*I gave this 4 stars only for the basic storyline. If I included my frustration with repetition, it would be down to a 2.5*
This one had a better storyline. The female lead, Desari, wasn't a simpering human child, barely eighteen, being pounced on by a big bad, scary Carpathian male, but a strong Carpathian female with her own powers. This alone, made the whole story refreshing, but I also liked the family unit, the club scene, and the dark shadow within Julian.
However, again the repetition is getting a bit much. It's not the re-run of the whole Carpathian story that's bugging me, it's the little things. I don't care that each book reminds you of what male Carpathians are, of their history, or even of the binding words when they meet their lifemate. What bugs me are the silly, tiny things that are repeated as if the author didn't know any other word to use.
The sex scenes are, frankly, practically photocopies of each other. I'm a little fed up of reading the words 'silk', 'silky', 'sheath', and the rest of it. All Carpathian males act the same, think the same, feel the same. We get that, but it's getting to feel like Christine Feehan had this image in her head of what the perfect male would be, and then decided that all her Carpathian men were going to be exactly the same. There hasn't been one deviation; frankly, Aidan was about the most normal Carpathian and that's not saying much.
And don't the Carpathians know where to find a hairdresser? Why do they all have long, flowing locks of hair? And why are the girls are the same as well? They're all slim, small framed, delicate little things, with hair right down to their butts. Why?
I'm determined to work my way through the series, looking for a deviation from the seeming carbon-copy characters. This is as far as I'm going right now, but I will come back later, hoping for a change of pace. I just don't get why an author this good - and I mean good, the fight scenes are great, the whole Carpathian/vampire idea is great and the romances can be quite good - has ringed herself into such a tight spot so willingly. There is no real dimension to her characters, because all the men are the same, and all the women are the same, with the same fears and doubts and innocence and determination to be independent. It seems a waste of what is a good writer. I hope...desperately...hope, that there is a change somewhere soon, because if not, this will be a series I don't finish. And I hate that.