In the 12th installment in Feehan's paranormal Dark series (Dark Symphony , etc.), she again creates a richly evocative fantasy world in which immortal Carpathian males search for their "lifemates" and battle soulless vampires. When young telepathic widow Corinne Wentworth walks into the bar where Carpathian Dayan, of the legendary band the Dark Troubadours, is playing, he immediately recognizes her as his lifemate ("He heard the soft murmur of her voice, and at once his world changed"). Difficulties lie ahead for the couple, not the least of which is that the men who murdered her husband are hunting her and her sister-in-law, Lisa. Corinne's weak heart is also a major source of conflict. The question of whether it will be strong enough to withstand her transformation from human to Carpathian may leave readers with real doubts as to whether a happy ending is in store for this well-matched pair. Though Corinne's delicate condition forces Dayan to treat her with extreme care, their love scenes still sizzle. Feehan's prose is occasionally melodramatic and her descriptions clichéd ("Dayan resembled a sculpture of a Greek god"), but this may be her most emotionally engaging installment to date. (Nov.)
Forecast: In addition to being a prolific writer, Feehan is also a skilled self-promoter. Not only has she cultivated a faithful community of readers through her website (where browsers can become "members" and receive access to screensavers and special interviews ), but she is also supporting Dark Melody with a full-blown book trailer, which browsers can preview and members can purchase on DVD. This book's sales will undoubtedly reflect Feehan's marketing efforts and rising popularity.