Ashes of Midnight is the sixth in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and as is expected continues on from the devastating events in the previous bookAshes of Midnight is the sixth in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and as is expected continues on from the devastating events in the previous book. Therefore any newcomers to the series should not start here else you'll be floundering.
Andreas Reichen has been a constant character ever since Tegan and Elise's book and has been of a great help to the Order. However, his own world came to an abrupt end at the close of the last book and has been on a mission of vengeance at the opening of this book.
His personal vendetta means that his path crosses with Claire Roth, his old flame if you'll pardon the expression. Claire hasn't seen Andreas in thirty years ever since he left rather abruptly and she is now the estranged but still very much blood bonded mate of Wilhelm Roth, Andreas' enemy.
This is the first time in the series where the two protagonists not only knew each other but also had a relationship so this story is more a re-kindling of their relationship with the added complexity that she is now mated and his inherited ability looks set to burn them both.
Given that we've witnessed what was done to him, Andreas is easy to understand because his motives are plain. Claire is also easy to like because her mate is clearly a bad guy in every sense of the word and despite not having seen Andreas in three decades, it's clear she still cares for him deeply.
The other advantage Claire has is that by already being a breed mate, she's obviously no stranger to the world of the breed and so the whole fraught introduction to the vampire world is instantly avoided.
Even though Andreas is not strictly part of the Order, they are not left out due to Wilhelm and his sire's nefarious activities. In fact everyone has page time to a lesser or greater extent, even Mira, the young girl from Niko and Renata's book.
This is another blistering entry in the series and if I only had one thing slight annoyance it's the fact that the ultimate top bad guy always seems to have a way out. Although, given events towards the end of this book, his plans may come to a crashing end fairly soon.
To those that have already read this book, I would apologies for the puns but they were completely intentional....more
Midnight Awakening, the third book in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and I think that the series has now hit its stride. The story itself picks uMidnight Awakening, the third book in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and I think that the series has now hit its stride. The story itself picks up a few months after the events in the preceding Kiss of Crimson. As such it also concerns characters that have already been introduced to us previously; Elise Chase the sister-in-law of Sterling Chase and Tegan, one of the more extreme Breed warriors. Therefore any newcomers to the series should not start here else you'll be floundering.
The first great thing I liked about Elise is that she is no stranger to the world of the Breed so that instantly eliminated any need for Tegan to hide that he's not entirely human. The other benefit that this has is that it delves deeper into the dynamics of the Breed society in what is expected how people view each other.
The journey that Elise takes from being a sheltered breed mate in mourning in Kiss of Crimson to where she ends up by the end of Midnight Awakening is a remarkable. But the sayings "hell hath no fury like a woman..." and "the female is deadlier than the male" do come to mind.
Tegan is also interesting as a warrior who is still in mourning after losing his breed mate to the rogues over five hundred years previously. As such, we learn why he is the way has been in the books to date. His journey is no less interesting given that he has been set in his ways for so long.
His story actually turns out to be very relevant to current events so in addition to learning more about Breed society and the Dark Havens we also learn more about the history of the race and I'm always pleased when there is more back story. It's not just filler either because given the turn of events in Midnight Awakening the history is also used to set up events for Midnight Rising.
That doesn't mean that it ends on a cliff hanger because events definitely come to a...er...head. Ha! Never mind, just read it.
For those interesting in the action side, don't worry on that score because there is just the right amount of both fight scenes and between the sheets whilst weaving the relationship story and solving a mystery.
My reviews tend to get shorter as series go on but without trying to spoil anything for newcomers to the series there's not much that can be said. Midnight Awakening is a great addition to what is turning out to be an excellent series with a worthy couple that you will root for....more
Kiss of Crimson is the second in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and is an improvement over the first for the simple reason that the hero; Dante iKiss of Crimson is the second in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and is an improvement over the first for the simple reason that the hero; Dante is a lot more likeable that Lucan Thorne was in Kiss of Midnight. Another reason might be because all first novels have to also incorporate world building, introducing a cast of characters and sorting out who the good guys and bad guys are whereas obviously Kiss of Crimson doesn't have that to deal with.
Dante is relatively young as vampires go and whilst all vampires must fight against the bloodlust that would turn them into rogues, his curse seems to be a vision of his own death. This is something that he inherited from his human mother who foretold her own death and that of his father.
