Friday, November 28, 2008

Recent Read

Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Why this one: The author noticed it on my sidebar under the Eagerly Anticipating and contacted me to see if I'd be interested in reading an ARC.
Hell Yes!! I replied since I've loved all the previous books in this series.

Steam Level: Ahhhhhh yes. Hope you like it hot 'cause this one is

Author Website Blurb:


A warrior trained in bullets and blades, Renata cannot be bested by any man--vampire or mortal. But her most powerful weapon is her extraordinary psychic ability--a gift both rare and deadly. Now a stranger threatens her hard-won independence, a golden-haired vampire who lures her into a realm of darkness . . . and pleasure beyond imagining.

A combat-loving adrenaline junkie, Nikolai dispenses his own justice to enemies of the Breed--and his latest quarry is a ruthless assassin. One woman stands in his way: the seductive, cool-as-ice bodyguard, Renata. But Renata's powers are put to the test when a loved one, a child, is threatened and she's forced to turn to Niko for help. As the two join forces, as desire fans the flames of a deeper hunger, Renata's life is under seige by a man who offers the exquisite pleasure of a blood bond--and a passion that could save or doom them both forever. . . .

My Thoughts: I read my first vampire book way before most did. I think it was either Forever the Night published in 1993 by Linda Lael Miller or Twilight Phantasies by Maggie Shayne also published in 1993. I read them close together – in 1993 - so I’m not sure which one came first. While I enjoyed them well enough, I was never moved to read more in either series. I read Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice and enjoyed it, but never read any other of her Lestat books.

Then after a lull until they came back into vogue, I read a number of the current crop of vampire books. I read JR Wards Dark Lover and Lover Eternal and I quite liked both of them. But I was never compelled to read further, though I have the next two in the TBR pile. I tried a couple of Christine Feehan’s Dark series, but they squicked me out too much. I’ve read a couple of Susan Squires but don’t even really remember what they were about. I’ve tried a few other authors who have written vampire books but I don’t even remember them.

So what’s your point you’re wondering?

Well, I thought I’d escaped the ‘call’ of the vampire romance. I could read one or two and that was enough. I wasn’t in any danger of becoming a vampire junkie.

Or so I thought.

Then I read Lara Adrian’s first book, Kiss of Midnight and didn’t I get hooked after all. I loved it! And since her other three in the series were already on the shelves I quickly read them all. And darned if I didn’t have to say goodbye to my attitude of not getting hooked on Vampire Romance and become addicted to the Midnight Breed series. That will teach me :) little Ms. Smuggy Pants that I can be.

Which brings me to Veil of Midnight? This time it was a bit of time between reading but it took no time to get caught up again in the world of the the Order, a group of Vampires who at first were dedicated to riding the world of Rogue vampires – those who have surrendered to Blood Lust to now tracking down a far greater threat to vampires and humans alike.

This is Nicolas’ story. As the book opens, he is in Montreal, trying to find an old Gen One Vampire Sergie Yaku. Nico wants to warn him that an evil, powerful vampire is targeting all the Gen One vampires and Sergie is more that likely on that list.

Instead of finding him, Nico falls into a trap laid out for him by none other than the heroine Renata, Sergei’s human female bodyguard. Time and again Renata gets the drop on Nico until finally she needs his help to find her young ward, Mina and must rescue him from a horrible fate. Then they must work together, despite some distrust on both sides, especially Renata’s.

Unlike the other Midnight Breed books, this one takes place almost entirely in Montreal and there are just brief appearances of the previous heroes. The action mainly involves Nico and Renata and the evil stacked against them.

One of the things that appeals to me over That Other Series, is the strength of the heroines. For the most part they are almost an equal match for the alpha Breed heroes and wowzers is Renata almost more than a match for Nico. Considering she’s human, albeit a breed mate human, she can really kick some ass – including Nico’s. And I liked that – I really liked it! And her special talent can really lay him low – with no defences and she uses it on him, more than once. No TSTL heroine is our Renata. I love how near the end, when Nico is behaving like a typical, I am Man and You Woman Must Obey Me, she doesn’t hesitate to let him have it, physically, and then goes on to get the job done. And there is no doubt she can do it.

A loner all her life, Renata has been brutalized by the Montreal branch of vampires and is very hesitant to trust Nico, even though she is attracted to him from the beginning. And her strength and will to succeed is one of the things that attracts Nico to her.

If I seem to be going on about her quite a bit, it’s because she’s such a well written heroine and it’s so unusual to see a human heroine who’s an equal match for a vampire hero – at least in the ones I’ve read.

But I can’t neglect Nico either. He’s another great addition to this most excellent series. He’s compassionate, protective, and sexy and rather than feeling threatened by Renata, appreciates her.

And – there is just enough about the next book with Andreas Reichen to start the countdown for the release of Ashes of Midnight!

For those who’ve been reading and enjoying this series, Veil of Midnight is a most excellent new addition to the series. For those who haven’t but have been curious, I think this one can be read as a stand-alone since most of it takes place outside of the setting of the previous books.

This one is in the running for best paranormal of the year for this happy reader. And while I don't always notice such things, she has a pretty good trailer for this one too!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

(and can I just say - sometimes I loathe blogger. I know the font is all out of whack - but no matter what I do, it just won't allow itself to be fixed. Damn blogger anyway)


LorelieLong said...

