The Carpathians are an immortal race that live off blood, like vampires. Except, they’re not the undead. They have souls. The males lose all emotion and the ability to see color until they find their life mates who restore these to them. They’re bonded forever.
I should have stopped reading this book at the prologue and when I heard this explanation and thought, “NOPE!”
I get that I might not be the audience for mainstream romance. And, I get that media lets us explore situations and relationships that my interest us, intrigue us, turn us on, or whatever but that we don’t and shouldn’t do in real life. I get that novels, not just romance novels, are an escape. I get all of that.
But, I can’t even think of an appropriate list of swear words to describe how terrible this novel was. Seriously. It was so bad that I can’t even swear at it.
But, I can tell you what I didn’t like about it and why.
Massive Spoilers Ahead!
First, of course, was this idea that men (well, Carpathian men) are emotionless monsters that women have to save. Nope. Feelings are a human thing. We all have amygdalas and emotional centers in our brains and anything that continues to perpetuate the stereotype that women are the ones that feel and men aren’t harms women, harms men, harms us all. Second, after introducing our immortal badass vampire hunting Carpathian dudebro we’re introduced to Jaxon the heroine by looking into her life at ages 5, 10, 15, adulthood. Jax was raised on a military base by her Mother (who wasn’t super maternal) and her father, a Navy Seal, and his Seal buddies were very involved in her life. Until her Dad died and her Mom married his Seal buddy who then turned into an abusive pyscho and the descriptions were awful. Psycho Step Dad then stalks our fair Jax and torments her by hurting people she loves. Oh, but before we get there we are treated to these flashbacks where young Jax tells adults that her Step Dad is abusive and no one believes her. I thought there was mandatory reporting of these sorts of things? Like, if a kid tells her teacher that her Dad hits her Mom that the teacher had to tell the school and get Child Welfare involved? Anyway, Jax grows up into an emotionally stunted police officer who has to keep everyone at arms length because Psycho Step Dad might be watching. (At least that was a fun twist: for once the psycho step parent wasn’t the mother.) Then, her Carpathian dudebro inserts himself into her life, removes her from her friends and chosen family, disregards her concerns, commands her to stay in the house in the name of her safety (and gets violently upset when she disregards his commands and asserts her own autonomy), and initiates the life mate binding process without her consent and then completes it without ever explaining anything to her. Being stalked by a Navy Seal is terrible. Being swept up by an immortal who needs you to maintain his emotional life for him is also terrible.
And, folks, I didn’t even get to the end. I got the completion of the binding ritual and she started freaking out and Carpathian dudebro started mansplaining how they were meant for each other and she just needs to roll with the (irreversible) changes and I was like:
So, the only good choice with this book is to just not pick it up. 0/10. Do not recommend.
I checked this book out from the Buffalo and Erie County Public Libraries.
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