Christine Feehan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Dark Carpathian novels, the Ghost Walker novels, the Sea Haven novels, and the Leopard novels.
Excerpt from book:
Mist drifted through the trees. The moon, not quite full, was a yellow halo, dull and yet glaring. Around the moon a red ring gave off an ominous glow. A dangerous time, this cycle of the moon, especially when the mist came in thick and heavy, covering the ground a foot or so high, winding in and out of the trees as if alive. The mist muffled sound, dulled the senses, giving advantages to the shadowy figures that preyed upon the unwary.
Tatijana of the Dragonseekers woke beneath the earth with layers of dark, rich healing loam surrounding her. Vital nutrients, rich in minerals cushioned her body. She lay for a long time, panicked, listening to her own heart beating, feeling too light, too trapped, too exposed. And hot. So hot. Above her, she sensed the guardians. Watching over her, they said, and it was probably true, but she’d been a prisoner for so long—she’d been born into captivity—and she trusted no one other than her sister, Branislava. Bronnie lay sleeping peacefully, very close to her, her only comfort. Her heartbeat grew louder until it was thunder in her ears. She couldn’t stand being trapped beneath the earth. She had to get out, to find freedom.
To feel free. What was that like? She knew nothing of the world. She’d lived underground her entire life, deep in the ice caves, never seeing or speaking to anyone other than those who tortured and tried to terrorize her. She knew no other life, but that had changed—or had it?
Had Bronnie and she exchanged one cold, frightening prison for a silken cage? If so, their wardens had made a huge mistake putting them in the ground to recover. She hardly knew what it was like to be in her real form. She’d spent centuries in dragon form and dragons could move through earth fairly easily.
Bronnie, she whispered into her sister’s mind. I know you need your sleep. I will continue to explore our new world and come back at dawn with new information.
Branislava stirred in her mind as if she might protest as she had each time Tatijana told her she was going.
I need to do this.
I will come with you, Bronnie answered, her voice far away, even though she was in Tatijana’s mind.
Tatijana knew Branislava would force herself to awaken, although she wasn’t truly healed inside, where they both needed it. They’d done everything together—been through the worst together. They’d never actually been apart, even when encased in ice, when they could only stare at one another. They still had telepathic communication.
Not this time, Bronnie, I need to do this for me. She whispered the words as she did on the occasions she awakened to explore their new world. She always gave Bronnie reassurance that she would be careful.
No one would ever imprison either of them again. Every rising she made that simple vow. She was growing stronger with each passing night. Power ran through her body and with it, confidence. She was determined they would stand on their own and be beholden to no one.
Tatijana didn’t know how to tell her sister she didn’t want to live under the rules of another. They were Carpathian. Dragonseeker. That meant something to the prince of the Carpathians and to all the others. The males were lining up in the hopes of claiming either Bronnie, or her. She could not live under the rule of another. She just couldn’t do it. She didn’t want anyone telling her what to do ever again, even if it was for her own good. She rose when she wanted and explored
Praise for Christine Feehan’s Dark Carpathian novels…
“The queen of paranormal romance! The one who started it all! The erotic, gripping series that has defined an entire genre. I love everything she does.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward
“After Bram Stoker, Anne Rice and Joss Whedon (who created the venerated Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Christine Feehan is the person most credited with popularizing the neck gripper.”—Time
“Feehan has a knack for bringing vampiric Carpathians to vivid, virile life in her Dark Carpathian novels.”—Publishers Weekly
“She is the master.”—The Best Reviews
“One of the best vampiric romance series on the market today.”—Midwest Book Review
“A mesmerizing series.”—Library Journal
“[An] out-of-the-ordinary romance…deeply sensuous…exquisitely detailed.”—Booklist
“The queen of paranormal romance.”—USA Today
“Wish I had written it!”—Amanda Ashley