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Monday, June 29, 2009

Review - Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian

Title: Ashes of Midnight

Author: Lara Adrian

Publisher: Dell Publishing

Buy Ashes of Midnight Here!

Rating: You Gotta Read

Reviewed by: Mickey

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. . .

Having been introduced to Andreas Reichen in past books this incarnation of him in Ashes of Midnight is truly a surprise. Ms. Adrian decides not to play it safe and like a phoenix rises from the flames of his destroyed home her hero literally emerges a changed man. The focus of this book is Andreas’ pain, it is his motivation, his driving force and we are privy to it in this installment. He is essentially a tortured man, driven to acts against his nature in fits of revenge. Ms. Adrian does not hold back in conveying this intensity from the first page to the last. This is not an easy book to read, not the light and joyous romances of the previous stories in this series, and yet for all of its heart-wrenching extremes it may be the best so far.

Ms. Adrian writes with such strong emotion and depth that it is difficult not feel for her characters as you are reading this book. We are invited to laugh, cry and feel anguish with both Claire and Andre: happy when they succeed, sad when they fail. The instant connection between Claire and Andre, while surprising in how easily it is renewed, is as always beautifully detailed, sensual, lush and very seductive. Once again, the Breed, their customs, traditions and current dealings, are an integral part of the conspiracy and they aid Andreas in his search for what is evidently both their enemy as this book progresses. We find ourselves revisiting with old friends, who now become welcome secondary characters, and we are able to catch up on what has become of their lives now. As with all of Ms. Adrian’s Breed books, Ashes of Midnight does have a happy ending, especially for any reader lucky enough to pick up a copy and read the book.

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