Shades of Midnight by Lara Adrian
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Nicely done, Ms. Adrian. This was a very good book. Kade turned out to be a real sweetie under that hardcore, ice-cold warrior facade. He was very tortured by the double whammy of his brother's killer predilection and the fear that he'd be the same. Even though he was living a life of fighting with the Order and partying hard off-duty with human women to get his blood fix, deep down, I think he wanted a woman for his own mate the whole time.
When he met Alexandra, it clicked. And it was the same for Alex. This book turned out to be surprisingly romantic. I didn't expect that. But, I've found that this series is getting more and more along the lines of what I like in a paranormal romance, although it also a gritty action-filled series. I love a good action story with a great romance, so I'm pretty happy!
The setting was very good. Since I love cold weather and it's hot as blazes here in Texas, I enjoyed reading this book set in the frigid arctic Alaskan tundra. I wanted to switch places with Alex (for numerous reasons--except for the psycho blood-thirsty killer parts).
I actually felt kind of sorry for the Ancient. I know, soft touch here. Imagine being stranded on a planet, having been kept prisoner and escaping finally, to be completely out of your element and time? Hunted by your enemies with no one to turn to. Part of me wonders if he will re-emerge. What's the whole deal with Jenna? What did the Ancient do to her?
Could I be crushing harder on Tegan? I love the man. I was very happy that he turned up in this book so I could drool over him. I'm also loving Hunter. That is one bad.... well, you know what I mean. I cannot wait for his book. I'm seeing more aspects of Brock (loyal, protective, good-hearted), and I think his book is going to be very good. I wonder if Chase isn't going to implode any time soon. He's acting pretty weird.
Shades of Midnight was fast-paced but there was a satisfying core of emotional elements. There was the intensity of the love between Alex and Kade that developed quickly but was definitely real and lasting, and the treatment of family in how Kade had to walk away from his for his own sanity, and how Alex had lost hers in very tragic ways. The power of the bond between the Order, and how it became the anchor that Kade needed after he was left adrift when he walked away from his family in Alaska, and his troubled twin brother. Also, seeing some element of human emotion in the Ancient, who had seemed only to be a creature capable of violence prior to this book. I loved Kade's ability to communicate with animals, and how he connected to the wolves. The message about not wantonly slaughtering the wolves because they were suspected to be killing people was timely. Wolves have just now been reintroduced into many natural places in North America. They are a vital part of the ecosystem and are gorgeous, fascinating animals to me. So, I was all on board with protecting the wolves like Alex was. And then there was Alex's lovely wolf-hybrid dog, Luna. What a great companion.
If I had one complaint, I wish that Alex's Breedmate talent was more developed. It seemed like a bit of an afterthought. Otherwise, I was pretty satisfied with this book.
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
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