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REVIEW: Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Dear Ms. Adrian

I had a difficult time reviewing this book. It’s a vampire series at a time when there is a glut in the vampire genre. It features a super alpha male vampire who struggles against his nature to feed and a woman who basically is alone, who finds completion in her vampire lover’s arms.

Gabrielle Maxwell is an up and coming artist, a photographer who specializes in abandoned property to tell her story. She feels detached from the world around her, out of step and alone. Her secrets separate herself from her friends and companions as no one would quite understand her secret compulsions. She comes across the an assault in progress, calls 911 and takes a photo of it on her camera phone. She reports it to the police but no one believes her.

Lucan Thorne is a Breed vampire whose sole goal is to eliminate the Rogue vampires. This sounds very familiar to me despite the variations you put in. The vampires stem from an alien race. Lucan is a Gen One vampire who was born from a mating between an Ancient (an original alien)and human. Usually the matings were violently and against the will of the human. All vampires suffer the danger of succumbing to Bloodlust, basically an uncontrollable addiction to blood. Some vampires who have advanced Bloodlust addiction will kill himself. Others turn Rogue and ravage the human race like their Ancient ancestors.

Lucan can feel the Bloodlust creeping upon him. He’s determined to take out as many Rogues as possible before he succumbs to the sun. In the alley where Gabrielle sees the assault take place, Lucan arrives to dispatch the Rogue vampires. He realizes that Gabrielle has seen something and follows her to wipe her memory clean. When he attempts this, Gabrielle is resistant and Lucan realizes that there is something unique about her.

The villain is a shadowy figure whose goal is to build a Rogue army that will take over the . . . well, world I guess.

There are pockets of the story where I was really engaged. There were shocking revelations that captivated my attention. But there were also large parts, particularly in the beginning when I felt my focus drifting and I struggled to stay interested. Some of this may be due to the slow developing story in the beginning. The pace of the book picked up toward the latter 1/2. Part was due to the dense writing. In an effort to show us and not tell us things, there were long descriptive paragraphs that to some readers will invoke atmosphere and to this reader, made her eyes glaze over.

She let her gaze drift to the night outside the car, watching in queer detachment as lights and lives flickered past. The streets teemed with people: couples strolling hand-in-hand, groups of friends laughing and talking, all of them having a great time. They dined at cafe tables outside trendy bistros, and paused to look at store window displays. Everywhere she looked, the city pulsed with color and life. Gabrielle absorbed it all with her artist’s eye, and yet felt nothing. This bustle of life–her life as well–seemed to be speeding by without her. More and more lately, she felt as if she were caught on a wheel that wouldn’t stop spinning around her, trapping her in an endless cycle of passing time and little purpose.

I liked each character individually: Gabrielle for her secrets and empathy and Lucan for his struggle with his Bloodlust. Together, though, I had a difficult time grasping the connection between Gabrielle and Lucan. Because they spent very little time together initially, I had a hard time believing that they had the feelings you said that they felt for one another. It seemed a very superficial attraction.

It’s a book that I felt like I should like more (and I suspect it will be wildly popular) but I was curiously detached. One character that I liked against my will because he is such a stereotypical character and that is the dark, brooding, menacing Tegan. I’ll probably read the entire series just for glimpses of him. C+

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. Sarah
    May 03, 2007 @ 04:21:33

    I am really glad that you reviewed this. We got this in at work the other day and I got around to really looking at it yesterday. I flipped through some pages and it seemed like something that was written to be a cross between Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters and Christine Feehan’s Carpathians. Between the good vampire saving people and the ‘breedmates’ I saw while flipping through I chucked it right back onto the bookshelf.

  2. Lara
    May 03, 2007 @ 04:31:16

    Thanks for taking the time to read Kiss of Midnight, Jane. I appreciate the commentary even if I wish the book had been more to your liking. :)

  3. May
    May 03, 2007 @ 04:55:32

    You were absolutely right, Jane, when you said that our taste in romance diverges.

    By the way, Tegan’s book comes out at the end of the year.

    FWIW, Sarah, it’s not one Breedmate per male vamp, like it is for Kenyon’s Were-Hunters. Being a Breedmate simply means that the woman is able to mate with a vampire, any vampire she chooses. I’m at the point where the destined mates thing can cause me to throw the book across the room for no other reason, so I feel your pain.

  4. kardis
    May 03, 2007 @ 07:17:13

    I saw that this was yet another vampire book and thought, “blargh!”. I was all set to pass on it until you posted the exerpt. It looks like I’ll be giving this a shot after all, thanks Jane! BTW, I think this is the first time a “C” review has sold me on a book, normally I go for things that get the more extreme grades (on either end of the spectrum).

  5. Jane
    May 03, 2007 @ 07:57:22

    I tend to think this is one book that alot of people will like. I bet it is a USA Today Bestseller. For some reason, it did not work for me but I saw May’s review and it worked for her. And I suspect that it will work for alot of people.

  6. Shannon Stacey
    May 03, 2007 @ 08:18:01

    I’m almost totally vampired out at this point, but I loved this one. It must have worked for me, because I’m very anxiously awaiting the second one. One of the most fascinating aspects, for me, was the mythology behind the Breed, and I’m hoping she explores it further in future books.

  7. Jaci Burton
    May 03, 2007 @ 11:54:11

    I loved this book, and I’ve read and really enjoyed the second, Kiss of Crimson. I found them compelling and I love Lara Adrian’s voice. I think the descriptive paragraphs provided a sensual, evocative atmosphere for me and drew me into the Breed’s world completely.

    I also really like that the heroine’s are strong characters in their own right.

    Like Shannon, I’m pretty vamped out too, but found this series utterly compelling and can’t wait for the next one. :-)

  8. Rashenbo
    May 03, 2007 @ 12:57:27

    I have to admit to getting “full” on the vampire scene (except for Christine Feehan). I’m just getting tired of reading them all, so I will probably move on to another genre focus :)

    Great review though, thank you for sharing.

  9. Janine
    May 03, 2007 @ 13:25:51

    [quote comment="27614"]I saw that this was yet another vampire book and thought, “blargh!”. I was all set to pass on it until you posted the exerpt. It looks like I’ll be giving this a shot after all, thanks Jane! [/quote]

    I liked the excerpt too! I think I may give this one a try.

  10. DS
    May 03, 2007 @ 17:13:01

    Sometimes it might be a good idea to google a name before using it. For me Tegan will always be one of Doctor’s Who’s more annoying companions– a female who spent from 1981 to 1984 in an Australian airline stewardess uniform.

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