Deeper Than Midnight
Published 2010 370 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well – the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.
Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos’s most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he’s hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he’ll go to end Dragos’s reign of evil – even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne’s tender heart.
Deeper Than Midnight is the ninth book in Lara Adrian’s bestselling Midnight Breed paranormal romance series. Each series instalment is a self-contained romance but there is a strong long-running background story arc (explaining the history of the Breed and their battles with their enemy Dragos) running through all the books. For this reason new readers may be best advised to read the books in order.
By now series fans should have a pretty good idea of what to expect – modern-day vampire warrior heroes discovering their life partners (Breedmates) swiftly followed by some hot romance played out against a backdrop of deadly danger. Deeper Than Midnight doesn’t disappoint expectation and once again Lara Adrian gives series fans another peek into the thrilling Midnight Breed world. This story goes into some very dark places – not with the main protagonists but with Sterling Chase, a secondary character whose life spirals darkly out of control.
This time round it’s Hunter’s turn to find his Breedmate and as usual the path of true love doesn’t run smooth. The Gen One vampire was bred in Dragos’s laboratory and raised with the sole purpose to be a deadly weapon, yet he broke his conditioning, found freewill and escaped his master. He then joined forces with the Order, his master’s enemies, and although he proved himself a valued warrior for the good cause he never exactly fit in emotionally. Mostly because he had few emotions. Hunter’s a man of steel, always in control of every situation and seemingly above messy emotions.
Corinne Bishop, the Breedmate that the order rescued from a 75 year imprisonment in Dragos’s laboratory, is object of Hunter’s desires. To start with he just seems to want to protect her but that protective instinct is just the forerunner of a powerful desire. Corinne has been cruelly betrayed by those she trusted most (not to mention tortured, raped and experimented on for years.) Most readers (as vaguely sensitive human beings) would perhaps expect her to have some trust issues or maybe to fear the dangerous warrior that she has attracted. Nope. Corinne is surprisingly angst free for someone who has been abused so badly. To me, this is a major detractor from the credibility of her character and the believability of the story.
Hunter has always been a fascinating character for me. Probably because I’ve always wanted to see just what would happen when Hunter found someone he cared about and finally lost his cool veneer. For the most part he handled his transition from icy assassin to man in love with few dramatics and less then expected fireworks. To me he seemed to be unrealistically well-adjusted emotionally for someone who has spent their entire life being conditioned to have no feelings and to kill on order.
Now, I know that romances are supposed to be generally upbeat reading experiences. I also know that even without the inclusion of vampires and aliens in the plot there is a certain amount of fantasy involved in a good romance story. But the author has built up a potential mine-field of emotional angst with the past histories of the story’s protagonists and then neatly side-stepped any realistic attempt to address it. Corinne’s happy ending made me wince with its unlikely realisation of wish fulfilment.
Ultimately Deeper Than Midnight left me conflicted. In terms of background storyline and Chase’s new plotline this is the most explosive, high-octane instalment of the Midnight Breed series yet. Dedicated series fans shouldn’t fail to be delighted with how this story ups the drama level for the series as a whole. From a romance point of view, Hunter and Corinne make all the right moves but an unrealistic lack of problems in the relationship from their abused pasts made me unable to really believe in them as a couple. Still, for all my griping I found Deeper Than Midnight to be a gripping read – the cliff-hanger ending ensuring I’ll be lining-up to get my hands on the next series instalment, Darker Than Midnight.
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