Dark Symphony by Christine Feehan
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Although this seemed to drag at times, I quite enjoyed this installment of the Carpathians series. There is something very compelling and irresistible about the Carpathians. It's very romantic but in a dark and gothic manner.
I liked Byron a lot. He made me laugh at some of his antics, how he would let Antonietta's annoying cousing Tasha see his red eyes and fangs when she was being a pain. He was a bit of a rascal, but in a good way. I think that he was quite romantic and courted Antonietta beautifully. She was the more aggressive personality for the most part, although Byron was plenty manly. I think they were a good balance for each other, since she was pretty Type A and Byron is Type B, don't worry about it, just fix the problem so we can move on personality.
There were a lot of steamy love scenes in this book. I did like how Antonietta was very sexually free, since she was a woman in her thirties and knew what she liked, and was very attracted to Byron. (who could blame her).
Josef's (he is Byron's sister Eleanor's adopted son) antics kept me laughing like crazy, especially hearing about his rap phase, how he rapped for the big guy, Prince Mikhail, and how horrified Mikhail was. Josef really got on Byron's nerves, but you could tell he loved the kid.
Sometimes I got a little sick of Antonietta's family, except Don Giovanni. However, I did like how close her family was, dysfunctional and all. She was the glue in that family, and they would be in trouble without her. It was cool that Byron understood that and didn't try to separate her from her family. He embraced Antonietta for everything that she was, which is great in a hero. The jaguar aspect was interesting, and I liked how that was a bigger part of this story than the fight against the vampires (Carpathians who become evil and vicious murderers).
Although there are similar elements present in every Carpathian books, Ms. Feehan manages to keep it fresh, because each couple's courtship is different. I like how the heroine is the one who's commitment avoidant in this series. The hero is usually like, let's get married right now (in the Carpathian fashion and otherwise). Antonietta is more aggressive and worldly than the typical Carpathian lifemate (and I think she has a passion and an energy that feels very Italian to me), and I think it suited Byron. I liked the fact that she was very laid back about the whole Carpathian deal. But, I guess as crazy as her family was, she was kind of used to a high weird quotient.
I ended up giving this a 4.5 star rating because it made me laugh so hard, and I just really liked Byron a lot. There was a lot to like about this one, and I adored the Borzoi dog, Celt. I want one!! Antonietta isn't my favorite lifemate, but she ain't bad. I like that she's a strong woman and doesn't let her blindness hinder her. Oh, and it was neat to see Jacques acting sane after the hot mess he was in Dark Desire.
Casting options: I pictured Monica Belluci as Antonietta. I didn't really picture anyone as Byron.
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