Feehan has turned out a sweeter paranormal romance then what fans have seen in the previous three titles without losing any of the sexual heat. For centuries, Danutdaxton a Carpathian warrior better known as Dax, has been locked within the confines of an active Andes volcano with the dangerous and powerful vampire Mitro Daratrazanoff. As the two combatants fought, sought refuge to heal and fought again, their bodies and wills were forged by the unrelenting heat of the volcano. Over the years, as Mitro strove to break free of his prison, Annabel Parker and her daughter Riley returned to the mountain periodically to perform the necessary ceremonies that kept him confined. Despite the ceremony, Mitro broke out of the volcano full of vengeance against Riley while wreaking havoc on humans.
While rescuing Riley and her traveling companions, Dax realizes she is his lifemate and sets out to woo her while containing the mess Mitro created. As they bond, Dax comes to appreciate Riley’s unprecedented abilities to heal and manipulate the natural forces around her. With the assistance of Gary, Jubal, Riordan, Juliette and a fire dragon, Dax and Riley race the clock to prevent the completion of a horrible ritual and put an end to Mitro once and for all.
Although there are some holes in the plot, this is an enjoyable addition to the Carpathian series. The dragon spirit and an erotic bonding ceremony involving a rare flower brings something new to the series while the addition of familiar characters provides a bit more depth. Having said that, there is much that is unexplained in this story as demonstrated by the blood ties between Riley, Mitro and his lifemate when neither her or her relatives had previous contact with Carpathians or what it was about Riley’s bloodline that gave her such strength. Long time fans likely won’t appreciate paying for the extra thirty-seven pages of Carpathian chants and translations as it becomes redundant but just overlook the weak points and indulge in a bit of fantasy escapism.