13 June 2013

Blast from the Past Review: Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Blast from the Past... Midnight Breed Book #1 - Kiss of Midnight

What they say: He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night—or this man—is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existed—a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.

Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind—and the unwitting humans existing alongside them—from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.

Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all...
What I say: I think by now it must be clear how obsessed I am with The Black Dagger Brotherhood series?! I had read some reviews about the Midnight Breed books before I started Kiss of Midnight, and I honestly wasn't sure if I would like another vampire series based around a similar premise to the BDB. I did however really enjoy Lara Adrian's offering but I guess you can't beat the original.
I had prepared a list of similarities between the Brothers and the Breed - both include tall, hot, leather-wearing vampire warriors. Both include an ancient bad ass, yet troubled ruler in Wrath/Lucan. All the warriors seem to have a way with women and come with mad bedroom skills. They live in a plush mansion complete with state of the art technology and bass add weaponry. I could also focus on the loyalty and bonds between the men or their battle with this ancient evil. All of the above, aside, I'm going to focus on what actually happens in Kiss of Midnight and how it functions as an adult paranormal fantasy.
Adrian's vampire come in two groups; the Breed and Rogues. Rogues are essentially vampires who have given in to bloodlust, sex and violence. The warriors police and defend humans and other vampires from the Rogues in a seemingly eternal battle.
I enjoyed Adrian's mythology, her vampires are all male and descended from well, er...aliens. These Aliens needed to drink human blood to survive and found that they could only reproduce with a small group of human women "A Breedmate, a human gifted with unique blood and DNA properties that complemented those of his kind," (it's a blood and genetics thing). These human Breedmates are protected, and can blood-bond to a vampire (gaining eternal youth as long as their bonded mate lives). In some ways this reminded me of the vampire-like aliens in Erica Stevens' dystopian YA series The Ravening, although Stevens' aliens invade Earth en mass for bloodstocks. Adrian's vampires crash landed on Earth over a thousand years ago. To be honest after the initial mention of their alien decedents I generally forgot about that element and focused on the vampire story.
The female lead is 28-year-old, photographer, Gabrielle. She's actually a really cool lead, because she's both vulnerable and damaged, yet strong and independent. I won't spoil anything for you but I will say I think it's obvious from the beginning of the book which warrior she belongs to.
Lucan, is the 900-year-old leader of the warrior Breed. Lucan's a bit of a cold fish at times and it was fun to watch Gabby forcing him to soften and open up. Adrian reveals enough of Lucan's backstory for the reader to understand Lucan's coldness and motivations. The relationship between Gabby and Lucan was both hilarious and infuriating at times, but the banter and arguments were fun to read. One similarity I will point out between he Breed and the Brothers was their ability to go all in when they decide they want a woman (or in the Breed's case a breedmate). I'm not usually a fan of insta-love, but I do enjoy it in the BDB books and it sort of works here too!
Kiss of Midnight was a good and sexy read (cue several bouts of blushing). It's not quite up there with The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but this is only book one and I'm assured that I may end up eating my words. If you like your paranormal on the sexy side then give Adrian's book a chance!
3.5 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "Your father was not only a vampire, but an alien besides? Do you have any idea how insane that sounds?"
  • "What are you talking about? It's okay to screw me, but the thought of taking my blood turns your stomach?" She gave a sharp laugh. "My God. I can't believe I feel insulted over that."
  • "All this touchy feely is making me itchy to kill something. How about we quit jerking each other off and go blow the roof off this mutha?"

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