I can't wait for this one! I've developed a thing for Russian heroes lately. :D

Barbara said...

LOL, I have the same problem with fonts.

Anyway, I have seen these books many times before. The covers are gorgeous. However, I have yet to buy one. Maybe one of these trips to the store I will pick one up. I need to check and see which is the first in the series because I'm notorious for reading books out of order.

Nikki said...

I have had the same problem with the vampire books. I read the first 3 (or was it 4?) Ward books. I have more but I can't make myself read them. I am at this moment in the midst of Twilight, but I am only reading it because I promised a friend that I would. That said, I have Lara Adrian's books on my TBR just waiting for me to decide it's time. Well, I'll certainly move them up the stack. Thanks for the heads-up.

Jessica said...

I read the first 3 in this series, but number 4 (I think) Rio's book, was a DNF. I don't know why I couldn't get into it.

But your review makes me think I shouldn't give up yet!

Bridget Locke said...

I am so envious, Kristie! Sheesh! I'd love to get ARCs of books I'm actually LOOKING forward to. LOL!

Anyway, I can't wait to read this. I've read all of both JR Ward's and Lara Adrian's books and like them both for completely different reasons. :)

I'm counting down the days! Whoot!

Jill Sorenson said...

Sounds awesome! Kiss of Midnight is one of my favorite books, and I'm not really into vampires. I must be lagging on this series, however, because I thought Rio's book was next. Guess I missed one...

Going to have to catch up quick!

Stacy~ said...

I have the first 3 books, but only read the 1st one. I was in the middle of a vamp glut and though I liked it, I wasn't ready for more. Now I think I am.

Tracy said...

OMG you are so lucky to have been sent this book in advance - good for you!

I have to say that I didn't read the review because I want NO spoilers - but it was good to see that you gave it a 4.5 out of 5! :)

Kati said...

*turns green*

Wait. How the heck did you get this one already??

*Kati leaves to email RNTV and find out where her copy is*

Carolyn Jean said...

Gasp! I love this series! Oh, oh, I can't wait for this book! So glad you liked it.

Taja said...

This sounds GOOD! I really like this series and I'm counting the days for its release date.

Leslie said...

Sooo looking forward to this book! Love this series.

KarLynP said...

Great review. I too am not big into vampire romances and like you I only liked-but-not-loved the few Feehan and Squires books that I've read. (I do love Wards series though). I have had the first three in this series on my shelf for MONTHS. I think I will make it a priority to start it this month. I hope I enjoy it as much as you. I know this is considered one of the best vampire series out there. Thanks for the great review.

Kristie (J) said...

Lorilong:The only thing now is waiting. I didn't have to do that for the first four *g*. And Nikolai does make a mighty fine hero!!

Barbara: It's driving me nuts!! Each paragraph is different and I don't have a clue how that happened!!
And if your are interested in trying this series :) - Kiss of Midnight is the first one.

Nikki: *chuckle* I was surprised at myself at how much I'm digging this series. I thought I was immune from getting sucked into a vampire series (play on words not intended *g*) but the author has created a very believable world that they live in and the heroines are a lot more equal to the heroes than some of the other series I've read.

Jessica: yep - I think Number 4 was Rio's. And I'd say if you enjoyed 3 out of the 4 then give the fifth a try before writing them off - if only for Renata 'cause she is one hellofa great heroine!!

Bridget: If you've enjoyed her other books, then I predict you will really enjoy this one too :-)

Jill: As I've been reading them, I've been thinking 'hey! I'm REALLY liking these stories. I love being pleasantly surprised!!

Stacy: I think you have to be in the mood for the genre you are reading. So I must have been in just that mood when I read Kiss of Midnight. And since I enjoyed it so much, and the other three were already out, the mood continued. And then I was again in the mood when I started reading this one. So if you are in the mood for a brooding, alpha vampire book - you can't do better than these *g*

Tracy: *laughing* I KNOW I was lucky to get to read this one - and that I can happily say it's another very good addition to the Midnight Breed series. So if I can spread the word, I'm happy to do so.

Kati: *crossing fingers that you can get this one too.* I know we both loved the last one ;-)

CJ: It is a great series isn't it? And I'm so happy to say that VoM is equally great.

Taja: Well - it should be out before you know it in this busy season - in less than a month!

KarLynP: Hello! And Welcome! And thank you! It is a good series - and this is coming from someone who hasn't got into other ones really. I did quite like the first two Ward books and fully intend to get to the other ones I have 'on tap' but as Stacy also said earlier, I have to be in the mood for vampire romance and I prefer the world building and heroines in the Midnight Breed series over other series I've read. She has it better going on in the whole package - for me anyway.

Lea said...

Hi Kristie:

Thanks for letting me know about your ARC and review. (I'm still jealous - lol) I'm even more psyched to read this book.

I, like you, enjoyed the first 3 of the BDB but just never got what all the fuss was about.

This series just grabbed me from the first book and I read them one after the other. It is has been a looooong wait for this one and it sounds to be worth it.

Adrian does write strong heroines and I love that the Breed travel to other countries.

Thank you again for the "sneek peak".

Best Regards