My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Quick Take: A solid sequel that seems to outdo its predecessor. There's a lot of well-crafted action and intrigue here; this series now has my full attention.
He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charged moment Tess is plunged into his world—a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.Review:
Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need—but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm…and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires, and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself….
Ah, so here we have the second entry in the Midnight Breed series, a collection of books which is oft compared to another series with some similar themes--it starts with a B and a D and a B--but I'll not make any further mention of such since the MB series does deserve to be considered in its own right.
Those that are already interested in this book are likely to have read its predecessor Kiss of Midnight. But it's my opinion that this book can absolutely be read without having read the one prior; book one's carry-over plot points really aren't emphasized or rendered crucial here. This story focuses on a mysterious new recreational drug named Crimson. The substance is powerful, highly addictive and deadly to the Breed (aka vampires), and is slowly threatening the well-being of the race. In scouting out the source of the threat, Breed warrior Dante Alighieri becomes inadvertently involved with veterinarian Tess Culver.
I thought that this book built some great suspense over time. The Crimson plot thread was interesting, and actively involved several members of the main cast to complex yet seamless effect. The film "Traffic" comes to mind, what with its constellation of characters that are unwittingly tied together by circumstance (and drugs, of course). Only here we've got vampires, supernatural violence and sizzling sensuality, of course. ^_^
On a somewhat related note...this book is also a great example of masterful use of the "two-or-more" perspective. I never felt lost, and the scene/perspective shifts were done at just the right moment to heighten anticipation and drama. Now, the build-up of the pairing itself wasn't (in my sole opinion) the most solid or moving I've ever read; at least initially. But it was still plenty precious and compelling, let me say. ^_^ Compelling particularly because it was so closely tied to the awesome Crimson plot-thread.
After book one I was pleased but certainly not clamoring for a copy of book two. Having finished this book, however, I'm much more engaged and curious about what happens next for the Breed warriors. This story provided a masterfully subtle setup for future plot lines, and I hope the successors take it and run with it.