Saturday, October 31, 2015

Stroke of Midnight (Midnight Breed #13.5) [Jehan & Seraphina] by Lara Adrian

What a sweet story! Really enjoyed this one! I love the Midnight Breed Series, but though it was a part of it, it was somehow totally independent and had a very special feel to it because of the setting and the way the MC come to be together. It felt like an Arabian tale, or maybe an Arabian Fairy Tale.

Jehan is a warrior in the Order's squad in Rome. He is summoned by his family to return home to Morocco to attend a mating, HIS mating to a girl he never met before. He doesn't accept and can't really understand the concept behind the mating he is forced to be a part of. Years and years ago, hundreds of years ago! His royal family, the Mafakhir made a deal with the Sanhaja family to always have a mated couple between them to avoid bloodshed between the two families. Jehan doesn't think there is need, now, to still have this kind of "deal", because there is no real need for bloodshed between the families anyway.. He is fully intended to refuse the whole thing when he realizes Seraphina, his bride to be, isn't interested either and all they have to do to avoid the situation is stay together in a resort for 8 days after them state that they are NOT interested in being mated and off they go, back to their own lives. 

Easier said then done ;)

Both Seraphina and Jehan are attracted to one another, but also intrigued. Seraphina thinks she has Jehan all figured out when she realizes he is a warrior. While her sacred work has always been about saving people, not killing them.. She have been taking care of people in need for years, spending all her energy (and money) to do her best for others. When she hears she is needed in the camp she fears she won't be able to help but as Jehan learns of her concerns he is adamant about helping her and the people she cares about. That's the exact point when Jehan and Seraphina starts to build something more than attraction between them. I'll admit it all happens so fast! Maybe too fast if it wasn't for the element of Breed animalistic nature and the whole fairy tale feel. 

This short novella can be read as a stand alone, even if you haven't read anything in this series it won't matter. It's actually a way to be introduced to the world of Midnight Breed if you are considering it. At the moment Midnight Breed is my favorite vampire PNR series and one of my absolute favorite PNR of all times

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 118 pages, 31 October 2015 / On GoodReads
Jehan Mafakhir
A warrior in the Order's squad in Rome (under Lazaro Archer). Returns home to Morocco to be mated to a woman he never met due to a treaty from hundreds of years ago between his family and the Sanhaja family to prevent bloodshed between the families. Considered royalty. After spending 8 days with Seraphina his breedmate to be falls in love with her and stays to enable her to keep her volunteer work and forms a group there to fight Opus Nostrum that is apparent in the area.
Hair: Shoulder length, Chestnut Eyes: Light Blue
Unique ability: Empath. Register physical injuries with touch. 

Seraphina Sanhaja
Have been working with orphaned kids and homeless people in Morocco for years. Was  forced into mating Jehan as a part of a treaty between her family and his. Wasn't very pleased by it, as he was until she got to know him and realized their special connection.
Hair: Brown Curls. Eyes:Rich Sandalwood freckled with gold.
Breedmate mark: bicep
Bloodscent: Cinammon.
Unique ability: Empath. Feels emotional pain with 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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