Sunday, August 4, 2013

Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed #2 - Dante and Tess) by Lara Adrian

For me, this book was better then the first one. I admit it's probably because the first book contains a lot of new knowledge about Adrian's world of vampire society, new characters you try to remember "who-is-who" and "what's their deal" so it way less flowing than this one (and naturally you get "stuck" in comparisons to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward..). I think its good that basically you don't have a lot of warriors in the first book and also in this one, lets you try and get them better before Adrian adds more warriors to the mix. 

Dante seemed a really interesting guy from the first book so I really wanted to see how it "goes" for him. On the ending of the first book Dante says to Lucan "better you than me" about finding a breedmate, well, here we are 6 months later and... :)

I like Tess better then I do Gabrielle though she is great too. There is something more interesting and real about her life story, how she lives her life and why, and I think that her connection to Dante though their similar (in a way) life experiences creates a beautiful link. I guess we all run away from something, so it's not "that" special, but for the both of them I see how it makes them understand each other and connect to each other. and why up until now they have been alone - chose to be alone. I hated Ben from almost the very start. what doesn't that guy understand?? how many times does Tess has to tell him "we're finished"... blaaaaa 

I really don't want to write spoilers because I hate reading spoilers and especially by mistake. but I loved everything that happened during the book with Dante's vision. I mean how it was viewed and "treated" during the book and the final "resolve". that's all I'm going to say!! :)

The book was really flowing, no annoying staff you really wanted to screen through. I felt everything was relevant and interesting. nothing that felt like "fillings". 

The only problem I have with this book, and the series in general (up until know) is the fact that the breedmates tend to leave their world behind them to live with their mate. which is a little mmmm chauvinistic (?) the fact that they can walk in daytime but their warriors doesn't really like it.. I guess for Gabrielle, she can still take photos, but with Tess, its obvious she won't stay a vet in her clinic.. I wonder how the women's part of the story is going to be, not only for Tess but for the other women in the compound. 

I'm giving this one 5 stars. and I'd say that it is due to the fact that I liked it better than the first, which I gave 4 stars but also because the series does deserve it even though there is a lot of similarities to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. I feel that the "vibe" is different between the two series. they both feel different enough for me to exist one next to the other.

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 416 pages, 3-4 August 2013 / On GoodReads
Dante Malebranche
Breed male, Order member. An only child, Dante was born in 18th century Italy two-hundred and twenty-nine years ago. Still has some of his Italian accent. Dante’s father was killed by a political rival in Italy; his mother perished in a riptide while attempting to save a drowning victim sometime later. The swaggering wise-ass of the group, Dante has adopted the last name of Malebranche for when he’s forced to mingle among humans. Malebranche (“evil claws”) is also what he calls his weapons of choice—a pair of curved, titanium blades that he uses in hand-to-hand combat against Rogues. Dante fights hard and plays hard, and despite his brashness, he is also fiercely loyal to those he cares about. His closest friend in the Order is Sterling Chase, although that friendship becomes strained and nearly broken when Chase begins displaying signs of Bloodlust and his actions start to jeopardize Order missions. Dante and Tess had intended to make Chase godfather to Xander Raphael, but they instead ask Gideon to take the honor. The relationship between Dante and Chase is on the mend again during the timeline of Darker After Midnight.
Hair: black    /   Eyes: whiskey-colored
Unique ability: cursed with premonitions of death

Tess Culver
Born in rural Illinois, Teresa Dawn “Tess” Culver is twenty-six years old during the timeline of Kiss of Crimson. Tess’s true father was killed in a car accident when she was fourteen. Her mother remarried quickly to a successful local businessman. Tess’s stepfather sexually assaulted her on her seventeenth birthday, during which time he suffered a heart attack. Tess’s mother berated her daughter instead of supporting her, commanding Tess to use her special ability to “fix” him. Tess halted the man’s death, then later takes it back after discovering he has also accosted young children. Tess flees home, staying with friends until she finished school and began a new life, eventually working as a veterinarian in her own practice. She always knew she was different, and thought moving far away from her past would keep her personal demons at bay. Late one Halloween night, however, she encountered a dark, dangerous stranger in her clinic—Dante, severely wounded in combat. When she tried to help him, he bit her in desperate need of her blood. A bond that began out of necessity soon became a deep and unbreakable love. Dante and Tess are parents to a newborn Breed son whom they named Xander Raphael, signifying both the healer and the protector their child is destined to be.
Hair: honey brown, long curly waves Eyes: aquamarine
Breedmate mark: between the thumb and forefinger of her right hand) Bloodscent: cinnamon and vanilla
Unique ability: heals with her touch; she can also rescind the gift of her healing with a touch.

Midnight Breed by Lara Adrian is one of my absolute favorite Paranormal Romance Series. Like many of the series in this genre, we have a group of vampire warriors who are in charge of defending their race. 

