Friday, May 11, 2012

Dark Symphony by Christine Feehan

Byron, a Carpathian male and hunter of the vampire follows the sound of compelling music to Italy. There he discovers his lifemate, Antoinetta Scarletti, heiress to the great Scarletti fortune. A renowned concert pianist, Antoinetta is the glue that holds the Scarletti family together. Blinded in an explosion that killed her parents, she nevertheless stands to run the family shipping business.

Antoinetta lives in the palazzo della morte, the palace of death. There, like her ancestors, she finds someone wants her dead. Antoinetta has a few secrets of her own and together, Byron and Antoinetta face the killers and one out of control Carpathian youth.

The ups and downs of Feehan's Carpathian series are pretty extensive. As one of the original queens of vampire romance her alpha males and the women who 'save them from the darkness' are well known. This is great if you're new to the genre and looking for something different, but it's bad when a book lets you down (*cough* Dark Predator *cough*). I've been reading her for years and own 95% of the series - Dark Symphony is one of my favorites and I'm happy to report showcases some of the good qualities that have made Feehan so popular.

Yes Byron can be a bit of tyrant. Thankfully he's a self-aware tyrant who tries to do better. He's immediately drawn to Antoinetta because of her music and when he follows it he finds his lifemate in a strong woman that even while blind is the heart and soul of her family. Her injury doesn't prevent her from making her own decisions and her knowledge, culled from people who think that blind somehow also implies deaf, is incredibly helpful in securing and maintaining her family's wealth.

When the two of them come together sparks fly and even though they're immediately drawn to each other (duh, lifemates) there are assumptions that both of them have to get past. I liked this couple quite a bit, especially with their connection to another Feehan favorite of mine, Gothic romance The Scarletti Curse. There are intriguing supporting characters and you can never quite get your finger on the 'who dunnit' until the very end. I recommend it as one of the standouts of the series, though I admit it reads better if you understand all the history introduced in previous books.

Overall Feeling - B

Series - 1) Dark Prince ... 10) Dark Symphony ... 22) Dark Predator