*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Born to a noble Breed lineage steeped in exotic ritual and familial duty, vampire warrior Jehan walked away from the luxurious trappings of his upbringing in Morocco to join the Order’s command center in Rome.
But when a generations-old obligation calls Jehan home, the reluctant desert prince finds himself thrust into an unwanted handfasting with Seraphina, an unwilling beauty who’s as determined as he is to resist the antiquated pact between their families.
Yet as intent as they are to prove their incompatibility, neither can deny the attraction that ignites between them. And as Jehan and Seraphina fight to resist the calling of their blood, a deadly enemy seeks to end their uneasy truce before it even begins….
Seraphina Sanhaja was, in a word, extraordinary.
Framed by a mane of cascading brown curls, a pair of long-lashed eyes the color of rich sandalwood flecked with gold lifted to meet Jehan’s arrested gaze. Her face was heart-shaped and delicate, an exotic artistry of fine bones and smooth, sun-kissed olive skin that glowed with rising pink color as she stared at him.
How this stunning woman had managed to get past the age of twenty without some other Breed male locking her into a blood bond, Jehan couldn’t even imagine.
His pulse stirred at the sight of her, sending heat into his veins. Even though he wasn’t in the market for a mate, as a hot-blooded Breed male, it was impossible to deny his body’s intense reaction to the female. He drew in a slow breath, his acute senses taking in the cinnamon-sweet scent of her and the subtle uptick of her heartbeat as he held her in his unblinking gaze.
For a moment, he was sorry he didn’t have any use for tribal laws or ancient pacts that would put Seraphina Sanhaja in his company—better yet, in his bed—for the next eight nights.
Her sister tugged her forward on a light giggle. “Isn’t this exciting?”
Where Leila crackled with unbridled enthusiasm, Seraphina was nearly impossible to read. Her lush lips pursed a bit as she made a silent study of him, her expression carefully schooled, inscrutable.
Standing before him, she was reticent and aloof.
Jehan’s brows lifted. He didn’t want to admit the jab his ego took at her apparent lack of interest in him. With his thick, shoulder-length dark hair, tawny skin and light blue eyes, he’d never been at a loss for female attention.
Oh, hell. What did he care if she didn’t like what she saw? The week ahead was going to pass a hell of a lot faster if he didn’t have to spend it with a blushing, eyelash-batting Breedmate who couldn’t wait to surrender her carotid to him.
The basic idea of this story is nothing new: two people are forced into a relationship by their families, they find out they are overwhelmingly sexually attracted to one another, try to fight it, fail at fighting it, then quickly fall in love.
However, Lara Adrian did an excellent job of making “Stroke of Midnight” a fresh story by including a subplot about a war between Breeds and those who hate vampires. This added action and danger to a story that would have been the same old love story otherwise. That and her great descriptions made this an interesting and enjoyable read.
Whether or not you like “Stroke of Midnight” will depend on your reading preferences. If you don’t like insta-love or insta-lust, this might not be a story you’d enjoy. Also, if you are like me and end up skimming long sex scenes, you might not like it because one sexual encounter can span over more than one chapter. On the other hand, you might like the novella anyway, as I did, because of the other things going on outside of the romance.
If you are a Midnight Breed series fan, I strongly suggest reading “Stroke of Midnight.” It is a good addition to the series. If you are new to the series, you can jump in here because this novella can be read as a stand-alone.
Lara Adrian is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series and seven award-winning, historical romances, previously released under the pen name Tina St. John.
Lara’s Midnight Breed series is available in hardcover, mass market paperback and e-book through Random House, and in limited edition through Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club, Book of The Month, and the Science Fiction Book Club. Unabridged audio editions are available through Tantor Media, Random House Audio, Amazon, iTunes, etc. Lara’s new releases regularly appear on all of the key bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. There are more than 2 million copies of the Midnight Breed novels in print in the United States.
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