Review: Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Intro:

I ran into this series from a recommendation by a J.R. Ward reader.  They are similar in style although I think Midnight Breed series is slightly less dark in tone.  For details regarding this series, see the Midnight Breed Series landing page.

Basic Plot:

Gabrielle Maxwell is a professional photographer who enters a club with friends and discovers Rogues attacking a human in the alley.  She reports the violence to the police (she has a pictures on her phone) and they do not believe her.  Lucan intervenes and discovers she is a Breedmate, as he attempts to protect her from evil, he fights his attraction to her before it is too late.

Background:

Lucan is the leader of The Order, a warrior class who protects vampires and humans from Rogues.  Rogues are vampires who have succumbed to bloodlust.  The Order is weakening, not as close as they had been in the past and they have constant conflicts between themselves and the vampire population at large.  Enter Gabrielle, this human breedmate who stumbles upon Rogues and could expose vampires to humans.

Female Lead:

Gabrielle Maxwell is a female breedmate unknowingly whose talent is taking pictures of vampire/rogue compounds.  We find out that breedmates have a psychic talent that is passed down to their children, varying between breedmates.

Gabrielle Maxwell was a Breedmate, a human gifted with unique blood and DNA properties that complemented those of his kind….To Lucan’s kind, a race comprised solely of males, this woman was a cherished goddess, giver of life, destined to bond in blood and bear the seed of a new vampire generation.

So in this example, if Gabrielle and Lucan have children their male breed child would have her psychic talent.  This gives us variety with each book for different skills.  The only problem that I have with Gabrielle’s talent is that it seems rather useless skill and seems like the only point is to drive the plot forward for first contact.  We see in later books how the female’s talent plays a more vital role to the plotline.

As a female lead, Gabrielle was strong and independent, which I always find attractive.  She is devoted to her friends and dedicated to her work.  Gabrielle’s character development revolves around her emotional isolation and learning how to love and depend on someone else.

Male Lead:

Lucan is my second favorite warrior in the series; Tegan is my favorite (See book 3). But what I love is Lucan’s complexity, he is one of the oldest vampires and we see his struggle with bloodlust and his own version of Gabby’s emotional isolation.  Lucan labors over the responsibility of the safety of the entire race for years and this leadership of The Order actually has left him isolated at the top.

One of my favorite things of the series is the vampire’s breed dermaglyphs.  There is something sexy about how they react independently to the warrior’s emotions and we get to see their attraction to their mates.  A quote from Kiss of Midnight:

Glyphs typically were a source of pride for the Breed, unique indications of lineage and social rank.  Gen Ones like Lucan bore the marks in greater numbers and deeper saturation.

I guess I am just attracted to older men and I love a brooding Alpha male.  Lucan is a strong Alpha male that we see grow to love Gabby and learn how to accept this gift of love.

Theme Summary:

Most of the series deals with the theme of redemption and honor.  This book is no different.  In Kiss of Midnight, the theme revolves around acceptance, we see this in both Gabby and Lucan.  Each has aspects about themselves that they are ashamed of and by finding and accepting each other they accept themselves.

Strong Points:

The lore of this series is incredibly robust, both in depth as well as uniqueness.   I enjoyed how the bonding moments between The Order warriors helped to express the unity of the team.  The humor of this series is one of the best things about it.

“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?”

What could be better?

Because this is the first book, we are introduced to all of The Order warriors.  As the series develops, so do the illustrations of the group bonding.  I wish that we could have seen more of the group mentality in this novel, but it could just have been a lack of time and might have slowed the plot down if we got bogged down with more backstory.

Conclusions:

Overall, this is an excellent series and this is a good first installment.  I would not say this is my favorite of the series, but I recommend reading this book first before moving on to the next.  This is a series where you will miss out on plotlines if you skip any book

Bea

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