Dark Symphony by Christine Feehan

(Dark Series, #10)
Paranormal Romance

Blinded and scarred in a terrible accident, Antoinetta Scarletti made music that thrilled the world with its beauty and passion. Descended from a long line of psychics, Antoinetta has learned to rely on her other senses to “see” the world around her, but nothing could have prepared her for Byron.

He came to her, drawn by her music, and became her secret obsession. Others fear him, sensing that he is dangerous — a predator—but for Antoinetta he is her ultimate fantasy, her dream lover. He woos her with kisses full of erotic allure, whispering that she is his light, his salvation. Byron has waited an eternity for her, and he will let nothing stand between him and the woman born to be his lifemate...

I don’t approach the Carpathian books like most series I’m into. I enjoy the storyline, but find the sequels can be repetitive. It’s a series that, while I like it overall, I have no interest reading all the books. It's rare for me to feel this way about any series, but this one proves to be the exception.

Dark Symphony made itself sound different enough by the description – the heroine is not perfect. She is blind and someone’s trying to kill her. Byron was a familiar name since he was around since book one. I don’t know or care about a lot of the future characters, I never saw their glimpses in the earlier books, but with Byron he was always there so I was curious what happened to him.

He doesn’t make as appealing and sensual a leading male as Mikhail, Gregori, and some of the others, but it was a good change to find he didn’t aim to be a hunter and had a skill with jewel crafting and was valued for something different by his people. He’s more laid back, less jealous (although that’s there in ways as well) and more reasonable.

I did dislike that in the beginning Feehan established that they had met and had those first introductions off page. I always liked the beginning of the Carpathian novels where the male finally realizes he has found his lifemate through some revelation, first introduces himself to her, and it unfolds from there. We miss that here and it’s sad. He’s already in her life and it’s from her POV.

Antoinetta was a surprise. She was strong, controlled everything, generous and caring. She was actually not a virgin, which was a change, and wasn’t repelled by other men prior to meeting Byron, another change. It also never bothered Byron she’d been with other people (wow if you consider the other Carpathians.) She was 37 and older than most, without the perfect shape and waspish waist (yay!). The scene where she’s grieving and filling the house with her music, pounding non-stop on the piano, making those around her shudder and feel the depression by her talent at music alone was nifty.

I didn’t care much about the rest of the family at first, but they grew on me as they showed different sides. For a change they were as big a part of the story as the leading couple. We delightfully get to see Eleanor, Vlad and their adopted son make a return.

There’s a little too much sex and I skimmed most of that, but the larger story was cool and it was tough figuring out who the culprits were. There is actually no big bad vampire fight scene at the end for a change. A new touch is introduced into the storyline with the Jaguar race and the potential this holds.

The main reason I enjoyed this one was the humor. It was spot on and Feehan always had a knack with it. Josef, the adopted son, is hilarious. Him scaling up the wall thinking he’s spiderman and constantly falling was too funny.

It’s hard to keep a series fresh after so many books, but somehow Feehan manages to do it through experimentation and changing things up a little. It makes me want to hunt down some of the other series books I’ve left behind over the years.

   Extras on Author's Website:

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