Review: Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed novel #1) by Lara Adrian
Romance, danger, and intrigue abound in this first novel of the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian. Featuring Lucan, one of the oldest vampires in existence, and Gabrielle, an artistically talented human Breedmate, this novel starts the series off with a fang… er, bang. This is a good alternative to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, for those of you already fiending for your next fix. Kiss of Midnight is a Recommended Read!
- Title: Kiss of Midnight
- Series: The Midnight Breed – book #1
- Author: Lara Adrian
- Prominent Characters: Lucan & Gabrielle
- Recommended reader age: 17+
- Sexual content level: Moderate
*** This review is spoiler-free! Read on with confidence! ***
After 900+ years of life, Gen One Breed warrior Lucan is struggling to find the will to keep fighting the good fight and it’s all that keeps him going. Gabrielle is a promising young photographer with a knack for finding her way to places she shouldn’t. After she witnesses (and photographs!) a brutal and gruesome Rogue vampire attack, Lucan must protect Gabrielle from enemies she doesn’t even know she has, while trying to keep his distance from her as an unknowing Breedmate.
After coming off an intense Black Dagger Brotherhood bender, I’m finding this review a little difficult to write, so I apologize if this comes across as more of a comparison between the two series than as a review – it’s just what’s on my brain. The BDB is one of those series that catches your attention demands your rapt devotion through a skillfully woven story of angst, family, unbreakable love, and tragedy and there just aren’t many series out there that meet its standard of excellence. That said, the first book of the BDB series (Dark Lover) has a very similar feel to Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series starter Kiss of Midnight. It starts off a little slow and has the unenviable task of trying to introduce the readers to this brand new universe, while explaining all the rules, introducing all the new characters, and creating an intense and believable chemistry between the marquee characters. Kiss of Midnight does achieve that, although maybe with slightly less flair and intensity than Dark Lover.
Lucan is very similar to Wrath: the leader of a band of warrior brothers who is stoic, dedicated, intense, extremely strong, and very old. The chemistry between Lucan and Gabrielle is quick and passionate, but still believable. However, instead of being a female vampire, Gabrielle is a human “Breedmate”, a rare genetic occurrence marked by a teardrop falling into the bowl of a crescent moon visible somewhere on the skin. Breedmates are the only women who can mate with vampires (who are all male) and produce children. Occasionally drinking their mates’ blood allows them to remain young and healthy indefinitely.
It seems every series has something that annoys me in each new novel. In the BDB, its the prolific use of the word “shitkickers” instead of “boots”, even by the refined females of the house. In the Midnight Breed series, it is the word “suckhead”, used in reference to the Rogue vampires who have fallen under the sway of permanent Bloodlust. I’m not sure why it bothers me, it just does! Honestly though, if that’s all I can find to complain about, that’s a nod to the quality of the writing of the series. *wink*
They’re more like guidelines anyway…
Here, someone had discreetly severed the links with a wire cutter, creating a breach just large enough for a curious adolescent to wriggle through – or a determined female photographer who tended to view No Trespassing and Authorized Personnel Only signs more as friendly suggestions rather that enforceable laws.
If you like Kiss of Midnight and the Midnight Breed series…
If you like Kiss of Midnight, you will very likely enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward (starting with Dark Lover). The similarities are many, but there are enough differences to keep the stories from feeling like carbon copies. I tend to recommend the same series over and over, so I’m not going to say “read Cat & Bones” (although you should) or “Cassie Palmer is great” (even though it is), so I’ll just sneak in some links at the bottom for you if you want to check out any additional reviewer-recommended series. *grin*
Considering the headspace I’ve been in recently, with the newest BDB book on the brain and those unforgettable storylines hashing it out in my brain at every opportunity, this book was entertaining enough to keep me focused on it and wanting to read more. Does it match up to my BDB expectations? No, at least not yet. To be fair though, Dark Lover didn’t completely blow me away the first time either and look how well that’s gone!
This series has potential, and having already read #2 (Kiss of Crimson – Dante’s book), I can tell you that the plotlines start to open up more and the stage is set for some serious drama down the line. In fact, some of the intrigue in Kiss of Midnight was pretty surprising and most definitely gripping. If you’re looking for a BDB alternative or just looking for a lengthy series to get started on (MB is up to 8 books so far, with the 9th set to release in June 2011), the Midnight Breed series is a good place to start.
Rating: Kiss of Midnight