21 June 2013

REVIEW: Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian


Midnight Breed Book #2

What they say: He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charged moment Tess is plunged into his world—a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.

Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need—but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm…and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires, and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself...

What I say: With book #1 I decided to avoid comparing the Midnight Breed series with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. BUT I kinda did end up comparing the two in several ways, so I'm going to again try to minimalize my comparisons and stick to reviewing what Kiss of Crimson is actually about and how Lara Adrian has developed her vampires in book #2.
 
For the sake of this review I'm going to assume you've read Kiss of Midnight (if not then you can check out my review here). Kiss of Crimson begins a few months after the conclusion of Kiss of Midnight. This time the vamp in focus is Dante. Dante is the Breed warrior who has absolutely no interest in finding a Breedmate and is really against the idea (he likes variety). Dante is too busy trying to avoid the death visions he gets (as part of his 'gift').
 
Dante is gravely injured at the beginning of the book and feeds/attacks Tess. Tess is a Vet with a dark past, numerous secrets and a unique skill. After he's feed from Tess, he realises she's a Breedmate and he's accidentally bound them together (or at least partially bound them). Tess has absolutely no knowledge of vampires or anything supernatural and is kept in the dark about Dante's true nature for a large part of the novel.
 
What I really appreciated about this book is how Adrian avoids the insta-love thing. Yes, there is an instant connection, but both Dante and Tess seem desperate to avoid anything more. Tess is running from her past and Dante his future! I also enjoyed how Tess stood up to Dante and had a fiercely independent streak, she is even less willing to give in than him!
 
The 'Crimson' mentioned in the title is a party drug, popular with the young Darkhaven vamps. It was developed by Tess's ex-boyfriend for humans, but with vamps it causes them to turn Rogue. The Rogues are arming themselves for battle and looking to increase their numbers.
 
A new edition is the Darkhaven vampire Chase. He is an outsider who ends up working with the Breed warriors. I found Chase annoying at first, but once Adrian divulged his motivations I found him increasing interesting - a certain smutty club scene comes to mind.
 
I enjoyed Kiss of Crimson and although there are still numerous similarities to BDB I found that the Midnight Breed series is starting to take a different direction and is growing in pace and intrigue.

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoiler quotes:
  • A fighter? Tess wondered, some of her interest fading already. She had no use for violent men, even if they looked and sounded like fallen angels.
  • The fact that the guy knew Tess, and no doubt knew her intimately, flipped a trigger on Dante's rage.
  • He'd made it inside with only a few minutes to spare before dawn crested over the city to put a nice toast on his UV-allergic skin.

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