At the young age of 19, Alexandria Houghton was forced to take on the responsibility of raising her 2-year old brother, Joshua, when their parents are suddenly killed. Fast-forward 4 years...Alex and Josh are struggling, but very happy. Alex will do anything for her brother. She loves him as if he were her own child. One evening while Alex dines with a potential new employer (who could be the answer to all their dreams if she gets the lucrative, not to mention exclusive job), her well-tuned ESP senses a nearby evil presense, so she rushes to her brother and discovers that the elderly man who had the task of watching him has been murdered. Within minutes, Alex and Josh are abducted by a ruthless vampire and held hostage in a seaside cave from which they believe there is no escape.
While trying to assuage Joshua's fears, she tells him that their hero will swoop in to rescue him. He'll have extraordinary strength and blond hair...their golden knight in shining armor. Soon after, Aidan Savage homes in on the vampire and destroys him. But after seeing the condition that Alexandria is in after being tortured and nearly drained of blood by the vampire, he mistakenly thinks she has been turned into a deranged vampiress, so he tries to destroy her. He realized his mistake when Joshua begs for his sister's life, so he quickly takes the two of them back to his coastal mansion.
Suddenly Aidan begins to see colors. He looks at an unconscious, bedraggled Alexandria and realized that she must indeed be his lifemate but he also wonders why his lifemate is so homely. He decides that having an unpretty bride must be his pennance for trying to destroy the very one sent to save him, so he sets out to do whatever he can to save her life which is now hanging by a thread after his own mistreatment on the heels of the vampire's torture. Much to his surprise, when Alexandria awakens, not only has she almost fully healed, but she's also beautiful. Aidan can't believe his luck.
But problems plague the couple. The man who would've hired Alexandria before her kidnapping has his own designs on her and sets out to take her away from Aiden. On top of that, Aidan turned Alexandria from human to Carpathian without her knowledge or consent and when she finds out, she reacts unfavorably. She demands that he turn her back, and when that doesn't work, she considers running away or walking into the dawn because she can't stand the thought of needing blood to survive.
This book was by far the best I've read in the Carpathian series so far. Not only is it filled with adventure and steamy romance, but it's also quite humorous. Aidan is nearly 1000 years old and very old-world while Alexandria is a modern woman used to making her own way, so their very different personalities clash all through the story causing the reader to laugh out loud in several places.
This story is a bit different because Aidan already has a family of sorts before he meets Alexandria. He's been living for centuries with several generations of a human family who looks after his needs, especially during the daylight hours. They know what he is but don't fear him and have chosen to keep his secrets and remain with him through births, deaths, and marriages. They've been a big part of why he hasn't turned vampire much earlier as lonely Carpathian men are prone to doing. So Alex and Josh only add to his family and responsibilities.
Several names from previous stories pop up in this one as well...Mikhail and Raven, and Jacques. And Gregori, the dark one, even makes a brief appearance when his skills as a healer are needed to save Aidan Alexandria's lives. But the thing I like most about this series is that it's not necessary to have read the previous books to get into each one. And there's no need to read them in order. Various characters carry over from one story to the next but because each novel is about one specific character and his search for a lifemate that those brief appearances only add to the characters' histories rather than confusing the reader with minor details.
In "Dark Gold" there is much talk about Aidan's identical twin brother, Julien, so I suspect that he'll have his own story very soon.
NOTE: This is an e-book. If you're intested in reading or trading for this book, I'll be glad to send the hard copy that I printed for my own reading via snail mail, or the electronic version via email.