Sorry, but this is the first of the Dark series where I wanted the male (Rafael) to bite the dust. Literally. Even at the end, I was still so major miffed with his behavior during the book that I wanted to slap him silly...and her too for 'loving' him at the end.
I'm giving it two stars intead of one because I liked the change of venue and Colby. In fact, I was excited at first about a bit of a Western (I had visions of it going down such a different path).
The female (Colby) behaved in a pretty normal manner for what was happening to her... I could relate! Sorta like "Hey you! Butt-insky! I've got a life here. Show some respect!" And she resisted him as best she could, but it was very upsetting when you were told repeatedly that she was out-gunned and outmatched. That she 'would become his!'. Geez louise, I kept wanting her to just drive a stake through his heart and plant him in the petunia patch!
Instead you have a dominant, Dominant, DOMINANT! male Carpathian who pretty much sees her as an aquisition, or a way to fix 'him'....or worst of all, just plain ole property. Banter between he and his brother about her made me wanna through the book against the wall with remarks to the effect of 'Just convert her...she'll come around later.'
Oh, did I mention, he was DOMINANT?!?! and a predator too! ;)
OK, enough snark aside. What made me love the other Dark books is that the male 'came' around to being kind and loving a lot sooner (like the first few chapters) and you got watch their relationship grow. However, vacillates between 'love' and 'dominace' to the point you really don't believe he loves her. In this book, readers be warned, he's pretty much a jerk until about the last 2 chapters, then he does something heroic and selfless...
And VOILA! Colby loves him. Yeah, right. I was still smoking and pretty annoyed that she just went 'OK, I love you now!'. Too trite, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. OK, so I guess I wanted a few chapters of groveling from him. Like for every chapter of him being ultra-a@@, a paragraph of her dragging him through the wringer. Sorry, but even his 'sacrifice' at the end wasn't enough to appease my anger...now ain't I a stinker ;)
Lastly, and I can NOT believe I'm writing this, but there is almost too much sex in the book. It was to the point that I was flipping through the pages to get to the dialogue, (that is SO unlike me!) Mostly because Colby didn't feel love for him and was disturbed by being out of control of her body, the sex scenes were extremely creepy and almost sickening instead of steamy. So you'd have hot sex scenes and then her upset, conflicted and angry at his controlling her (how Rosemary Rogers! for those who remember ;) ) It's disturbing for the reader, because you want to enjoy this part of the book, but instead, you feel like you're witnessing something tainted and ugly.
Understand, I love uber-alpha males, I enjoy rescue stories, I love good love scenes but most of all, I really, really enjoy reading about love that starts small and grows. The thing I love most about the fictional Carpathian males is their ability to love deeply and unconditionally, and to express it. Sadly, you won't find this until the very end of the book. And then, for me, it was just too dang late.