As can be imagined this has given Dante a unique perspective on life in that he actively avoids commitment. After all, how could he live with someone when he knows how he will die? Fortunately for him, life has other plans for him and puts him in Tess Culver's veterinarian clinic.
Like Lucan's mate; Gabrielle was in the preceding book, Tess is special to vampires in that she is one of the few human females that can procreate with their species and as such she is a 'breedmate' with a teardrop over a crescent moon birthmark.
Also like Gabrielle, Tess is completely unaware of this and the vampire world until Dante arrives, bleeding all over the floor of her clinic. All she does know is that she is different to anyone else that she knows but like Dante has her own curse that has kept her from settling in one place for too long.
Tess is a great character and has already been through her own trials of life despite only being in her mid-twenties. It might be argued that she may have one TSTL (too stupid to live) moment but honestly, when taken to a compound full of vampires after being brutally attacked by rogues and then being confronted by what appears to be another rogue, who wouldn't make a run for freedom and sunlight?
Whilst that relationship story is going on, there is also another plot with the introduction of Agent Sterling Chase of the Boston vampire darkhaven (where the general populace of vampires live) who has been tasked with working with the breed warriors in eliminating a new drug that can turn normal vampires into rogues. But it's not long before this soon interweaves with Tess and Dante's story.
And the use of Harvard? Brilliant.
One word of warning; the only thing that I didn't particularly like is that being a friend of a breedmate appears to be unhealthy. Not spoiling anything, just saying.
In summary, an improvement over Kiss of Midnight so if you liked that and I did then you will certainly enjoy this with an interesting set up for Midnight Awakening....more
This time I thought I'd figured out who did what before I finished the book but yet again I found that I was wrong. As it turned out, so was Charley sThis time I thought I'd figured out who did what before I finished the book but yet again I found that I was wrong. As it turned out, so was Charley so at least I was in good company.
Fifth Grave Past the Light not only kept me guessing towards the end, it also seemed to have more of everything than its predecessors. For a start and for all his fans, it has a lot more of Reyes because he was pretty much constantly there. And following on from Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet now that he is Charley's neighbour he is in her life more than ever. Which segues nicely into the next thing that there seems to be a lot more of and that is hot steamy scenes between Charley and Reyes. I certainly don't remember the scenes being quite this hot in the previous books, but I'm not complaining.
in stark contrast there are also more departed souls than ever before due to the actions of a serial killer which makes for a crowded apartment at Charley's. This latest case is heart wrenching due to its sheer scale and made even more so when Charley makes a connection with a scared girl of six or seven years. This was the whodunnit that I thought I'd solved but hadn't.
Along with Charley, we also learn a bit more about what it means to be the grim reaper and perhaps the real reason Reyes was sent by his father. All the regulars are in attendance. Mostly Ubie her uncle as they try to figure out the case at hand but Cookie is delightful whenever she appears and the banter between her and Charley is brilliant. Amber, Cookie's daughter, may have had a chance to shine in the last book but unfortunately makes an embarrassing mistake when demonstrating her sign language skills. Charley's relationship with her sister Gemma seems thankfully repaired as does her relationship with her dad.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Garrett Swopes following the trauma that he suffered. The same is true of Rocket when Charley is faced with something that she does not want and in that moment, I didn't like her at all. She does feel guilty and berates herself for what was said but the fact that it happened in the first place makes this the first time that I've thought Charley can be nasty.
As with previous books, whilst Fifth Grave doesn't end on a cliff hanger, it does have a surprising ending that practically screams "to be continued" so consider yourselves warned....more
It's been several months since I read the last book in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series but with Macrieve it felt like no time had passed anIt's been several months since I read the last book in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series but with Macrieve it felt like no time had passed and I was quickly swept up in the world of Lykae, Valkyries and others of the Lore.
One of the best things about this book is that it's actually a pretty good place to start getting into the Immortals After Dark series if you've never read any of the previous books. The reason for this is that Chloe Todd, the heroine of the piece is human at the start of book and has no idea that the Lore even exists. However, even then she's aware that something is not quite right with her not that she lets this put her off her goal of playing soccer in the Olympics.
I liked Chloe a lot. Whilst not the first human introduced to the Lore that the series has seen she has more in common that the immortal fighters like Myst and Regin with her 'rub some dirt on it' attitude.
