Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Reviews: Dark Prince by Christine Feehan and Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

As part of a celebration by Piatkus of Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon, I have reviewed the first books in their most popular series. Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon from the Dark Hunter series and Dark Prince by Christine Feehan, a Carpathian novel. 

This is the first time I've read a book from each of  these series so I was super excited to read them! Hope you enjoy my thoughts and feelings on each book. 

Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter #1)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: Piatkus
Re-release date: 28 April 2006

In FANTASY LOVER, international bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon has penned a highly original novel inspired by Greek mythology that it is utterly captivating and completely unputdownable.

It might sound like a man's favorite fantasy - to live forever, destined to be the lover of thousands of women. But for Julian of Macedon, it's a nightmare. Once he was a proud Spartan general; now he's a love-slave, his essence magically held captive in a book, cursed to spend all eternity pleasing women. Then, one day, Grace Alexander summons Julian to fulfill her passionate dreams - and sees beyond the fantasy to the man himself.

Long years as a sex therapist, listening to other people's bedroom problems, have taken a lot of the fun out of the physical side of love for Grace. But with or without sex, the rules of the enchantment cannot be changed - Julian is hers for the next month. And, as their time together slips by, Julian and Grace find more to share than sympathy and conversation and they begin to wonder if love might be within their grasp. That leaves only one question. Is love enough to break a 2,000-year-old curse?


I am a big fan of any romance that incorporates Greek mythology into its story, so immediately I had high hopes for Fantasy Lover. Add in the fact that I've heard so much about how good the Dark Hunter books are and I was pretty excited to read this. I was not disappointed.

Julian is a proud and fierce Spartan General when he is cursed by a Greek God to become a love slave, trapped in a book and only freed from it when summoned by a woman whose pleasure is his duty for a month. Something like that is obviously going to take its toll on a person, and Julian has learnt to cope by shutting off his emotions, enjoying any measure of pleasure when he's summoned and never hoping for his ultimate release. 

After a scarring experience when she was younger, Grace doesn't want or need a man in her life. So when she jokingly summons Julian from a book she's both shocked and appalled to find it worked and that there's a gorgeous naked man in her home. She might be ridiculously attracted to him but she doesn't want to use him in any way shape or form. Her personal experiences and her work as a sex therapist actually make her very aware of how Julian might actually feel, making her all the more reluctant to use him. 

I loved Grace and Julian's relationship so much. There's so much heat and chemistry between them but despite that, the sexual side of their relationship takes longer to develop. This means there's time for them to learn about each other and understand each other. I loved the way Grace's understanding and compassion totally unnerves Julian and he's not sure how to react. 

There's plenty of moments in this book that really tugged at my heartstrings and I cried more than I'd particularly care to admit. That's a good sign though, it means that I'm just way too into the book! There are lots of moments of humour that add a light hearted sense to the story as well. The addition of the Greeks gods and goddesses that appear were brilliant and unexpected, particularly Cupid as a biker. I loved how the story was resolved in the end and Grace and Julian's story is one I'll happily revisit many times in the future. I simply loved it.

*I received a review copy from the publisher, for my honest opinion. Thank you!

Dark Prince (Dark #1)
Author: Christine Feehan
Publisher: Piatkus
Release Date: 1 February 2007

Carpathians are an immortal race of beings with animal instincts. Every Carpathian male is drawn to his life mate: a Carpathian or human female able to provide the light to his darkness. Without her, the beast within slowly consumes the man until turning vampire is the only option.'

Raven Whitney is a psychic who has used her gift to help the police track down a serial killer. Now she is determined to escape the glare of recent publicity for the peace and quiet of the Carpathian Mountains. Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky is the leader of his people but, as his ancient Carpathian race grows ever closer to extinction, he is close to giving in to the heavy weight of loneliness and despair. From the moment their minds touch, Raven and Mikhail form a connection. But there are those who incorrectly view all Carpathians as vampires, and are determined to give their extinction a helping hand.


I really love it when a paranormal romance weaves such a rich and believable world, as I found in Dark Prince. The details of the Carpathian race and their way of life were woven throughout the story in a way that draws you into this world.

Mikhail is the leader and Prince of the Carpathians. He's powerful and his word and decisions are law. Add in the fact that Carpathians are quite animalistic in many ways, and you've got yourself one major alpha male. I love a good alpha male and Mikhail doesn't disappoint. Okay, so he's a little too unyielding at times and definitely has a hint of misogynism about him, but he can also be really sweet and I love his protectiveness. I also admired his sense of duty and devotion to his people.

Raven is used to living a solitary life on her terms because of her telepathic ability. When she feels Mikhail's pain and despair she can't stop herself from reaching out to him, and thus begins one heck of a tumultuous relationship. I loved that Raven pushes Mikhail and challenges him when others wouldn't dare. She's very compassionate...almost too compassionate, and it certainly lands her in trouble. I liked that she reminds Mikhail of his mercy and compassion, bringing light and laughter to his life. At the same time, the girl certainly knows how to get in a spot of bother. She's constantly saying she can take care of herself and then totally disproving it by getting kidnappped/injured and needing to be saved. It's no wonder that Mikhail wants to wrap her in cotton wool.

Raven and Mikhail's connection is instant and intense. They have a mental bond through their telepathic abilities which only strengthens their physical bond. Not that it needs strengthening, they have crazy hot chemistry from the beginning. Raven finds this all a bit much and tries to withdraw but Mikhail doesn't allow her as he recognises her as his true life mate. The Carpathian life mate aspect does excuse the rather fast-onset love that Mikhail feels, but it does still feel a little bit too much, too soon in the story. There's not enough build up in their relationship, for me.

I would have preferred a little less sex (never thought I'd say that) and more of a proper build up in the relationship between Mikhail and Raven. I did like them together and they work really well as a couple, but I didn't love them as much as I'd hoped to since this is such a popular book. Overall though I really enjoyed the story and the whole concept of the Carpathians. I'm certainly intrigued about the stories for the rest of the characters introduced in this book and am looking forward to reading more in this series and discovering the fate of the Carpathians.

*I received a review copy form the publisher, for my honest opinion. Thank you!

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