Kiss of Midnight is the first book in Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series. Sadly for all of you, Kiss of Midnight doesn’t release until May of 2007. But the good news is the sequel, Kiss of Crimson (which I haven’t read) releases the next month (no waiting!) Lara sent me her ARC because she knows Jaci and Jaci told her to, lolol (don’t you like how that works. Muah to J!) I think Lara was a little nervous about me reading this, and she emailed me when I finished the other ARCs because she realized it was her turn next. I told her not to worry, I was taking a break to read Julie Garwood and Karen Marie Moning. I don’t think that helped her nerves 😉
In present day Boston, trouble is brewing. Vampires are going Rogue, feeding without discretion, killing humans in the streets. For Lucan Thorne, a Breed warrior of the first generation and the Order’s fearsome leader, the battles are just a taste of the carnage to come. A blood war is set to ignite, and he is determined to put it to a swift end. But when a beautiful young photographer gets caught in the crosshairs, her pictures threatening to expose the entire vampire race, Lucan has no choice except to bring her into the dark world he commands.
What worked for me: The story moves fast. This is an easy read and since I’m a fan of alpha males, there’s a lot to like about this book. Lara starts out strong and keeps you turning the pages. There are times when you believe the heroine is going to fall into patterns of TSTL behavior, but the author adeptly avoids those and you don’t hate her (the heroine) because of it! While I’m not sure some of the vampiric stuff is completely original (though there are twists that provide originality) I am sure that the author makes her basis for vampirism work in the book and makes you want to know more about her world because of her writing. The book isn’t predictable, and there are a few things to keep readers guessing.
What didn’t quite work for me: The one feeling I got while reading this book is that readers are going to make some inevitable comparisons to JR Ward’s Brotherhood. While this didn’t so much work against the book for me, I felt as though I should mention it. A group of male, alpha vampires, living together in a complex, fighting against an enemy (in this case they’re fighting against Rogues–basically other vampires gone to the dark side–gone feral). I should mention that this could also work in Lara’s favor since I understand JR Ward gave her a cover quote for Kiss of Midnight. Oh, and the other thing that didn’t work for me was Lucan’s name. I kind of groaned when I saw it because, well, I’d like to never see another hero named Lucan, Lucian, Damen, Damien or any variation of those two. But that’s just me 😉
Overall: This is a strong offering because of Lara’s writing. What comes through here is that she’s a veteran author (with an excellent editor from what I hear!) who’s got a good grasp on pacing, characterization and story and has managed to blend the elements together to create a story that reads easily and is enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the sequel.