The titular hero of the piece, Uilleam Macrieve is also a very likeable Lykae and has been given quite the back story. And does his history ever interfere with their relationship! As is typical with the books in this series, the path to spending an eternity together as fated mates is never smooth and it's no different for Macrieve and Chloe. In fact it's not only Macrieve's childhood traumas that affect them both but as Chloe learns as she discovers who and what she is, those two things don't help either. In fact, there probably couldn't be two who are probably worse for each other but that could be said for a lot of the couples in this series.
Given that a lot of the action takes place in either the Lykae compound or the Macrieve ancestral home in Scotland, we don't get to see a lot of the other characters although most are mentioned. Nucking Futs Nix makes a delightful but short, batty appearance and Regin can be heard over a phone conversation. However, it was a pleasant surprise to see Cassandra who I don't think has been seen since A Hunger Like No other, the first book in the series, not counting the prequel. But perhaps apt given that that is Lachlain Macrieve's and Emmaline Troy's story.
One word of warning; whilst Macrieve doesn't end on a cliff hanger as such because Chloe and Will's story is resolved, its ending is definitely of the 'to be continued' variety and now I have to wait so long until the next instalment....more
The Lone Hunt is the fourth in L.L. Raand's Midnight Hunters series and is the best yet. Given that I have awarded five out of five stars to the previThe Lone Hunt is the fourth in L.L. Raand's Midnight Hunters series and is the best yet. Given that I have awarded five out of five stars to the previous books, that's an impressive feat.
The story itself picks up just hours after the explosive finale of the preceding Night Hunt as the forces arrayed against Sylvan Mir and her Timberwolf pack seem to act with impunity whilst she tries to pursue acceptance for the praeterns through due process.
After events in previous books, Lara is struggling to find her new place in the praetern world. Raina, on the other hand knows where her loyalties lie; as alpha of the Catamount were cats, to her cubs and her pride even though she is on the run from them which brings her into Timberwolf territory and into the path of Lara.
We've met were cats before but usually only briefly as enforcers for the bad guys. It's explained why that happens and how it leads Raina to run into a situation that normally results in a were cat's death. I like Raina a lot. Unlike Lara who is believably torn between her old world and her new one, Raina's only thought is escape and the survival of her cubs.
There is something that can't be defined about Lara and Raina's relationship that I enjoyed more than the others to date. Perhaps it was the fact that Raina gave Lara an anchor that she'd lost. And the fact that even though she is an alpha, she seems less bull headed than both Sylvan and Jody. However, that could well be because of the situation that she's in.
Whilst that was the main relationship, things also progress in Francesca's vampire seethe with Michel and Katya and Luce and Dr. Veronica Standish. Michel and Katya's relationship, whilst more honest in that Michel isn't compelling the young wolf is still somewhat clandestine because Michel is trying to hide its importance to her from her viceregal. However, Dr. Veronica Standish and her fixation on Luce, her vampire bodyguard isn't what it seems and give the doctor's previous behaviour...good!
Of course, a large portion is also devoted to Sylvan and Drake and Drake's pregnancy. All I'm going to say on this is that the ending, whilst not a cliff hanger is certainly a nail biter with a twist. As for whether the twist is for better or for worse...I won't spoil that.
Unfortunately, The Lone Hunt has only recently been published at time of writing which means a long wait for the hoped next in the series....more
Night Hunt is the third in L.L. Raand's Midnight Hunters series and picks up the story immediately where Blood Hunt ended. Like the preceding book theNight Hunt is the third in L.L. Raand's Midnight Hunters series and picks up the story immediately where Blood Hunt ended. Like the preceding book the story concerns Sylvan Mir's Timberwolf pack and the struggles that they face now that the world is aware of the Preatern species.
This time the focus is on Nikki Kroff who is the imperator of the pack and is second only to Alpha Mir herself. After event involving Lara in Blood Hunt, Nikki finds herself almost addicted to giving blood to vampires. However it soon transpires that the pack's medicus holds a greater sway over her. But the road is not easy for Nikki because Sophia Revnik refuses to give in to the urge to mate that being in heat that affects weres. She carries secrets that have the potential to destroy the pack were she to mate.
