Friday, December 13, 2013

review: KISS OF CRIMSON by Lara Adrian

KISS OF CRIMSON by Lara Adrian
Narrated by Hillary Huber
Series: Midnight Breed #2
Dell / Tantor Media
Released: May 2007 / April 2010
Source: Library
Page Count: 387

Rating: Really liked it!

He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charged moment Tess in plunged into his world - a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.

Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need - but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm . . . and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires, and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself . . .

My Thoughts
After reading Kiss of Midnight and reading all of the comparisons to J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I was worried that I would grow to dislike the Midnight Breed series just as I have the BDB books. (Sorry, people, I know I'm in the minority on this one, but it just doesn't do it for me!) There are also some similarities with other series, but those didn't worry me so much as the BDB comparison. Really, though, any series that focuses on a group of badass paranormal warrior guys finding their soulmates is going to sound indirectly similar to the many, many other series out there about badass paranormal warrior guys finding their soulmates. Big whoop! Each series has its own feel to it and that special touch that the author injects into their characters.

Kiss of Crimson has helped me to put away my BDB-related fears about Midnight Breed. It was still relatively formulaic in terms of how Dante and Tess get together vs. the romance in Kiss of Midnight, which is really the only reason why I'm going with a B+ instead of an A-level overall rating. I wanted some more variation in the story and hoped that the series arc with The Big Bad would be more developed in this installment. It was touched on a couple of times, but nothing really advanced in that area.

The main characters have their own strengths and weaknesses. Dante is incapable of spitting out the entire flipping story in one sitting. Instead, he drags details out for poor Tess, to the point that she ends up discovering things on her own and ending up in bad situations. Tess, though, for all of her likable qualities, shows too much compassion for her own good in allowing her ex to stay in her life despite (a) not loving him, (b) not wanting to lead him on, and (c) knowing exactly what kind of shady person he is. Sometimes, you just have to know when to cut someone loose from your life.

I would not call this book the be-all-and-end-all of alpha male paranormal vampire romance, but it IS an interesting read in an interesting series that I will definitely be returning to in the future.

As I listened to the audio version, I would also like to note that the narrator, Hillary Huber, is fabulous. I will definitely be looking for her name in other credits in the future.

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