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Sunday, 4 March 2007

'Kiss of Midnight' by Lara Adrian

I was ever so lucky to receive an ARC of ‘Kiss of Midnight’ a week ago. Since then I’d been struggling to find the time to read it. Finally, I was able to open it early this morning, four a.m. or thereabouts when I was having another of my sleepless nights. I had been wary about reading ‘Kiss of Midnight‘ because I had only recently finished JR Ward‘s ‘Dark Lover’ which had been a breathtaking read. ‘Kiss of Midnight’ is a vampire novel and I was certain that I would end up comparing the two books in my head while I was reading. I needn’t have worried. I read the final page of ’Kiss of Midnight’ at eight a.m.

One night while out dancing with friends, the twenty-seven year old Gabrielle Maxwell witnesses a terrible crime. It is her first true encounter with the violence carried out by a breed she is unaware exists, vampires. The pictures Gabrielle captures of the crime on her cell phone put her in a danger she doesn’t understand. In steps Lucan Thorne, a vampire himself, he is a Breed Warrior, sworn to protect his kind and the unknowing humans living alongside them, from the growing threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman but in an effort to protect Gabrielle, he has to draw her into his dark world. And in doing so, he finds himself falling for her.

I really liked this book. Most of all for the strong, memorable characters Lara Adrian has created. Gabrielle is a woman lost. After a youth of being thrown from one foster home to an other she doesn’t understand herself, the reasons why she is drawn to blood, and where she has come from. Gabrielle is a very likeable heroine, a woman any one of us can relate to. She pulled me into this novel when I first met her and I was ready and willing to join her on her journey through the novel. When she finds herself attracted to Lucan Thorne I felt the attraction too. And for good reason. Lucan is the type of hero that I love to sink my teeth into. A brooding, strong, flawed alpha male. A yummy treat for us ladies. He is reluctant to get involved with Gabrielle but he can’t help himself. Through the course of the novel, Adrian takes us deeper into his past, allowing us to discover his character. And I was grateful to her for that because I was fascinated with his persona.

Besides great characters, Adrian sure knows how to make sparks fly. The sexual tension between these two is smokin’ hot. The love scenes are deliciously raw and sexual. And unlike many books, the tension does not decrease after the first sex scene. Instead it grows even stronger, which I thought was highly unusual and a testament to Adrian’s writing skills. But most importantly, the love scenes are emotion-fuelled. Fear, anger, longing and love are undercurrents in these scenes, and throughout the book I really felt the emotional connection between the two characters. I was desperate to see them together, that’s probably why I didn’t stop reading until the book was finished.

This book is mainly character driven but Adrian has intricately woven themes of war and death between the pages. Though this is a paranormal, ‘Kiss of Midnight’ resonates strongly with the war and conflict in our own world. There is a long running war taking place between the Breed Warriors and the Rogues who recklessly kill as they want to. We get a front seat to the violence as men and vampires alike are killed. I enjoyed learning about Lucan and the other Breed Warriors‘ battle against their lawless brethren. I was interested in hearing the backstory which I thought was clever and not at all contrived.

‘Kiss of Midnight’ is set in Boston and Adrian gave me a feel for the city, especially the city after dark in its grittiest and most unnerving moments. Something I also found to my delight in this novel is Lara Adrian’s beautiful narrative voice. It carried me along through the novel. There were no jarring moments for me, everything flowed. And whether it’s to describe murder or sex, Adrian is on the money with her use of language. She manipulates adjectives and nouns to evoke the most sensuous images which give a feeling of luxury when reading the book (does that make sense?) But Adrian is clever with her words, not going too OTT with the elaborate language which would distract the reader from the story. She goes just far enough to entice the reader into her imaginary world as if sinking into a hot, scented bubble bath (insert sigh of pleasure here.)

I had very few problems with ‘Kiss of Midnight.’ One would be that the unusual names of the vampires and some of the plot lines made it easy for me to confuse this book with one of ‘The Black Dagger Brotherhood’ series. But as I was reading at such an early hour of the morning I was bound to get muddled up at some point.

And also towards the end of the book I was so caught up in Lucan and Gabrielle’s relationship that I found myself skimming over some of the parts about the enemy Rogues. But I don’t know if I’d necessarily call that a flaw because I was so involved in the relationship, and this is primarily a romance novel, I’m guessing anyway.

I loved this book. It surprised me because I expected it to be a rip-off of the many other vampire books on the market at the moment. But it’s not. It is completely its own novel, a good novel that I would recommend to anyone who is on the hunt for a really great paranormal with sizzling sex, a hotter than hot hero, and a wonderful heroine. Go pre-order it now here; you’ll thank me when you have it read.

And Lara, if you happen to have any ARCs of ‘Kiss of Crimson’ lying around, feel free to send one to me. You know, just if you were to feel so inclined. (please, please, PLEASE……with a cherry on top)

Rating: 41/50
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Susan said...

Wow Maria- what a great review. I will have to add this to my TBR pile when it comes out.

Again, your reviews are always so useful! Thanks:)

ames said...

Excellent review! I would love to get my hands on some ARCs as well. LOL

Doris said...

This is great info to know.