title: Dark Prince (The Dark Book 1)
author: Christine Feehan
genre: paranormal romance
first line: He could no longer fool himself.
Enter the enchanting world of the Carpathians, where dark adventure, mystery, and love await, and the desires of two daring hearts unite in one irresistible passion.
A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney helps catch some of the most depraved criminals. But her work keeps her from getting close to others, and has drained her body and spirit. In need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks on a vacation far from home.
Mikhail Dubrinksy is the Prince of the Carpathians, the powerful leader of a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night. Engulfed by despair, fearful of never finding the mate who can save him from the encroaching darkness, his soul cries out in loneliness. Until the day a beautiful voice full of light and love responds, softly soothing his pain and yearning.
From the moment they meet, Raven and Dubrinksy are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them. But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them and their fragile love. Yet even if they survive, how can these two lovers — Carpathian and human — build a future together? And how can Dubrinksy bring Raven into his dark world without extinguishing her beautiful goodness and light?- quoted from the author’s website.
Dark Prince is book 1 of 35 in the Dark Series. There are 35 books in this series so far! That’s impressive. I read this one after my daughter read it. She’s been on a reading kick lately and sometimes we like to read the same books so we can discuss. We bought this one a few summers ago at a used book shop while on vacation.
I wanted to like Dark Prince, I really did. I’m just glad this book didn’t put me into a reading slump because that’s what happens when I’m struggling with my current read. While the writing was entertaining, this just didn’t work for me, mainly because of Mikhail.
Who is Mikhail? Well. Mikhail Dubrinksy is the Prince of an ancient race of vampire shapeshifters called the Carpathians. As the story begins, Mikhail is depressed because he can’t find his soulmate. However, enter an American woman named Raven Whitney and viola! Love at first sight. Raven is in Budapest (I think that’s where this is set) taking a break to recover emotionally from her line of work helping the police find serial killers. She is telepathic and uses her abilities to help the police. That is actually a pretty cool job and I wish there was more mentioned about it in the book.
As the story moves along there’s a group of vampire hunters in town so Mikhail and his Carpathian family are attempting to stop these people. In the midst of the danger from the vampire hunters, central to the storyline is whether Mikhail and Raven can truly be together.
Mikhail is one of the most toxic and controlling characters I’ve ever read because he manipulates and gaslights Raven throughout the entire book. His attitude is that the knows what’s best for her. He’s also telepathic because why not and he’s constantly inside Raven’s mind reading her every thought. He has zero boundaries and honestly I think he should have been arrested. In real life someone doing what Mikhail was doing needs to go to jail for it. Among many other things, he drinks Raven’s blood without her permission and later justifies this by saying:
“The ritual demands the exchange of blood. It is not feeding hunger; it is purely a sensual exchange, a beautiful, erotic affirmation of love and trust. The first time I took your blood, I inadvertently took too much because I felt such ecstasy. I was out of control.
I was wrong to tie you to me without your understanding of what it all meant. But I allowed you to make the choice. You cannot deny it.”-Dark Prince by Christine Feehan p. 185
Raven is a strong independent woman and she reminds Mikhail of this all the time. Unfortunately her words don’t quite match her actions. She should have either left him or held him accountable for his actions, she did neither. Instead she continues enable Mikhail’s toxic ways. Also, I would have liked to have seen more character development with her background story.
Once the main plot issue was pretty much resolved the story took a different twist and it almost felt like I was reading a second book. At this point the book started to drag on somewhat. Other characters are introduced so I’m imagining they make appearances in some of the other books.
I’m not trying to bash this one, this series seems to be popular and I actually enjoyed some of the dramatic writing. I would read author Christine Feehan again but maybe some of her more recent work instead. Her latest book in this series called Dark Tarot comes out on November 9.
I know this book is dated being published in 1999 but I just could not get over Mikhail’s toxic actions. Even for romance written a few decades ago that is too much.
Oh and the ending was crazy-sauce but was somehow perfect considering everything else….lol. I’ll close with a few snippets from the book.
“Mikhail lifted her easily with his enormous strength, slid her slowly, erotically down his clenching belly until she was pressed against his raging velvet tip. Her heat seared him, beckoned. Raven’s arm slid around his neck, her legs around his hips, opening for him. Slowly he lowered her body over his, impaled her on the thick length of fire…” -Dark Prince by Christine Feehan p.88
“The mixture of his tenderness and wild nature was so impossible to resist, Raven knew no other man could ever touch her as he had. There would only be Mikhail for her.”–Dark Prince p. 84
Have you read Dark Prince? What do you think of these types of older romances?
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I purchased Dark Prince (The Dark Book 1) by Christine Feehan. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission.