I read this in 2005. It did not make the GR conversion. I'm posting it for It's a Mad Mad World because I am an awesome friend. Stop while you are ahead my dear.
How to Woo Your Life Mate by Mikhail Dubrinsky Leader of the Carpathians
1. Never call her by her given name. Always call her “Little One”. It makes her feel special.
2. Lurk outside her window in your animal form and admire her bum with your dark, burning eyes. You have super powers for a reason. Use them.
3. Infect her dreams and mind-molest her. If she says “no” do what you want anyway. Women love it when you take control. Any weeping that ensues is from pure bliss. When you are done blame her for “releasing the beast”.
4. She is yours because you have said so. If any man dares put a hand upon her attempt to end his life. You own her.
5. Swoop in and carry her back to your lair where you take control of her entire life. Ignore any token struggle she puts up. She will submit.
6. Rip her jeans and make her wear clothing that meets your approval. Real women do not wear men’s clothing.
7. Brand her with your sharp toothies at the first opportunity.
8. Repeat yourself frequently. Women are forgetful creatures.
9. Never gently take her by the hand, always “shackle her by the wrist”.
10. Remain arrogant, overly-protective, obsessive, morose, melodramatic and controlling at all times. She will think you sexy and oh-so-strong. And if that doesn’t work just compel her and bend her to your will. Again see #2.
It is with great sadness that I must admit that I made none of that up. This is how Mikhail behaves. He is the leader of the Carpathians, a dying race of shape-shifting, blood drinkers whose women folk are unable to produce healthy female off-spring. When he meets the naïve, pliable human (with telepathic powers) named Raven he realizes she belongs to him. He also expects her to “save” his race. He believes she is strong enough, I suppose (though this is never proven), and he plans to impregnate her with female babies who will grow up and become the life-mates of his long-lived men. His men are on the verge of giving in to their “dark sides” and turning into true vampires. Life without a mate really sucks, I guess. I’m finished with the book now and I still haven’t a clue why he feels she is “the one” to save them and why she'll be able to endlessly birth these amazing girl babies. What if she dares push out a boy, I wonder? I shudder to think of the berating she’ll take for that one. Because, you know, it will be entirely her fault.
Anyway, while the two are working out the kinks in their relationship (basically he tells her what to do, she whines a little and then does it) there are villains attempting to put the Carpathian’s out of their misery permanently. “My women. Assassins are after them! We must protect the women.” Action ensues. People are slain and sequels that I will never read are set up.
And then there’s the narration. Juanita Parker made an unfortunate choice reading this overblown book in a deadly serious monotone for all of the characters. I tuned out more than I tuned in and did a lot of rewinding. The men all sound the same (mostly angry, always bossy) and not a one of the lot has a sexy accent. Wouldn’t a man named Mikhail Dubrinsky, having lived for hundreds of years in the Carpathian Mountains (which, I believe is supposed to be located somewhere in Europe?), have picked up a little accent in all that time? And I know this is a nitpick and someone will surely blast me for it but it has to be mentioned because this is supposed to be a professional production, right? So why on earth didn’t someone whisper to the narrator that “acrost” is not a word? There is no T in across. You have no idea how many times “across” is used in a novel until it’s pronounced “acrost”. It’s the little things in an audio that can drive you mad when the book isn’t quite working for you.
I know people love this series but I don’t think it was meant for me. Mikhail “Do Not Defy Me!” is a jerk of the worst kind, Raven is weak and easily convinced to do whatever he wants, the dialogue is stilted and repetitive and the writing is overly dramatic. I much preferred The Awakening by this author. Tell me the rest get better?