Manolito De La Cruz discovers his lifemate only to hear she would never accept a male of the species. MaryAnn Delaney has been around the Carpathians for a little while now, and having met several of the men, she knows she would have a difficult time being a lifemate to any of them. She's a city girl, a counselor for women and she wants to go back to her home turf. Manolito was born and bred in the Carpathian mountains, but has lived in South America with his four brothers on their extensive cattle ranch. They are laws unto themselves, and have long ago taken on possessive, passionate and arrogant ways that only magnify the already dominant traits of their race. MaryAnn, modern city girl, is about to meet a rainforest predator.
I believe this is the 18th (or some such other crazy number) installment of Feehan's Dark series. This series has always been special to me because my first vampire/paranormal book was Dark Prince back in 2000. I remember being home with my son, who was born in September of that year and reading books faster than I could buy them. I was in the used bookstore and looking at this book thinking 'Vampires?'. Then I read the first few pages and thus began my love affair with Mikhail Dubrinsky. Through the years, there have been hits (Dark Prince, Dark Desire) and misses (Dark Symphony) for me. Honestly, how original can an author keep it after this many releases? Though I am a diehard fan, I definitely think that Feehan ought to consider winding the series down. Unless she can come up with some new meat.
Well, she tried (and somewhat succeeded) to do that in Dark Possession.
We first meet MaryAnn Delaney in Dark Destiny. She returns in Dark Celebration where she is unknowingly mated to Manolito De La Cruz. When Manolito dies by saving the life of Shea Dubrinsky (Dark Desire), MaryAnn has no idea the profound effect that it will have on her life. By the end of Dark Celebration, she is still totally clueless to the fact that she was mated to a Carpathian male (who she thinks are overbearing, arrogant, and pompous).
Fast foward to Dark Possession. Somehow Riordan and Juliette (whose book I don't remember) talk MaryAnn into coming to South America to help Juliette's sister, Jasmine (who I vaguely remember), after she was kidnapped and held by the jaguar people. MaryAnn has the unique ability to help people, which is why she's a counselor. Unfortunately MaryAnn finds herself depressed and unable to help for the first time in her life. Looking at the situation as a counselor, MaryAnn knows that she's clinically depressed, but she can't understand why. She refuses to believe she's depressed over the death of a man she only saw from a distance. It doesn't matter that she's cried buckets of tears over the death of Manolito.
When Riordan and Juliette tells MaryAnn that Manolito is still alive, her heart believes it even if her head tells her it can't be true. Apparently Feehan has divised a way to bring people back from the dead. There's a world between alive and dead and that's where Manolito is. He's really effed up because he can't remember anything. All he knows is that MaryAnn is his lifemate and she isn't there. In the soul world, the vampires insidious whispering cause him to doubt himself and MaryAnn. Talking of joining the ranks of the vampire and having endless power, Manolito finds himself weak. Not that he wants to join the vampires of course, just that he doesn't think anything is worth fighting for without his lifemate.
Eventually Manolito and MaryAnn reunite and there is an explosion of chemistry, which is very Feehan-like. Lots of sex, of course. Possessive jealously from Manolito. Confusion from MaryAnn. Exactly what you expect when you read about Carpathians. I did giggle a little bit over Feehan's descriptions of a woman's va-jay-jay. I really hate flowery descriptions (unless it's a historical), especially considering how "earthy" these books are supposed to be. I mean, they're getting down and dirty in the jungle, fcol.
Feehan reintroduced the Jaguar shapeshifters, who have always intrigued me. She hasn't written a Jaguar book since Wild Rain. Personally, I think she's overdue. She also introduced a new species into the series. What you ask? Werewolves. Yes, you read that right. The Werewolves are the only other species that can bring absolute destruction to the Carpathian people. Though they were allies, over time they separated and lived their own lives. Eventually the werewolves disappeared off Carpathian radar.
I'm sure you can already guess why this is important. MaryAnn is a werewolf. Of course she has no idea. I figured it out though. A page before it was revealed. LMAO. When I think back, that fact all but smacks you in the face throughout the book. Since MaryAnn didn't know, Manolito didn't know which meant that she was unknowingly converting Manolito everytime he fed from her. Then the arrogant ass has the gall to blame that on her. *snort*
I think that Dark Possession infused the Dark series with a much needed and long overdue new life. It was seriously lagging. I really thought this was a good addition to the series.
4 out of 5 stars.