"Dark and Compelling New Gothic Romance"
Lovers of Ms. Feehan's Dark/Carpathian series are no doubt
eager to read her first gothic romance. Will it live up
to high expectations, will the writing be the same or very
different? I myself was impressed with Ms. Feehan's
versatility, though not at all surprised at her ability to
tell a good story . Yes, the story was different but yet
there is a familiarity to the piece that will make her fans
instantly comfortable with THE SCARLETTI CURSE.
The story is historical in setting, which is new. Is it
dark? Absolutely! Right down to the gargoyles. The villain
is a twisted individual, emotionally scarred by the
expectations placed on him by an equally twisted father. He
is a true victim of the family curse.
Not surprisingly the protagonists have special abilities.
It would not be a surprise if one of their descendants is
called upon to spare a Carpathian male from a fate worse
than death sometime in the future!
The noble Scarletti family is said to be cursed. It seems
that every female member of the family is destined to meet
a violent end. Even the women called from the villaggio to
serve the Scarletti family have met similar gruesome fates.
Nicoletta's mother had been one such victim. Yet in spite
of her loss Nicoletta had embraced life. Wild and free, the
barefooted beauty shared her gift with the people. But the
empathetic healer knew that if Don Scarletti ever got wind
of her "differences", her life would be forfeit.
Nicoletta's guardian Maria Pia, had guarded her secret
well, masquerading as the village healer, while
Nicoletta "assisted". All had been well until the summons
came from the castle.
Nicoletta could not turn down a gravely ill child, but she
would have to be extremely careful not to draw the
attention of the Don. It was not to be. Giovanni Scarletti
had shared a tainted meal with his young niece and had
taken ill as well. From the moment he sets eyes on
Nicoletta her fate is sealed. In spite of the curse, the
Don's blood cries out for his mate. He will have her at any
Nicoletta had had no intentions of marrying in spite of
numerous offers. She loved her freedom, a bond such as this
would clip her wings forever. But marriage to the Don would
most assuredly mean her death, if not from the curse, then
by discovery of her gift. Try though she might she cannot
escape him, his voice has found a way into her mind. He is
always with her, aware of her every move, especially when
danger threatened. He had vowed to protect her. But can he
protect her from himself? The Scarletti men are said to
love but once, truly and deeply. Jealousy is their curse.
Other's had killed for love, would he be next?
The plot is wrapped in intrigue. As the Don seeks to form
the political alliance that will most benefit his people,
his life is constantly threatened. He knows not who he can
trust, even within his own family. The one thing he has to
hold on to is his new wife's absolute faith in him, and his
deep and abiding love for her. In spite of all appearances,
it is she who sees to the heart of the man who fears
himself more than his enemies. The heroine's empathy and
the hero's telepathy added color and nuance to an otherwise
traditional gothic theme.
Well done! I am certainly looking forward to Ms. Feehan's
next foray into gothic romance.
Copyright © 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted September 6, 2001