The Order mainly protect the general population (vampire AND humans) from rouge vampires. Vampires whose crave for blood have reached a point of no return meaning they can no longer control themselves and since there is nothing to be done about this situation these rouges vampires have to be put down. Besides obvious risk to the human population, rouges / rabid vampires also are a treat in the sense that vampires live in secret groups (called Darkhavens) there they can live their separate lives without probing human eyes. Naturally they are a part of the general population but the way they live, in a sort of community, helps them maintain their traditions and way of living. 

In the recent years, the Order became infamous. There is no respect for the members of the Order and moreover they are treated like "barbarians", the vampire population doesn't believe that they are even needed but boy oh boy they are wrong.. dark days are ahead.. 

In the beginning, years and years ago, a group of highly strong vampires crushed on Earth. They are the base of the vampire population nowadays. As is seems there are no female vampires, only males. The females that can reproduce with vampires are called "breedmates" and they can be distinguished by a certain mark (crescent moon with a drop) that each breedmate has somewhere on her body. Each breedmate also has a special (inhuman) ability which she transfers to her vampire son. Thus every vampire has a special ability passed to him from his human mother. Breedmates need to drink blood in order to enhance their special ability and sometimes so they can control it and it won't take over her life.  It takes time until the ancestry of the breedmates is explained, it adds another layer to the story and brings the Order with another adversary they weren't expecting. 

Each book has it's separate story in which each warrior finds himself a breedmate / compatible mate. As you can guess, the Order isn't notorious for no reason.. most of the warriors are somehow "damaged", preferring to live a life in the Order rather than build a life of their own. Finding their mate makes them deal with their past and free themselves from its bindings. Beside the personal plot line there is also a bigger plot line about the main villain progressing from the first book until the 10th. From the 11th book (till the final 18th installment) there is a very significant change following a progression in 20 years changing the whole setting of the series with different villains as well as introducing new characters to the series - some the sons and daughters from the first 10 installments and of course we get to meet the older version of the parents as well. 

The main issue I had with the series in the beginning was the similarities between it and the general setting of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. It only feels this way at the first, it takes a TOTALLY different direction plot-wise and character-wise which after reading enough of the two series I gotta say I MUCH prefer this one (I actually abandoned that one a while back..). 


When the whiffs of the end of this beloved series started to get suffocating Lara announced a Spin-Off called "Hunter Legacy". The series will consist of stand-alone novels of the "Last Boys" - the Gen One Hunters who were bred as weapons of war by Dragos and were freed by The Order round the middle of the series. 

0.5 A Touch of Midnight [Gideon & Savannah] (published 15 July 2013) ★★★★★
1. Kiss of Midnight [Lucan & Gabrielle] (published 1 May 2007) ★★★★
2. Kiss of Crimson [Dante & Tess] (published 29 May 2007) ★★★★★
3. Midnight Awakening [Tegan & Elise] (published 27 November 2007) ★★★★★
4. Midnight Rising [Rio & Dylan] (published 25 March 2008) ★★★★★
5. Veil of Midnight [Niko & Renata] (published 30 December 2008) ★★★★ 
6. Ashes of Midnight [Andreas Reichen & Claire] (published 26 May 2009) ★★★★★

7. Shades of Midnight [Cade & Alex] (published 29 December 2009) ★★★★  
8. Taken By Midnight [Brock & Jenna] (published 28 September 2010) ★★★★★
9. Deeper than Midnight [Hunter & Corrine] (published 28 June 2011) ★★★★★
9.5 A Taste of Midnight [Danika & Malcolm] (published 5 December 2011) ★★★★★
10. Darker after Midnight [Chase & Tavia] (published 24 January 2012) ★★★½ 
 --- The Midnight Breed Series Companion (Volume #1) (published 26 June 2013) ★★★★★

11. Edge of Dawn [Mira & Kellan] (published 21 February 2013) ★★★★★
11.5. Marked By Midnight [Mathias Rowan & Nova] (published 30 June 2014) ★★★★

12. Crave the Night [Nathan & Jordana] (published 5 August 2014) ★★★★★
12.5. Tempted by Midnight [Lazaro & Melena] (1001 Dark Nights #10) (published 14 October 2014) ★★★★★
13. Bound to Darkness [Carys & Rune] (published 30 July 2015) ★★★★
13.5 Stroke of Midnight [Jehan & Seraphina] (1001 Dark Nights #26) (published 13 October 2015) ★★★★★
14. Defy the Dawn [Zael & Brynne(published 1 June 2016) ★★★★★

14.5 Midnight Untamed [Ettore & Bella] (1001 Dark Nights #47) (published 11 October 2016) ★★★★
14.6 Midnight Unbound [Scythe & Chiara]
 (published 14 March 2017) ★★★★½
14.7 Midnight Unleashed [Trygg & Tamisia] (1001 Dark Nights #69) (published 10 October 2017) ★★★½ 
15. Claimed in Shadows [Aric Chase & Kaya Laurent] (published 23 January 2018) ★★★ 
16. Break the Day [Xander Raphael "Rafe" Malebranche & Devony Winters] (published 30 July 2019) ★★★★½ 
17. Fall of Night [Micah & Phaedra] (published 31 January 2021)) ★★★★½
18. King of Midnight [Darion Thorne & Selene the Atlantean Queen] (to be Published 31 March 2022)

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