Reviewed by: Candace
Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
Once in a while, when an author has that special touch, she teases and gives glimpses into a character’s life to make you want more. Lara Adrian has done that multiple times for me, but the one charaacter I really wanted was Sterling Chase, a.k.a. Harvard. Adrian did not disappoint.
We met Chase when Tegan was resisting the urge to bind himself to his Breedmate, Elise, who happened to be a mourning widow. Her husband was Chase’s brother, and Chase had the extreme misfortune of falling for her. The pieces we get of Chase in the books following Tegan’s lead us to believe he may never get over Elise. But in Darker After Midnight, we see there are more issues at stake. Chase lived in the shadow of his brother, even after his death when he was expected to take over the Darkhaven (communities set up all over the world where vampires reside along with their Breedmates and families). Chase got exposure to the world of the Order (the warriors who do the dirty work that the Darkhavens are too regimented to take any part of) when he was searching for his nephew.
At the beginning of Darker, Chase is in the hands of human authorities because he attempted to kill Dragos in front of witnesses. He’s also fighting a building case of blood lust. To say that this warrior has a tortured past is an understatement. And it is going to take one seriously determined female to bring him back from the brink.
Enter Tavia Fairchild, fair-minded assistant to an elected official and witness to the assassination attempt. Tavia has a fear of blood and a mysterious illness. Suspicions are already raised at this point.
Dragos’ plans are in full swing. He thinks he is untouchable by the Order, has some pretty powerful exposure to the U.S. government and is fairly certain all of humanity is about to become a buffet for his kind. Thankfully, overconfidence is often the downfall of many powerful men…vampires and Dragos may not be any different if Chase can keep Tavia safe and get back to the relocated Order in time.
Restructuring a world is a dangerous trick to pull off for an author. It can be the downfall of a series if it is not done right. Did Lara do it right with Darker After Midnight? I have already checked Lara’s website and found that details for Midnight Breed books 11 and 12 are “coming soon,” which I never would have done if she didn’t rock the restructure. One dramatic wipe of my brow later and all is good.
In Darker After Midnight you get a tortured hero, a heroine with issues of her own, a support system of fellow paranormals willing to kick ass, take names and tell you how to avoid getting your ass handed to you next time. Most importantly with this book, Sterling Chase gets his own formidable place in the world of the Order with Tavia Fairchild by his side. She can hold her own with the Breedmates and the boys of the Order. She also can give the former Darkhaven official a happy ending, which makes her a winner in my book, no matter how many quirks she has.
For the Midnight Breed fans who haven’t read Darker yet, Dante is back in fighting form. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when he told Chase, “By the way, Merry Christmas, dickhead.” The members of the Order we have grown to love over the past ten books are there and we get to see that the storylines for our favorite vamps from Boston hasn’t been dropped just because their books are finished.
Sexual content: Explosive and frequent sexual situations (as is the case with any Midnight Breed novel)