Lara Adrian – "Kiss Of Midnight"

7 Jun


GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Bantam Dell, 2007

WHY THIS NOVEL: I bought this on impulse at the airport in Vienna. We were on our way back and although I had a novel in my bag it wasn’t what I wanted to read. Looking at the blurb, this also shouldn’t be it – sounds very familiar. But I liked the cover and there weren’t many novels to choose from and I wanted something other that the one I had, so I didn’t look at the price (more than 10 Euro) and went to pay.


The back blurb:
“He watches her across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night – or this man – is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never knew existed – a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite.
Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind – and the unwitting humans existing alongside them – from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but when Gabrielle is targeted by his enemies, he has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands.
Here, in the arms of the breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all … “


Well, Kiss Of Midnight is J. R. Ward’s “Black Dagger Brotherhood,” re-done. Meaning: the premise is similar, the characters are similar, and there’s a war going on between non-human beings. Even the story of Kiss Of Midnight has many similarities to J. R. Ward’s Dark Lover.

It’s J. R. Ward’s “Black Dagger Brotherhood,” minus the annoying bits. Meaning: no slang, no ridiculous nahmes, better world-building (I don’t have the feeling that this is some la-la-land; the “logistics” make more sense), and women (can) have a place in this world of warriors (there are three couples at the start of the novel living at the vampire warriors compound).

I liked the grittier tone. It’s maybe even gory sometimes. There are quite a few deaths here which I find fitting for a story about vampires.

As I said, the story of Kiss Of Midnight has a lot in common with Ward’s Dark Lover, and the hero and the heroine follow in line. One exception: the heroine has real friends. The hero has commitment issues, but it’s not because one woman treated him badly and he couldn’t get a grip on this despite being several hundred years old. Sadly, this reason becomes clear very late in the story. Up until this point, Lucan is the standard “sex yes, but even though I’m all possessive and can’t see the forest for all the trees when thinking about Gabrielle with another man, I won’t have her in my life” hero without a reason. I thought the heroine quiet smart even though you know that there’ll be a certain TSTL move (it’s always in this kind of stories). And sure enough, it’s there. But here’s the thing: it’s actually motivated by something other than: “I’m grown-up. Nobody tells me what to do. I’ll go where I want. Even if everybody tells me it’s dangerous. And so on. And so on.” It’s a dumb move, but it’s also, in a way, an understandable move.

The secondary characters are your standard types. You know, the geeky one, the loner, … They’re not very fleshed out. But then, they’ll get their own book so all is good. I found the villain interesting, and let’s just say, there’s a lot of potential for a compelling conflict. A conflict much more compelling than … let’s say the Scribe Virgin – the Omega.

I wasn’t bothered by the many similarities between this novel and Ward’s brotherhood novels, I was too busy enjoying to read a premise I like without the annoying bits Ward delivers with this premise. Meaning (nit-picking about the actual stories aside): I enjoy reading Ward’s novels despite myself, turning them into some kind of guilty pleasure; I enjoyed Kiss of Midnight wholeheartedly.

I’m glad I picked this novel up on impulse.


Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Probably yes.

Grade: 4 / 5


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