Gabrielle has had enough of battles, of wars, of seeing Gary Jansen, the man she loves nearly lose his life when it isn’t even his fight. Once he was a gentle and very human researcher. Now he’s a fearless and lethal Carpathian warrior with the blood of an ancient lineage coursing through his veins—a man Gabrielle still needs and desires and dreams of with every breath she takes. All she wants is a life far away from the Carpathian mountains, far from vampires and the shadows cast by the crumbling monastery that hides so many terrible secrets. But Gabrielle soon learns that promises made in the dark can pierce the heart like a dagger.
And she isn’t the only one in search of answers in the corners of the unknown...
Trixie Joanes has come to the Carpathian mountains in search of her wayward granddaughter, fearing that she has been lured there by something unspeakable. Instead, Trixie has stumbled into the path of a desperate man and a woman in love and on the run. And they’re all fated for the lair of a mysterious ancient with revenge in his soul and the undying power to make bad dreams come true.
This review has spoilers so if you don't want spoilers turn back now.
It took me awhile to force myself to finish this book. I really didn't want to because I got stuck at the beginning but I kept staring at the book just sitting unfinished on my shelf hoping that somehow Feehan would redeem herself. I'm sad to say she didn't.
So this book really wasn't about Gary and Gabrielle at all. It was about Alek and Fane. Gary and Gabrielle were its center as a couple that had been converted into Carpathians after being attacked. Regular readers will know that Gary and Gabby have had a serious love thing going on for a long time. We've all been cheering for them to finally get their happily ever after. Well Dark fans... its not happening.
Gabby and Gary suddenly have reality hit them during their wedding ceremony that they can't be together. Gabrielle in her desperation to convince Gary to give them a chance to be together away from the Carpathians wakes Alek who's been in sleep.
Alek shows up while Gabby's begging Gary not to give up on them, Alek drags Gabby off by her hair quite literally shoves her to the ground strips her naked force feeds her and sexually abuses her in the process, manipulates her mind until she gives in to him, then repeats the process several times.
Once Alek finally partially releases control of her mind and she continues to refuse to be with him he threatens to kill himself if she won't be with him, manipulates her into being with him of her own accord. Alek commands to have control of her mind and body and this is the sum of their entire relationship.
She is his slave, she thinks, she does, she feels, she exists just for him, he guilt trips her and manipulates his way into her life convinces her she needs him and loves him and wants him and it continues on and on and on... and on... and on... and on.
I really despise their relationship and the fact that Gabby eventually is convinced that they belong together, that she has been in the wrong the entire time, that its her fault that she and Gary have been emotionally broken by it, that its her responsibility to give herself to Alek regardless of what she thinks or feels same as most abuse victims do in relationships like it.
Eventually I started skipping through the pages where Gabby and Alek were together simply to avoid my own disgust at their pairing and the excuses Gabby made to make this kind of behavior okay.
You get several cameos of the other Carpathians and a rather pointless pairing between Fane and Trixie.
We finally get to find out what happens with Teagan's grandmother which kind of winds up feeling completely out of place between what is going on with Gary and Gregori also Mikhails tolerance for the continuing abuse that he's witness to in these relationships that the women suffer at the hands of the males who 'aren't in control of themselves since they are close to turning.' Which is the lamest excuse for tolerating what they're doing to them, and saying that ''the women will come around and the men know whats best for them' really sickens me.
Its that kind of warped thinking that get a lot of women killed in abusive relationships. The fact that Feehan seems to be such a strong supporter of such nonsense really upsets me on a personal level.
I honestly have no idea how to rate this book because everything about it screams wrong on every level. I honestly have no idea how I feel about this book emotionally besides sickened so I really can't say if it was good or bad. It was written well but everything that was in it as far as the relationships... no.
Note: I received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing