The war with Dragos is in full force now and the warriors of the Order are feeling the stress even in their secure underground command complex. Hunter, still adapting to an independent existence after living his entire life as an enslaved assassin for Dragos, volunteers to escort the traumatized breedmate Corinne home to her Boston Darkhaven... but all is not as it seems, for Corinne and Hunter, for the warriors of the Order, or for the unsuspecting humans surrounding them.
Title: Deeper Than Midnight Series: The Midnight Breed series - book #9 Author:Lara Adrian Prominent Characters: Hunter, Corinne, Chase Sterling Recommended reader age: 16+ Sexual content level: light-to-moderate
Hunter is an enigma. We know very little of him, and what we do know is that he's strictly bound to his military training and upbringing... seemingly more machine than man. Corinne is, at first, a fragile flower of a breedmate who you expect to crack at just the slightest provocation, but she definitely has backbone and determination. Their relationship is one of mutual discovery, trust, and tenderness, and is a pleasure to be able to experience with them as it blooms and develops.
This book has more intermingling of other story plots (besides Hunter and Corinne) than previous novels have, but I think that's actually a boon considering a) how little we actually know of Hunter going into this one, and b) how all the subplots are starting to come to fruition at about the same time. I don't know that Hunter and Corinne could have pulled off a solo story, but mixed with the rest of the Order's continuing developments, we get a more complete and satisfying collective piece, much like the later Black Dagger Brotherhood novels.
The interaction (including the sex) between Hunter and Corinne in this book is tender and explosive, written so that the reader experiences every nuance of their strong but fledgling bond. Like the other Midnight Breed novels, it's steamy without being vulgar and the sexual content does not eclipse the story.
The ending is a hell of a cliffhanger! Normally I wouldn't say something like that for fear of accidentally spoiling the experience, but I know some readers avoid cliffhangers, so if you're one of those give-it-to-me-all-at-once kind of peeps, I recommend you put off reading this one until Chase's book is released. The tenth book in the Midnight Breed series featuring Chase Sterling will be called Darker After Midnight and is slated for a January 2012 release, so you're in for a bit of a wait if you choose to read them back-to-back for the first time.
Not really a lot of quotable one-liners in this one. Here's some insight into Hunter's upbringing...
When asked what type of music he preferred...
He'd never thought about music one way or the other, never paused to consider if any of it appealed to him. What would be the point in that?
If you like Deeper Than Midnight of The Midnight Breed series...
If you enjoyed Deeper Than Midnight and the rest of the Midnight Breed series for its arcing storylines and composite cast, you may also like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (starting with Dark Lover) by J.R. Ward. Both series generally follow the one-book-one-couple format, with some cross-weaving of plotlines throughout the entire story arc, and the BDB stories are rich in emotional conflicts and physical confrontations. Highly recommended read!
If you liked Deeper Than Midnight and the Midnight Breed series for its urban setting mixed with the allure of modern romantic vampires and their more fragile female counterparts, you might enjoy the Argeneau Vampire series by Lynsay Sands and the Dark Series (starting with Dark Prince) by Christine Feehan. Both series are less intense and have more singular-plot style stories than linked ones, but appeal to readers who enjoy the more traditional romantic vampire mythology. The Argeneau series does have some plot-mingling amongst its later novels, but there is so much history in the first half that I recommend starting in the early books. NOTE that I personally advise you to SKIP the first Argeneau novel (A Quick Bite)! In my opinion, it is badly edited, repetitive, and overall just annoying to read. I can now no longer look at a cucumber the same way... >.<
When I first heard that Hunter's book would be the next in the series, I was a little skeptical. Here's a guy who has spend his entire life being subjugated into being a killing machine controlled and trained in the most heinous ways by a psychotic madman. Doesn't really sound all that emotionally stable, right? Realistically, someone who has successfully endured that kind of treatment is more broken than whole, and definitely not a good candidate for a romantic relationship. However, Ms. Adrian gives us just enough forecasting and insight into who he is in the earlier novels that it plays out nicely. It comes across as Corinne being his emotional savior, and that's a pleasant perspective to contemplate as a reader. Still not 100% believable, but hey... this is vampire lit and I read it to escape, so who cares! =)
I like Hunter. He's a good strong-dominant-stalwart-male personality, and mixed with his upbringing he's also a sympathetic hero. I like Corinne less. From her initial introduction in Brock & Jenna's book (Taken By Midnight), Corinne comes off as immature and a little selfish. That said, most of what we see of her is from Brock's memories where she's a very young and sheltered 20-something. Her role in Deeper than Midnight is after a grueling half-century in the bowels of Dragos's labs, so she has more substance and relatability as a character. She's still not one of my favorite heroines, as I prefer the chicks who kick butt, but she's a good match for Hunter. If you're a fan of the Midnight Breed series, Deeper Than Midnight will not let you down - it definitely delivers!
Romance, danger, and intrigue abound in this first novel of the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian. Featuring Lucan, one of the oldest vampires in existence, and Gabrielle, an artistically talented human Breedmate, this novel starts the series off with a fang... er, bang. This is a good alternative to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, for those of you already fiending for your next fix. Read on for more info...
Title: Kiss of Midnight Series: The Midnight Breed - book #1 Author: Lara Adrian Prominent Characters: Lucan & Gabrielle Recommended reader age: 17+ Sexual content level: Moderate
After 900+ years of life, Gen One Breed warrior Lucan is struggling to find the will to keep fighting the good fight and it's all that keeps him going. Gabrielle is a promising young photographer with a knack for finding her way to places she shouldn't. After she witnesses (and photographs!) a brutal and gruesome Rogue vampire attack, Lucan must protect Gabrielle from enemies she doesn't even know she has, while trying to keep his distance from her as an unknowing Breedmate.
After coming off an intense Black Dagger Brotherhood bender, I'm finding this review a little difficult to write, so I apologize if this comes across as more of a comparison between the two series than as a review - it's just what's on my brain. The BDB is one of those series that catches your attention demands your rapt devotion through a skillfully woven story of angst, family, unbreakable love, and tragedy and there just aren't many series out there that meet its standard of excellence. That said, the first book of the BDB series (Dark Lover) has a very similar feel to Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series starter Kiss of Midnight. It starts off a little slow and has the unenviable task of trying to introduce the readers to this brand new universe, while explaining all the rules, introducing all the new characters, and creating an intense and believable chemistry between the marquee characters. Kiss of Midnight does achieve that, although maybe with slightly less flair and intensity than Dark Lover.
Lucan is very similar to Wrath: the leader of a band of warrior brothers who is stoic, dedicated, intense, extremely strong, and very old. The chemistry between Lucan and Gabrielle is quick and passionate, but still believable. However, instead of being a female vampire, Gabrielle is a human "Breedmate", a rare genetic occurrence marked by a teardrop falling into the bowl of a crescent moon visible somewhere on the skin. Breedmates are the only women who can mate with vampires (who are all male) and produce children. Occasionally drinking their mates' blood allows them to remain young and healthy indefinitely.
It seems every series has something that annoys me in each new novel. In the BDB, its the prolific use of the word "shitkickers" instead of "boots", even by the refined females of the house. In the Midnight Breed series, it is the word "suckhead", used in reference to the Rogue vampires who have fallen under the sway of permanent Bloodlust. I'm not sure why it bothers me, it just does! Honestly though, if that's all I can find to complain about, that's a nod to the quality of the writing of the series. *wink*
They're more like guidelines anyway...
Here, someone had discreetly severed the links with a wire cutter, creating a breach just large enough for a curious adolescent to wriggle through - or a determined female photographer who tended to view No Trespassing and Authorized Personnel Only signs more as friendly suggestions rather that enforceable laws.
If you like...
If you like Kiss of Midnight, you will very likely enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. The similarities are many, but there are enough differences to keep the stories from feeling like carbon copies. I tend to recommend the same series over and over, so I'm not going to say "read Cat & Bones" (although you should) or "Cassie Palmer is great" (even though it is), so I'll just sneak in some links at the bottom for you if you want to check out any additional reviewer-recommended series. *grin*
Considering the headspace I've been in recently, with the newest BDB book on the brain and those unforgettable storylines hashing it out in my brain at every opportunity, this book was entertaining enough to keep me focused on it and wanting to read more. Does it match up to my BDB expectations? No, at least not yet. To be fair though, Dark Lover didn't completely blow me away the first time either and look how well that's gone!
This series has potential, and having already read #2 (Kiss of Crimson - Dante's book), I can tell you that the plotlines start to open up more and the stage is set for some serious drama down the line. In fact, some of the intrigue in Kiss of Midnight was pretty surprising and most definitely gripping. If you're looking for a BDB alternative or just looking for a lengthy series to get started on (MB is up to 8 books so far, with the 9th set to release in June 2011), the Midnight Breed series is a good place to start.
4.0 fangs: BITE IT, but keep in mind this is a series starter and is a little slower than the ones that follow! =)
Destined to be together, yet both cursed with "gifts" they do not want, Dante and Tess enjoy a steamy chemistry but struggle with seemingly incompatible lives. Tess' healing touch for her veterinary patients is immediately at odds with Dante's violent calling, but just as the Breed war stops for no one, the couple's intense bond leaves no room for negotiation. This second novel in the Midnight Breed series is more fast-paced than the first, and brings in new characters and starts new story arcs.
Title: Kiss of Crimson Series: The Midnight Breed - book #2 Author:Lara Adrian Prominent Characters: Dante & Tess, Sterling Chase Recommended reader age: 17+ Sexual content level: Moderate
Note: This review may contain some very small spoilers, mostly involving new characters and the abilities used by the marquee couple: no major plot devices are given away in this post.
Dante and Tess both have personal challenges to overcome, not the least of which being that Tess is now pursued by Rogues & Minions (if those terms don't make sense to you, go back and read Kiss of Midnight first!) that she doesn't even know exist and Dante is haunted by his own impending death. Having unwittingly bonded them together, Dante must keep Tess alive & safe without pushing her away by what he is, and Tess must overcome her fear of her extraordinary Breedmate talent.
I enjoyed this one more than the first in the series, Kiss of Midnight. That's probably partly because I liked Dante's personality better than Lucan's, Dante being the good-natured younger kick-ass warrior with a sense of humor. I also liked Tess a lot. As a vet running a clinic in a low-rent part of town, with clientelle who can't always pay, Tess's financial woes and dedication struggling to keep the clinic open were genuine, and there are so many unsung heroes like that in our own society that I was glad to see it get face time, even if it's just in a fictional story. Wow, that sentence was loooooong.
Tess's Breedmate talent of healing is not really a revelation (nor very much of a spoiler, given how early in the book it's implied) since it makes sense that the Order would need a "doctor" of some sort going forward in the series. I am honestly trying not to make comparisons with the BDB (Black Dagger Brotherhood) as I read through these Midnight Breed novels, but there are so many parallels that it's really tough! For example, Tess's healing reminds me of Doc Jane and Dante's visions obviously bring the brain around to Vishous... and since Doc Jane and V are also paired up, it really cinches the comparison. It's sort of like reading Harry Potter for the first time and seeing all the references to other literary works that are woven into it - still enjoyable, just more comfortably familiar for the similiarities.
This novel brings in a new story arc with the character Sterling Chase. I really liked him throughout the entire book, through all his stress and troubles, and I liked the possibilities that he brings to the overall flow of the series. There was one part that seemed a little inconsistent to me though... In the first book, Gabrielle showed signs of Lucan's bite long enough for her captors to see and recognize it, but when Dante first bites Tess, the mark disappears before she has a chance to even see it in the mirror. In no other part of the book does Tess seem to have any extra self-healing powers, but maybe it's just implied? In any case, the chemistry between Dante and Tess is strong and their scenes together were enjoyable and had a lot of character to them.
I'm the world's perfect predator. Wait, does this mean you sparkle?
"Your kind?" she asked, growing very weary of his game. "Okay, I give up. Just what is your kind?"
"I am a warrior. One of the Breed."
"Right, a warrior. And breed, as in... what kind of breed?"
For a long moment, he just looked at her, like he was weighting his answer. "As in vampire, Tess."
Holy Moses on a pogo stick. He was beyond crazy.
If you like...
If you like Kiss of Crimson, you will very likely enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. The similarities are many, but there are enough differences to keep the stories from feeling like carbon copies. I tend to recommend the same series over and over, so I'm not going to say "read Cat & Bones" (although you should) or "Cassie Palmer is great" (even though it is), so I'll just sneak in some links at the bottom for you if you want to check out any additional reviewer-recommended series. *grin*
So far, this series is off to a good, strong start. I still feel it could be a little stronger, but having just finished #3 (Midnight Awakening)... arg, I'm seriously behind on the reviews!... I know it's about to get even better, so I'm excited to keep reading. For the BDB I always tell new readers to stick it out past the second book (Rhage & Mary's story, Lover Eternal) before they decide to keep reading or quit. For the Midnight Breed series, I'm going to recommend reading all the way through the end of Midnight Awakening (#3, Tegan's story) before deciding. I think that's really where the series is going to pick up momentum and come into its own.
On a mission to track down a dangerous continuing threat to the Breed, Tegan must face his centuries-old demons and open his heart if he's to complete the hunt. Elise, widowed and having recently lost her only son to the killer vampire drug Crimson, is slowly dying to the side-effects of her Breedmate talent. With her connections in the Agency's politics, Elise can open doors for Tegan and the order, but she'll have to surrender some of herself to survive long enough to avenge her son's death.
Title: Midnight Awakening Series: The Midnight Breed - book #3 Author:Lara Adrian Prominent Characters: Tegan & Elise, Andreas Reichen Recommended reader age: 17+ Sexual content level: Moderate
In pursuit of Lucan's warmongering Gen One brother, Tegan, the coldest of the Order's warriors, teams up with Elise, the widow of a high-ranking Agency director, who is on a quest for vengeance after her only son goes Rogue and must be killed. Tegan & Elise are a fairly unlikely couple at first glance, but their chemistry is strong and their gifts complement one another well.
This third installment is my favorite to date, having read through the first 6 novels in the series now. Tegan is ice cold and calculating, and I've never really liked him until this novel. We get to see his background and understand what happened that's made him the way he is. Elise is a character that I initially (before this story) did not like. I prefer strong female leads and her whiny, clingy society-wife persona grated on my nerves in the second book (Dante's book, Kiss of Crimson). However, luckily for us (and unluckily for Elise), losing her husband and her son changed her outlook on life, and she grew a nice strong spine in the months between the 2nd and 3rd novels in the Midnight Breed series.
Tegan and Elise's chemistry is surprisingly steamy, and I like Tegan best of all the romantic male leads in this series. Somehow he's just more raw, yet complicated... but not so complicated that he can't be affected by Elise. Watching her break down his hard outer shell is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this book. I also like his domineering romantic style and the fact that he's so verbal during their steamy scenes together. Ms. Adrian did a great job making him appear both vulnerable and tender, while still keeping up his cocky, hard-ass warrior facade. Elise also, is a good character - strong and determined, but also smart and physically capable. She's not a warrior, but she's no wilting wallflower either.
The other aspect of this story that I really enjoyed was the puzzle. This story arc has a definite Dan Brown vibe to it, reminiscent of Angels & Demons or The Da Vinci Code.
Move over Arnold...
As the three of them watched in awe, the front door of the place banged open, tearing clean off its hinges. Not by the force of the blast, but by the will of a single individual.
Rolling orange fire silhouetted him from behind, backlighting the warrior's broad shoulders and casual, long-legged stride. As he strolled away from the inferno, the ends of his loose black coat winged out behind him like a cape befitting the prince of darkness himself.
Help me Obi Wan Kenobi...
"I can learn. I want to learn. Please, Tegan. I need to learn."
"And you think I'm the one to help you?"
"I think you're my only hope."
If you like...
If you like Midnight Awakening, you will very likely enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. The similarities are many, but there are enough differences to keep the stories from feeling like carbon copies. I tend to recommend the same series over and over, so I'm not going to say "read Cat & Bones" (although you should) or "Cassie Palmer is great" (even though it is), so I'll just sneak in some links at the bottom for you if you want to check out any additional reviewer-recommended series. *grin*
I know these aren't Paranormal Romance, but you might also enjoy Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.
This story is intensely everything: heart-breaking, action-filled, mysterious, steamy and romantic. It's also the novel I'd recommend reading to if you're trying out the series and deciding whether to keep on going. IMO, Tegan & Elise's story is the strongest one of the first 6 books, with Nicolai's (surprisingly) coming in a close second. If you liked Midnight Awakening, you'll probably enjoy the rest of the series. If you're still not that into it after finishing this book, skip the rest and try the Black Dagger Brotherhood or take a chance on something completely new, because it doesn't get a whole lot better than this one (I mean that in a nice tingly good way)!