The story line continues the previous novella. Chiara is Bella's sister in law (Chiara was married to Bella's brother Mal). Mal put all of his family in danger due to his gambling habits. So now Chiara finds herself in danger yet again and the order sends Scythe to take care of things, meaning stay with her in the vineyard she lives in while he waits for the Breed Male who attacked her (but was unsuccessful in taking her) to return. The Order has too many things to deal with now, leaving Scythe to deal with Chiara's safety, only leaving Pietro (Chiara's 3 years old boy) in the care of Bella and her mate "Savage".
Scythe has a sad story, being a previous Hunter raised by Dragos not to mention the way he lost his left hand.. But Chiara sees a male of honor, one she wishes could be on her side but couldn't really see it happening when all he shows is his annoyance of having to lay low and wait for an unknown enemy to appear. Yet the reason Scythe is annoyed is because of his attraction to Chiara. He seems unable to ignore his feelings and attraction to her no matter how hard he tries and in the end, with a little prodding from her they start to open up to one another.
It was a nice sweet story. I really enjoyed it but I wished we've gotten a little bit "more" somehow. I"m not even sure what exactly... If you are a fan of the series there's no way you're missing this one! But if you haven't read any of them you SHOULD. Start with the first one. Currently this is one of my absolute favorite PNR series.
One of the Hunters created by Dragos. Missing left hand due to injury while he tried to save a mother and her son who were quite close to him. Lives by himself mostly. We've met him in the previous novella as he came to Bella and Savage's help due to Trygg's request (another Hunter now working for the Order). He is asked again by Trygg to watch over Chiara from an unknown breed male who attacked her a few days ago. They stay together in her vineyard while the order tries to gather information and Scythe does his best to secure the perimeter and defend her if/when the breed male returns. Scythe had a difficult past - being a hunter, he cares about Chiara but he is afraid of chaining himself again, this time to a breedmate.
Hair: Ebony, Eyes: Obsidian.
Unique Ability: Sensing imminent danger.
We've met Chiara in the previous novella. She is Bella's sister in law (was married Bella's brother Sal). She lives in the Genova's vineyard in Italy with her 3 years old son Pietro. She met Scythe the first time a few weeks before when their lives were in danger due to Sal's betrayal of his sister. Now she is in danger again from an unknown breed male. Scythe comes to the rescue (though not so willingly due to his growing attraction to her). Chiara is VERY interested in Scythe but he seems uninterested, or that's what she thinks.. though in the end she finds the way to make him open up to her.
Hair: Brown, Eyes: Chocolate Brown
Unique ability: Sonokinesis.
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..).
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!
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) ★★★★
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) ★★★★★
11.5. 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)