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Book CoverLynne Connolly’s Review of Ashes of Midnight (The Midnight Breed, Book 6) by Lara Adrian
Contemporary paranormal romance released by Dell 26 May 09 

Andreas Reichen was one of my favorite characters in the Midnight Breeds series. I loved the laid-back German vampire, head of a Darkhaven. I was gagging for his story, since (spoiler alert for Veil of Midnight) at the end of the last book he was bereft in the worse possible way, and Adrian spared us nothing. Men, women and children were killed. What a prospect for the next book!

But Andreas would have been the same person, wouldn’t he? In Ashes of Midnight he behaved like a completely new character. He was a walking, talking revenge machine and I saw none of the subtleties of character Adrian gave us in previous books. It would have been a great book if we’d started with a brand new character, but I wanted Andreas’s book, not this person, whoever he was.

Andreas’s talent is pyromancy, that is, he can set things on fire and turn himself into a kind of vampiric fireball. I got that, and I loved that he suffered because of his gift. Every time it happened it took something from him.

Claire I didn’t really get. I resented that she’d taken him away from the woman we’d seen in the previous books about Andreas, the brothel-keeper and mortal. I would have liked Claire and Helene to have swapped places, and then Andreas to have found his fate with Helene, but at the beginning of this book Helene has gone and we have Claire, a woman who bound herself to Andreas’s enemy out of what looked perilously like a rebound. Blood binding, I thought, excluded everyone else, but while still bound to Roth, Claire was able to hook up with Andreas. A bit wtf for me.

The story perks up once they get to Boston and the rest of the boys. Adrian has created some memorable characters in this series, and they weren’t just paraded out, they all had roles and a definite reason for being there. I love the geek and his lady, and if Adrian kills her off, a la Wellsie, I will stop reading. Just sayin’.

Neither Claire nor Andreas seemed particularly German. Claire was born American, but she’d lived in Germany for 30 years, and Andreas was German born, but he thought and spoke like an American. I didn’t really get a feel for Germany in this story, either. I would have liked a bit more local color but all I got was forest, which wasn’t named, but may have been the Black Forest.

I do appreciate the lack of gimmicks in the Midnight Breed series. No brand name dropping, no strange spellings that seem to make a perfectly serviceable word into one that means more or less the same thing but is spelled differently, and with much stronger heroines. Claire excepted. She was called strong and independent, but I didn’t see any of that in the character in the story.

The cliff hanger at the end of the book is a good one, but I don’t feel the same “got to get this” compulsion that I did at the end of “Veil of Midnight.” I really looked forward to this book, and while it is a good one and worth reading, it isn’t the one I was looking forward to read.

lynnec.jpgGrade: B-
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A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance.
A place where darkness and desire meet…
As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Reichen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the cross fire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury-or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.
Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren . . . even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger-and deep, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins-one that blurs the lines between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path. . . .
Read an excerpt.

Other books in the series:

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