting and felt it was just an excuse for them to finally meet their soulmates after centuries of loneliness and then suddenly after being that way for hundreds of years would be a changed man, loving and giving and treat the female character as an equal. I’m not sure what the underlying message was supposed to be, and it bugged me.
Having got that out of the way, the story was engaging, the characters interesting and the whole Carpathian society and ‘world’ is rich and diverse. The plot was quite intricate leading to greater empathy with the major characters and a better understanding of their way of life and perhaps why the male Carpathians are the chauvenists they are.
There are quite a few steamy scenes which I felt were modern in setting but quite old fashioned in description and that does make it a change from your average paranormal romance. It’s not a bad thing, just different and succeeded in creating an emotive experience for me as the reader.
The pace was good in general although there were a few parts where it felt slow. I found myself wanting it to move along which it invariably did and I was swept up into the story again.
All in all it was well written and engaging, just the chauvenism I found hard to get past and while that won’t stop me reading more by Christine Feehan (this being the 17th in the series so I have a way to go once I read Book 1!), I will be expecting it next time.