The journey of Lara and Sophia is interesting given what the obstacles that they need to overcome. Lara's role of pack protector means that she views anything that is not of the pack as a threat to the pack. This causes problems given that that Drake, Sylvan's mate was not pack born but turned via a were virus. It also threatens to drive a wedge between Lara and Sophia before they even get started. But then, even Sophia doesn't know the full story about herself and the impact the truth about her could cause.
There is no let up in Night Hunt and book itself is perhaps spread over the course of a couple of days and the action both erotic and otherwise is thick and fast with the various factions responding in different ways to what was done to Grey and Katya in the clandestine laboratory and Sylvan's response.
An interesting point is that the factions themselves are becoming splintered. For example whilst Francesca, the Vice Regal of the vampires appears to be allied with both the weres and the Shadow Lords, it's clear that she has her own agenda as does her major domo; Michel. Michel's loyaties could be tested in the future depending upon how her burgeoning relationship with a member of the Timberwolf pack progresses.
However, within the pack itself, Lara one of the pack's centuri has her own conflict of interests since her life was saved by the vampire Jody Gates. But is Lara still a wolf? Or something else?
Even the apparent enemy of Dr. Veronica Standish seems to have divided loyalties between her cause and Francesca's vampires. Whether that is purely down to a vampire's thrall remains to be seen given that blood addiction in humans is common.
And there you have it. Another tour de force of paranormal lesbian fiction by Radclyffe writing as L.L. Raand containing perhaps the most overtly dominant women I've ever read about....more
I think I've said this before but I'm always wary about starting new series even from author's whose works I've adored. Will I like the new charactersI think I've said this before but I'm always wary about starting new series even from author's whose works I've adored. Will I like the new characters as much? Can the author repeat the same magic? I honestly don't know why I worry. I mean, really.
Set in the future where the planet was nearly destroyed by the Mephistopheles virus unleashed by religious zealots, it's no surprise that what has become the Republic of United North America takes a very dim view of all things to do with religion and has strict licencing laws administered that one of the protagonists; Justin March used to work for. Before he was exiled for submitted an alarming report.
It is whilst he is living in exile in Panama that he meets Mae Koskinen, the other protagonist. She is one of RUNAs elite soldiers and there are none more feared and deadlier with their implants to aid them. She's actually in Panama along with his old boss and his old boss' boss to bring him back from 'the provinces' to civilisation to solve murders that have no logical explanation.
And so we have the start of a sci-fi/dystopian/urban fantasy/romance novel. I don't normally like dystopian novels but then this can hardly be counted as one because whilst there was clearly a disaster, north America at least has recovered and advanced further than where we are now.
Doctor Justin March reminded me a lot of an older version of Adrian Ivashkov from Richelle Mead's Vampire Acadamy and Bloodlines series. This is not a bad thing because Adrian is also a gifted, intelligent character and I like him. Justin perhaps has a little too much arrogance about him to start with but that's somewhat offset by the fact that although he is brilliant, he's clearly out of his depth when it comes to his 'travelling companions'; two ravens.
Those two can be a little confusing at first because other than their names and what they are, it's not until later in the book as he explains to Mae that we find out what they are and even then, we're not given all of it.
Whilst I'm comparing, Mae did remind me of Rose Hathaway but only because they are both fighters. But that's where the similarity ends. Where Rose has no self control when we first meet her, Mae has an abundance of it, so much so that she is sometimes known as a Nordic ice maiden. I connected with Mae almost straightaway whereas it took a little while to understand where Justin was coming from.
Now, of course, being a Richelle Mead book there is, of course, going to be a romance between the two leads but also in typical Mead style, it's not going to be an easy path by any means. Whilst it doesn't actually take Justin and Mae long to get together after they first meet, it's not exactly done under honest circumstances which leads to the inevitable fall out. This actually sets a barometer for their relationship and I do feel bad for Mae because she's the one that keeps being hurt although Justin is trying to do what he thinks is right.
Does it work out for them in the end? Fans of other series by RIchelle Mead will know the answer to that one!
One final thing to note; unlike Richelle Mead's other series Gameboard of the Gods is told in third person perspective which works well for this series. After all, Justin has his own and two other voices in his head and had it been told from Mae's perspective, we'd have lost that.
So, whilst it was a bit of a slow and confusing at the start, it doesn't take long before Gameboard of the Gods finds its stride and you find yourself rushing towards the end just find out what happens next. Unfortunately, doing that just means that it's a longer wait until the next book in this new Age of X series....more