A warrior trained in bullets and blades, Renata cannot be bested by any man--vampire or mortal. But her most powerful weapon is her extraordinary psychic ability--a gift both rare and deadly. Now a stranger threatens her hard-won independence--a golden-haired vampire who lures her into a realm of darkness . . . and pleasure beyond imagining.
A combat-loving adrenaline junkie, Nikolai dispenses his own justice to enemies of the Breed--and his latest quarry is a ruthless assassin. One woman stands in his way: the seductive, cool-as-ice bodyguard, Renata. But Renata's powers are put to the test when a loved one, a child, is threatened and she is forced to turn to Niko
for help. As the two join forces, as desire fans the flames of a deeper hunger, Renata's life is under siege by a man who offers the exquisite pleasure of a blood bond--and a passion that could save or doom them both forever. . . .
'Veil of Midnight' is Book 5 in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed Series.
The Order, a military faction of the Breed civilization, is in the midst of saving not only their species, but humanity as well. The Breed truly are a sub-species of humans. Having originated from aliens who where able to breed with human women, the offspring of these unions were left with the terrible task of bringing down these ancient aliens in order to preserve Earth's human inhabitants from their bloody destruction. These vampires were known within the Breed as Gen One vampires, and today are a rare find in the Breed population having existed since the death of their ancient alien fathers centuries ago.
Lucan, leader of The Order, has charged one of his combatants, Nikolai, with the task of making contact with a Montreal Gen One named Sergei Yakut. This elusive Gen One is to be offered their protection because an unknown assassin is systematically killing the Gen One Breeds and thereby exterminating the most powerful members of their species.
During Nikolai's search for Yakut he encounters the very mysterious Renata who welcomes him with a very sharp blow to his ego. Renata is a Breedmate - a special human female who can mate with the Breed. Each Breedmate can be identified by the same crescent moon and teardrop birthmark. In addition to their ability to provide offspring, Breedmates also have psychic abilities that are unique to each individual. Renata has the ability to create a high pitched sound heard only by the Breed that creates debilitating pain. Suspecting that Nikolai is the hit man that nearly murdered her boss, Sergei Yakut, Renata brings the big Breed down with every intention of capture and questioning.
Renata and her crew are surprised to discover that Nikolai is a warrior member of the Order and that the hit on Yakut was planned with the combined intention of wiping out all Gen One Breeds. Renata at this point appears to be a verdant follower and protector of Sergei Yakut but this appearance couldn't be more contrary to the truth. Having been abandoned as a new born and survived her formative years on the streets, Renata has learned time and again that she can absolutely trust no one. Her entrance into Yakut's circle was nothing short of abrupt and terrifying. She now lives in a realm of fear with the knowledge that she can never, ever escape.
Nikolai is granted permission to investigate the scene of the failed hit at Yakut's hunting lodge located outside Montreal. The hundred year old lodge is bereft of any human comforts and it's soon apparent that Yakut has been organizing and participating in the outlawed practices of a Blood Club whereby humans are captured then hunted for sport. Nikolai is also introduced to Mira, a young Breedmate with the incredible ability to show the future to anyone who looks into her eyes and is fiercely protected by Renata. Nikolai confronts Yakut on his illegal extra-curricular activities with abysmal results. After which events soon unravel with Mira being sold to an evil vampire, another hit on Sergei's life being successful, and the horrible added result of Nikolai being charged with the murder due coincidental circumstances.
Renata, determined to rescue Mira but realizing that she can't do it without help, breaks into the holding facility that's interrogating Niko. As the two escape, it becomes a race for their lives and with the death toll increasing every hour, Renata and Niko can only pray that Mira herself is not dead.
I really liked Renata. The fact that she's a warrior was fun and exciting, plus I felt a measure of female satisfaction every time she brought the Breeds down with her mind. Her strengths nearly put her on equal footing with Niko and their struggle for domination was interesting. Renata was above and beyond the most admirable of the female characters of Adrian's series so far. She repeatedly made hard sacrifices not only during her time with Yakut but also as a child living on the streets. She always put those weaker beings first in her priorities.
On the other hand, Nikolai was boring. We know that he's the adrenaline junkie of the Order but that's about all. We aren't privy to Nikolai's upbringing until nearly the end of the novel. While his past was indeed tragic, I thought that Adrian could have brought it out earlier in the story and saved me and my distracted search for understanding. I wanted to know who Niko was and if he had any substance to his character. Needless to say I was disappointed.
I was also disappointed with the romance. It just felt forced and based purely on Niko and Renata's life or death circumstances. One minute Renata believes Niko to be the killer of Yakut and then she's in love with him all because he agrees to help her rescue Mira? Plus there was some definite innuendo regarding Renata and sexual abuse. Although it is never verbally or mentally confirmed by her, there seemed plenty of evidence to indicate that there was. Yet Renata has no trouble having sex with Niko and the fact that she was raised by nuns leaves little in the way of modesty and Renata is soon butt nekkid and turned on!
Honestly I feel that if Adrian had been allowed an additional two hundred pages of wrting space, this story could have been great. The plot and action were intense and exciting and I think maybe a bit too complicated thus forcing the romance into the background. Adrian was also spending numerous pages in other characters' POVs when she could have devoted that time to Niko's and Renata's romance.
So far, I personally have found Adrian's novels to be either a hit or miss on my "like it" or "love it" scale. Combined with the fact that I loved the action packed plot but was disappointed in the romance, I just couldn't decide on an appropiate grade. So I've decided that 'Viel of Midnight' deserves a B- on the plot and a C- on the romance.
Book Six featuring Andreas Reichen. Release Date: May 2009
I'm really looking forward to this one based on the events of 'Veil of Midnight'. Andreas is HOT!