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Kiss of Midnight: The Midnight Breed, Book 1    by Lara Adrian order for
Kiss of Midnight
by Lara Adrian
Order:  USA  Can
Dell, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

A millennia ago, eight warriors crash landed on Earth and were unable to return to their home planet. Their alien physiology was vastly different from that of the primitive humans they were forced to feed on to survive. Sensitive to the planet's harsh sunlight and only able to digest the blood of their prey, these fierce and long-lived warriors had no equals, and over the centuries dominated every environment they conquered. They eventually sired children with human females and the Breed flourished, spreading their bloodlines across the globe. But there are those, particularly the offspring of the original - GenOne - warriors who are unable to control their rampant bloodlust. Allowing these Rogues free reign on unsuspecting humans could spell disaster for the Breed.

Lucan Thorne has sworn to protect his Brethren as well as humans from the depredations of the Rogues. After both his elder brothers fall victim to bloodlust and turn Rogue, he and a handful of fellow warriors organize conclaves. Their sole purpose is to identify and destroy Rogues before they decimate the human population - and most importantly - before they shed unwanted light on the existence of the Breed. For the past nine hundred years, Lucan has dedicated his life to the cause, but he is tiring of the monumental responsibility. He also harbors a deadly secret, one that could destroy him and all he and his trusted Brethren have worked for. Breedmate Gabrielle Maxwell is the only living soul privy to his secret. Lucan realizes that he may finally have found his match in the human female, but he cannot allow himself the luxury of bonding with her. Not while a shadowy enemy from his past is looking to destroy them - as well as everything that Lucan and his Brethren have fought and died for.

Though there are various plot and character similarities between this and a handful of other vampire series in current release, Lara Adrian's fine writing style, creative world building, and depth of characterization make her story stand out. Lucan and Gabrielle are both fascinating characters, well matched as they struggle with their inevitable attraction and personal upheavals. Lucan must face his violent past and the consequences of his GenOne bloodline while Gabrielle confronts the shocking truth about her own shadowy heritage and her true role among the Breed. My only quibble is that Adrian doesn't adequately explain how breedmates evolved; given her attention to world building though, she'll hopefully clear up this plot point in future books. Kiss of Midnight marks an exciting debut for Lara Adrian - she's created a very readable, intelligent and multi-layered Breed mythology and her fresh plot twists capture the imagination.

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