DARK GHOST Christine Feehan
A Carpathian Novel
, Book 27
Berkley Books
ISBN-13:  978-0-425-27733-1
September 2015
Paranormal Romance

Carpathian Mountains Present Day

Teagan Joanes is a geologist hiking in the Carpathian mountains looking for a special crystal that she believes will cure her grandmother's increasing dementia and keep her from talking about vampires all the time.  She has devoted the next month to finding this rock; people don't know she can feel where the rock might be, and she knows she is close.  Unfortunately, her guide, Armend Jashari, a friend that she knew back in college, has finally shown his true colors and is trying to attack and rape her, and he says he has friends camping close by that will complete the job until they kill her and throw her off the mountain.  As she's fighting she finds out he's done this before to other women.  Luckily she hits him over the head with a rock and knocks him out, running off into the mountains, hoping he and his friends can't track her.  Hours later she finds a cave high up in the mountain.  She can also feel the presence of the crystal she is looking for, and follows it through numerous rooms, until she finds a man lying in a sort of grave in the dirt with many gashes and injuries all over his body.  Teagan is also a healer, she doesn't really know how she does it but she runs her hands over his body and he seems to come alive.

Andre Boroi is a Carpathian Vampire Hunter, and after his last battle with the Master Vampire Costin Popescu, he returned to the caves where he has come many times to recover from fights.  As a Carpathian, sleeping covered in the dirt allows his body to heal, but he hadn't even been able to dig a hole deep enough to lie in before his heart stopped to allow him to rest.  He awakes to hear a woman talking, and when she runs her hands over him he can feel the healing, she is one of the strongest healers he has ever met.  But more than that, he can tell she is his lifemate.  After several centuries without a lifemate, a Carpathian's world grows slowly gray, and he doesn't see in color and eventually feels no emotions.  In fact, at the top of this mountain is a monastery called the Retreat in the Veil of Mists, with a virtual army of ancient Carpathian hunters, who have not yet died, but cannot be trusted around others because the many battles they've been in almost causes them to lose all hope.  If Andre recovered from his injuries, he was close to the monastery in case he needed it, but now his lifemate has brought him into light and color and emotions like love and, dare he say it, happiness?

After Andre recovers and while Teagan is sleeping, he changes into an owl and finds Armend.It's so unusual, it seems like a pack of wolves then attacked Armend, after being rendered immobile by someone who will not allow danger towards his lifemate.  Teagan can't believe how quickly Andre becomes so important to her, and she learns of his history and lifestyle.  They are not vampires, but Carpathians require blood to live.  To bind Teagan to him, Andre drinks her blood and has her drink his three times while she's asleep.  She will have to become a Carpathian and accept his lifestyle, but being a modern woman she lets him know quickly that she doesn't appreciate his trying to take control of her life.

Teagan is beginning to think maybe her grandmother isn't talking crazily, and tries to figure out how Andre would fit in back in the United States.  With his past, he was called Ghost because his mother never talked to or acknowledged him after his birth, and his father barely acknowledged him until they left him to be raised by another family.  The three brothers he was raised with are now in the United States, and when Costin is taken care of he will do whatever his lifemate needs, including give up his present life.  When Andre finds the Master Vampire, will he survive the attack, and can Teagan's healing skills save his life?

Secondary characters are only Armend, who dared to attack Teagan, and Costin, the vampire, destined to meet a Carpathian with no mercy.

DARK GHOST is one of the many Carpathian Novels, and despite being a long series, it is totally standalone as it is just about Andre and Teagan.  Will they prevail over Costin, and can Teagan accept the fact that she now has abilities she never had before, and that she is mated to a man who will do anything she wants, as long as he is in charge?  It is very exciting and fascinating learning about the Carpathians, and DARK GHOST will keep you enthralled through the entire book.

Carolyn Crisher