Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review: Shades of Midnight

Shades of Midnight
Paranormal Romance
Midnight Breed series/Book 7
Dell/January 2010
Library book

From the back cover ~


Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of otherness she has long felt but never fully understood . . . until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.

Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces--a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the courageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkness, Kade must confront both his own personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear. . .

The previous book in the series, Ashes of Midnight, wasn't one of my favorites. It was a bit of a disappointment since I had liked how the hero was portrayed in previous books. I didn't like him very much in his own book and the heroine was just so so for me. So I started reading Shades of Midnight with some trepidation. I liked the premise of Kade going home and expected that to provide some conflict. I also liked the idea of a bush pilot for the heroine. One of the things I didn't like about the last book was that much of it took place away from Boston and the Breed Warriors headquarters. I like the guys interaction and camaraderie and was afraid I might miss that in this one. It turns out I did.

Alex Maguire finds them. The bodies are torn apart and she's terrified of what did it. She knows deep down it wasn't wolves like some of the locals think. Alex is a very no-nonsense woman who is accustomed to taking care of herself. She's not one to panic without reason. She doesn't exactly panic in the aftermath of finding the bodies but she is confused about what she saw. Then she spots Kade and she's drawn to him without knowing why.

Alex was just an okay heroine for me. She was portrayed as a strong female. When she was under pressure while flying it didn't show. She was in complete control and confident in her abilities. I liked that she didn't suddenly turn into a crying ball of fluff. The problem I had with her came when she finds out that Kade is a Breed aka vampire. She freaked, a little, but then she seem to get over it really fast. This was hard to believe considering her worst nightmare is a vampire attack.

Kade is a fairly solid hero. He's sent to Alaska on a mission, not to reconcile with his family. He left Alaska a year ago to join the Breed Warriors and their cause. He left with some very hard feelings between himself and his father. He also left to escape something he didn't want to deal with. So he ran. I liked Kade, I just didn't LOVE him. He was mysterious, sexy and loyal. I also found him a bit boring. I just didn't feel that fire between him and Alex that I felt with some of the other couples. For me, there was too much of that back and forth, "I want you but I can't have you, but I want you," crap. I didn't get that "click" that we readers talk about when we feel a connection to a character.

The mystery surrounding who is doing the killings isn't much of a mystery. Sure, there's a few possible suspects but anyone whose been reading the series has a pretty good idea of who/what is behind the attacks. There are some other activities going on in the Alaskan wilderness that Alex and Kade have to unravel and that helped to keep my interest before the Boston Breeds showed up.

My interest really perked up towards the end when we get the bait for the next book. We know from Adrian's website that Brock's book is next and we get a pretty good, okay - obvious, hint at who his heroine is. IMO, Brock's story has a whole bunch of potential. And, I like him. :)

Kade tells Brock that he's in love with Alex. ~

Brock gaped a minute longer, then let out a whoop of laughter. "Naah! Oh, hell no. Not you, too?"

Kade grinned, gave him a helpless shrug. "I love her, man. And she says she loves me, believe it or not."

"Un-fucking-believable," Brock said, still chuckling and shaking his head. "This is becoming a goddamn epidemic lately."

"Then you'd better watch your step, too."
"Shit," he replied, letting the word hiss out of him on a slow exhalation. "Now who am I going to hang with after patrols -- Harvard? Thanks a lot, man. I'll bet Hunter over there would be a barrel of laughs, too." page 269

I also like Brock's heroine. She comes with a whole trunk load of baggage. Brock comes across as a guy with a very laid back attitude and his heroine, not so much. Yep, looking forward to their story.

One thing that I noticed is the use of the words god, Jesus and to a lesser extent goddamn. As I read I wondered about the Breeds religious beliefs. Sadly, I couldn't remember what, if anything, had been mentioned previously. For some reason I thought they believed in various human religions. That their beliefs possibly came from their human Breedmate mothers. There was a chapel in the Darkhaven compound in Alaska and mention of death rites, which include taking the dead Breed out into the sun and staying with him for 8 minutes. I do wonder, when supernatural beings use the words god and Jesus if it's simply from exposure to human culture. On the show Extreme Home Makeover the people always say "Oh my God" when they see their new home. It doesn't necessarily make them a religious person. But it is something that's commonly said. Anyways, I'm just thinking out loud on this.

I would say that Shades of Midnight was a solid read. It certainly had some good points to it and the way it left off, I will be picking up the next book, Taken by Midnight, this September. But it also had some annoying and slow parts that left me wishing the Breeds from Boston would show up soon. There was some forward motion in the overall story arc with regards to Dagos and his evil schemes. So, not bad but not my favorite of the series.

Rating: B


  1. I had no clue that the series was already 7 books in! I read the first two books but lost interest. Maybe I'll pick up book 3 and see where that takes me.

    Nice review, Leslie!

  2. This series started off so screamingly well for me, and I skipped #7, even though, like you, I loved that hero, that German fella.

    I've been meaning to pick this one up, and just haven't yet. Your review doesn't help!! LOL. Not because it's a bad review - it's very excellent and thoughtful and I suspect I'll probably agree with you. I want this series to get great again. Oh, I'll still prolly read this one. I miss it. The breed and all.

  3. Brie ~ I was surprised too! Book 3 was a good one IMO. Tegan, the hero is the deadly, dark loner that everyone is afraid of. His heroine is smart and brave. Definitely likable.

    CJ ~ Andres, he was so European, different than the others. Then he went all crazy...

    Shades wasn't a bad read, just didn't grab me and hold me tight. :)

    I'm thinking the series will pick up again with the next book. Lots of secrets to uncover. And I like Brock. Did I already mention that? LOL

  4. Thanks for this review, Leslie. :) This has been an inconsistent series for me. *sigh* Love the Breed guys though. The last book I enjoyed was Veil of Midnight #5? and #6 Ashes... was a disappointment, so maybe I'll wait for #8 to come out. *g*

  5. Hils ~ Adrian does a good job filling in on what happened in previous books so I don't think skipping one will cause any confusion.

    I'm reading the next one - Brock and ... :)

  6. Thanks for the review. I'm up to date on this series and have this one on my nightstand TBR right now, so I'm sure I'll get to it. The last one or two books have been good reads, but nothing too overly impressive. I'll still read them, though. They're fun. :)

  7. Christine ~ this is a series that, while I haven't given up on it, I'm not at Borders on release day either.

  8. Leslie, those are my sentiments as well!