Review of DARK POSSESSION by Christine Feehan (see her website)
A CARPATHIAN NOVEL
Berkley, August 2007
Manolito De La Cruz has waited for his lifemate for hundreds of years. Like all Carpathians, he knows that only one woman will ever be right for him--and that if he somehow fails to connect with her, he's doomed to spend a lifetime devoid of emotion and even the ability to see color. Carpathians who fail to connect with their lifemates go insane, become vampire, or die. But suddenly Manolito can see colors, can feel emotion. Although he's dead, and tortured in the shadow-world between life and the void, he knows he can return, must return. His lifemate needs him.
MaryAnn doesn't need any man. As an abuse counselor, she knows too much the evil that dominant, abusive men can do. While Manolito may claim to love her, he doesn't even know her name--if that doesn't signal he's a stalker, what would? Still, when the vampires, mages, and jaguar-men attack, she wishes Manolito were around. Still, although she's absolutely certain she has no psychic ability, she manages to pull up the power to kill the mage and stop the jaguars.
Although MaryAnn doesn't want to, she can't help desiring Manolito. His hot body, the way he touches her, her own body's response to him, tempt her to fly against all logic. But when Manolito is confronted by MaryAnn's secret, she fears she's learned the truth--that he doesn't want a partner, simply a possession.
Author Christine Feehan (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Feehan) combines vampires with steamy sex to create an intriguing situation. The mix of an alpha male with hundreds of years of life (and wealth) with an independence-minded woman has all kinds of potential. And the danger of the vampires and jaguar-men, as well as the mysterious mages, makes for vivid adventure. Unfortunately, Feehan didn't quite live up to the potential. Manolito spends his time feeling guilty for his part in coming up with the plan that threatens the Carpathians, thinking how much he wants MaryAnn, and being tortured by vampires. MaryAnn worries about her fashion while she insists on denying her own magical abilities. Even when she discovers her unexpected talent, this doesn't really become a major plot element.
DARK POSSESSION fell short of its potential because the central characters never really stepped out to become real. Sure the sex is hot, but I like to sympathize with the characters, think they deserve what they're getting. It's hard to see what Sure Manolito desires MaryAnn, but it's hard to see why. It's harder to imagine wanting to spend eternity with a woman who cares more about having the correct brand of nail polish than in learning the truth about herself. As for Manolito, scratch beneath the Latino-macho and there's not a lot there.
Feehan delivers a high-potential story and her sex sceens sizzle. DARK POSSESSION is certainly readable, but it doesn't exactly stick with you.
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