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.
This paranormal romance is a hardcover edition that was published by Berkley on September 6, 2011 and has 372 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Savage Nature, Spirit Bound, Darkest at Dawn, Samurai Game, Dark Storm, Leopard's Prey, Air Bound, Hot Blooded, Viper Game, Power Game, Earth Bound, Spider Game, "Dark Crime"
Eighteenth in the Dark Saga paranormal-romance series revolving around two groups of vampires, one good and the other evil. In this installment, the couple focus is on Zacarias De La Cruz and Marguarita Fernandez.
While this story has the usual Carpathian plotline to it, Feehan has taken a different approach to Zacarias’ “courtship” of the human, Marguarita. Instead of all the joy of emotions and colors suddenly showing up, it takes a bit of time before Zacarias realizes that she is his lifemate. Another difference, I could be wrong as it’s been awhile since I’ve read one of the Carpathian stories, is that Zacarias only experiences emotion or sees color if he’s near Marguarita or the link between them is open. I don’t remember this being a necessity before. Although, Feehan does make a brief note that when a Carpathian male is so close to going bad, the bonding doesn’t work as well.
There is much more of a submission feel to this coupling as well but I don’t feel as though Feehan is using this as well as she could. Zacarias comes off more confused than anything. The tension between the two of them during the third blood exchange could have been more dramatic as well. Z’s self-analysis was just too quick and easy. I had expected more drama and tension. Nice bit on the final denouement between Z and the evil Ruslan Malinov. Much more original than it has been.
A few inconsistencies in this. The Malinov attack on the De La Cruz properties in Brazil failed with all the attackers killed and Feehan states that “there were none to return to tell…their plan had failed”. So, how is it that, later in the story, Zacarias is expecting the vampire attacks because the Malinovs know their attack failed?? When Zacarias saved Marguarita all that time ago when the vampire was tearing her throat out, how come she didn’t cross his radar then as a lifemate? If Marguarita has been brought up on the De La Cruz ranch all her life, her “entire extended family worked for the De La Cruz family”, and knows everything any human under their protection is supposed to know, how does she not know about the moment when a Carpathian male must seek the sun or turn vampire?
Determined to preserve the honor of the De La Cruz family, Zacarias intends to seek the sun before the pull to drink someone to their death overcomes him and turns him into a vampire. Another pull is on him now. Insisting he meet his fate on the De La Cruz ranch in Peru and so he flies in his guise as a harpy eagle.
Circling the ranch, he watches Marguarita with the Peruvian Pasos, and he is content to know that she is safe. That he gave her life while she gave him freedom, as he sets down on the ground and awaits the sun to burn him to ash.
Zacarias De La Cruz is the head of the De La Cruz family in South America. Feared by everyone including his brothers Nicolas, Rafael, Manolito, and Riordan, Zacarias has chosen to go to the family ranch in Peru and go to the dawn. He is just a step away from turning vampire and he will preserve the family honor.
It’s just that Marguarita Fernandez, having survived the brutal attack by a vampire, and with a deep-seated need to help, refuses to allow Zacarias to die. Psychic, Marguarita has a strong two-way bond with all animals, the Peruvian Paso bred on the ranch in particular. She can’t help but want to preserve life and, by doing so, seals her fate.
Cesaro Santos is the ranch foreman while Julio Santos, his son, loves Marguarita as a brother.
Esteban and Lea Eldridge are newcomers to the area and while Esteban’s flirting seems contrived and his pointed questions about her abilities of the mind are uncomfortable, Marguarita believes that Lea is a true friend.
Malinov is Russian, evil, and enemy to the De La Cruzes.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a gradation of bright to darker oranges with a truly hunky guy and his five-o-clock shadow gracing the cover with a herd of Peruvian Pasos thundering past in the background.
The title is accurate, as Zacarias De La Cruz is indeed a Dark Predator.