Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of those reviews where I have to eat my words. I have to say that I really grew to like Elise. I didn't think I would care for her as a heroine after the last book in the series, Kiss of Crimson. But I found that I liked and respected her. She has lost a lot, but rose like a phoenix from the ashes. She made herself strong, even though she was raised like a delicate flower in the Chase family, told what to think, how to act, and what she should do with her life.
Elise suffers terribly when she is around humans, because her inborn psychic ability makes her hear their most violent, ugly, and dark thoughts. Despite this, she goes out to hunt and kill Minions, which are the souless humans that have almost been bled dry by the vampires who have given themselves over to Bloodlust, called Rogues. Some might view this behavior as TSTL, but I felt that a woman who lost her son to the evils of vampires and their minions would want to wreak vengeance on her enemies. So she didn't come off that way to me.
I liked Tegan a lot. I hate to compare books, but I must say that I don't connect with him as a tortured hero as intensely that I have with some of the other heroes in various other paranormal series that I have read and loved. Having said that, he definitely held his own in this book as a formidable warrior with a tortured past, but capable of complete tenderness and gentleness with Elise. I think that is what made me like him, was the way the took care of Elise, and showed her respect. He did tell her she was risking her life, and had some things to say about that in a very non-political way, but I think he showed respect for her need to do something in the war against the rogue vampires. I also loved that he was celibate for several centuries after the loss of his breedmate. That's devotion! I read one book where a hero who was supposed to be so in love with his lost love that he couldn't even wait less than five years before sleeping with some other women.
I was curious why Ms. Adrian paired Tegan with Elise before I read this book, but it totally made sense when I read it. On the surface, they seem different, as Elise is a pampered, delicate Breedmate who is a society maven in the Darkhaven (communities in which the vampire civilians and their breedmates live), and Tegan is a fierce, rough warrior, seen as a conscienceless killer by many. Yet they have a connection and can understand each other because of the losses they have suffered and how those losses changed their lives and their personalities. There is a strong bond between Tegan and Elise that is emotional and sexual, that Ms. Adrian does a great job of building on. I liked that there wasn't the instant sex scene, but the tension builds between them until it explodes like C-4 in the love scenes that occur later in the book.
I feel this series is building very well. It has an interesting world, but, I admit I like a paranormal romance with more creatures in it a little more. This one just has the offspring of the alien vampires that came to earth millenia ago, went on a bloodthirsty rampage, and sired offspring on human women. Having said that, I think Ms. Adrian really does a good job with this storyline and reveals more layers with each book.
The battles in this book are intense and violent. There is always the chance that these warriors could die or get wounded. The stakes are very high and you hold your breath waiting to see what's going to happen next. The villain Marek is a completely despicable, morally bankrupt piece of work, and you want him taken down by the Breed.
This book kind of wraps up one storyline but leaves things open for the start of another one. I definitely need to keep reading to see what's going to happen after this book. Also because I am intrigued with the characters of Rio, Andreas Richen, Sterling Chase, Niko, and the new recruit brethren Kade and Brock, and I want to see who they get paired up with.
Another plus of this series is that there is some ethnic diversity. This is another big reason I keep reading these books. I will get off my soapbox in a moment. I promise. I just have to say it's nice to see people of different ethnicities in the paranormal romances. Just saying. (Climbing off the soapbox now).
If you are looking to read a well-written book with formidable warriors, intense action, and a great romance, and you're a fan of vampires, I'd recommend the Midnight Breed series to add to your to be read pile.
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