I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review."Dark Crime" by Christine Feehan
Published by Intermix on December 13, 2016
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Also by this author: Air Bound, Rocky Mountain Miracle, Power Game, Earth Bound, Spider Game, Judgment Road, Toxic Game, Vengeance Road, Fire Bound, Bound Together, Shadow Warrior, Leopard's Wrath, Wild Cat, Cat's Lair
Twenty-fourth (Feehan’s 27) in the Dark Carpathians paranormal romance series and revolving around a race of people who long for a lifemate, turning evil vampire if they don’t find her. The couple focus is on Blaze McGuire and Maksim Volkov.
If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Dark Carpathians books on my website.
There’s lots of action and grief in “Dark Crime”. Yes, lol, adventure-type action as well as the bedroom action. It begins with that action hook as Blaze sets up her bomb traps. She’s a strong one, as is her sister-in-spirit, Emeline. I do like that both female roles are strong ones.
The insta-love was annoying, especially since it was not only instant but confusing as to who was the male lead, as Feehan started out with Tariq’s character. It’s the third-person dual point-of-view that finally confirmed my suspicion that Maksim is the focus.
Feehan doesn’t spend as much time on the color and transforming events that she had previously spent on earlier books. I missed that, even though, yeah, yeah, it can be annoying to read a repeat of what you already know. It’s a fine line for a writer to walk: informing a new reader what the “old” readers already know about the characters in the series.
That said, Feehan really padded this story out to hell and gone as she kept going over and over and over and over, ad nauseum, about how important Maksim considered Blaze as his lifemate. I get it already. It’s a good example of going way over that line.
It’s an interesting twist Feehan takes on how the bad guys operate, as opposed to how they’ve maneuvered in the past. The other twist, their breeding program, is more horrifying than interesting.
Each story in the series is a monomyth with its beginning, middle, and end for the focus couple, and I’m not sure if I’ve simply read too many Dark stories or if Feehan is getting slack about the writing. For all its action, tension, and drama, the writing is quite sophomoric.
As for plot beats, the big ones were Feehan using minor flashbacks to inform us of how Blaze got into the situation in the first place. It was nicely done. Emeline has her dream sequence which Feehan uses to up the drama and create tension. The final conflict turns into a death trap plot beat with the surprising twist of Zhestokly turning up. Meanwhile, the end is a mix of happy and cliffhanger.
Grieving, Blaze McGuire is determined to got out in, well, a blaze of vengeance and take out the men who killed her father. Even with all her careful preparation, Blaze considers the possibility of failure and makes a call. One that will ensure her enemies’ destruction.
Blaze McGuire is Sean McGuire‘s daughter. A good father, a great neighbor, and the friendly, thoughtful bar owner of the multi-generational family business. He’d also been a bomb specialist with the U.S. Marines. Emeline Sanchez has been a homeless girl whom the McGuires took to their hearts.
Maksim Volkov and Tariq Asenguard are partners in a nightclub and Carpathians who hunt those of their kind who turn. Tomas, Lojos, and Mataias are triplets who work with Maksim and Tariq. The legendary Val Zhestokly has been missing for years. Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky is the leader of the Carpathians.
Danny is determined to save his sisters: Amelia who can talk to animals and Liv and baby Bella who are telekinetic. Jimmy Mason is a master at the bar tricks.
The Hallahan brothers are…
…vicious thugs — Jimmy, Terry, Carrick, and another — who work for Reginald Coonan, a mobster who fled Chicago and opened The In Place, a strip club with a unique way of making even more money than most.
Vadim and Sergei Malinov are the only two of five brothers who embraced the dark side who are still alive. Xavier had been a High Mage who had gone dark.
The Society for the Preservation of Mankind are…
…fanatics who believe in vampires and hunting them down.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a hazy background of, I’m guessing, Coonan’s strip club, as there’s a naked woman standing at the bar with her back to us. What really grabs your attention is that partial close-up of the leather-wearing, young-looking (and gorgeous) Maksim with his brown eyes, black van dyke beard, mustache, and slicked-back hair. The author’s name is in an embossed white at the top with the title in a mix of serif and sans-serif in white at the bottom and a small note of the series information (in white) below that.
The title is the kick-off to the story, “Dark Crime”.