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Kiss of Crimson (The Midnight Breed, Book 2)…
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Kiss of Crimson (The Midnight Breed, Book 2) (edition 2007)

by Lara Adrian (Author)

Series: Midnight Breed (2)

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1,2583211,246 (3.93)14
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.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.… (more)
Member:bookishwitch
Title:Kiss of Crimson (The Midnight Breed, Book 2)
Authors:Lara Adrian (Author)
Info:Dell (2007), Edition: Reprint, 416 pages
Collections:Ebook, To read
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Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I started the Midnight Breed series about a year ago. After hearing rave reviews from other paranormal romance readers, particularly those who compared this series to the Black Dagger Brotherhood – a series I love – I’d been very much looking forward to it. However, the first book, Kiss of Midnight, while good, didn’t grab me in quite the way I’d hoped, which is probably why it’s taken me so long to get around to reading the second book. The world building sufficiently intrigued me to make me come back, though, and I’m so glad I did, because Kiss of Crimson was an excellent read. It’s the story of Breed warrior Dante who is plagued by visions of his own death, and veterinarian Tess Culver, a Breedmate who harbors an extraordinary gift. After chasing a vampire he believes has gone Rogue, Dante is nearly blown to bits, the explosion tossing him into the river, where he’s swept away. He manages to crawl out and ends up in the storeroom of Tess’s veterinary clinic, where he feeds from her in an effort to heal himself. It’s not until afterward that he realizes she bears the mark of a Breedmate, and by Breed law, what he’s done makes her his. He tries to fight it, but the bond with her is strong, making it impossible for him to stay away from her. Then he discovers that the vampire he chased that night was actually hopped on a new drug called Crimson that is rapidly turning many Darkhaven youths into Rogues, and it’s Tess’s ex-boyfriend who is manufacturing and dealing the drug at the behest of the Order’s mortal enemy. Dante tries to gently woo Tess before revealing the entire truth of what they are, but when her life is threatened by Rogues, she gets a quick initiation into his dark and dangerous world.

We didn’t learn a great deal about Dante in the first book of the series, so going into this one, he was mostly a clean slate, a character waiting to be fulfilled. At only 229, he’s one of the younger vampires in the Order, the son of a scholarly aristocratic Breed male and his beloved mate. Dante’s mother was a seer who correctly envisioned both her own and her mate’s demises. She passed this gift down to her son, and for many years, he’s been having visions of his own death but has no idea when it might occur. In part because death is dogging him everywhere he goes, he’s had little interest in finding a mate, but that all changes the night he meets and feeds from Tess. The whole incident leaves her understandably freaked out. Dante would have liked to explain everything right then, but with dawn rapidly approaching, he’s forced to erase her memories. Even though Breed law says that she belongs to him, he tries to forget her, but he simply can’t. So he sets about engineering situations where he can get to know her better and gradually seduce her. Dante quickly realizes that he’s fallen in love with her, and things are going well until the actions of Tess’s ex-boyfriend end up putting her in mortal danger, leading to the necessity of Dante bringing her into the Order’s fold quickly. But when she learns what he is and all that he’s done, she may not be able to forgive him. Dante is my kind of alpha, one who’s confident and commanding while still having a gentler side and exhibiting vulnerabilities. I’m a sucker for psychic phenomena in paranormal romance, so Dante’s visions made him an intriguing hero. I also loved how he went about trying to woo Tess and how he was supportive and protective when she revealed her past to him, all of which showed his kinder side.

Tess is a sweet heroine who has been through a lot in her life. She harbors traumatic secrets from her childhood, as well as hiding her own psychic gift. She’s mostly a loner with no family and few friends, which is partly why she’s tried to maintain a friendship with her ex, even though she knows he wants to rekindle their romantic relationship and she doesn’t. She runs a veterinary practice in a not-so-great area of town, and even though she often struggles to pay the bills, she’s always unerringly kind to everyone, animals and their owners alike. With no one to go home to, she has a habit of working late, and it’s on one such night that Dante shows up in her storeroom. Being the caring person she is, Tess tries to help the injured warrior, but when he bites her, she’s terrified. Of course, after Dante erases her memory, she has no recollection of what happened, but when she starts seeing him again around town, she feels inexplicably drawn to him in a way she’s never felt before. Even though he projects an air of danger about him, she quickly falls for him and feels like she can trust him. But when she’s attacked by Rogues and rapidly thrust into his world, it’s a lot to take in. Tess is a wonderful heroine who is a kind, compassionate person. She’s very giving and loving toward those she cares about, both human and animal. I love her psychic talent and what she can do it nothing short of extraordinary. Even though she initially struggles with the revelations of a hidden world she never knew existed, she isn’t unreasonable. When Dante proves his love for her by being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, it’s an easy choice for her fully accept him as he is.

Kiss of Crimson has a number of interesting supporting characters, some of whom have their own POVs. We’re introduced to Sterling Chase, a Darkhaven agent, who bears an unrequited love for his brother’s widow, Elise. It’s because of that love that he asks the Order for help with the Crimson drug problem, because his nephew has gone missing and is believed to be using. While he isn’t entirely up front with the Order, at his core, he’s a good guy, who has to make some difficult and heartbreaking decisions throughout the course of the story, and in doing so, he proves himself to be a strong warrior, too. I’m not entirely sure what the future holds for him, but perhaps he’ll join the Order. I do know that this isn’t the end for him, though, because he becomes the hero of the final book of the series, Darker After Midnight. I’d hoped that perhaps Elise would come to love him back, but that’s not to be the case. She briefly meets and has a moment of connection with taciturn, enigmatic Breed warrior Tegan, and they will become the hero and heroine of the next book, Midnight Awakening. All the other warriors and their mates put in appearances as well. We briefly see Rio (Midnight Rising) recovering in the infirmary from events of the last book, while Niko (Veil of Midnight) helps Dante with a dangerous mission. Tech geek extraordinaire, Gideon, (A Touch of Midnight) helps with all things techie, while his mate Savannah puts in a few appearances as well. The Order’s leader, Lucan (Kiss of Midnight), is seen, along with his mate Gabrielle. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Harvard, a very cute but ailing little dog that Dante uses to get into Tess’s good graces. Then there are the bad guys. Tess’s ex, Ben, initially seems like a decent fellow, albeit a little clingy and stalkerish, but his drug manufacturing gets him into a world of trouble as he quickly discovers that Marek, the Order’s mortal enemy, is the one pulling the strings and funding his operation.

Overall, Kiss of Crimson was a really great read. I very much liked both Dante and Tess. Dante is the perfect mix of alpha warrior and gentle, passionate lover. Tess is very relatable and easy to love. They fit together very well and more than prove their love for one another, while their romance is emotional, steamy, and tender. The underlying plot about the drug, Crimson, and how it’s turning young vampires into Rogues was engaging, well-crafted, and suspenseful. There were a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming. While the first book left me a little uncertain about the Midnight Breed series, this one has solidified my interest and I’m hopeful that it produces many more great reads for me. At the very least, I can say that both Tegan and Elise are characters who deeply intrigue me, so I’m very much looking forward to reading their story soon. ( )
  mom2lnb | Oct 20, 2020 |
very good book, it kept me interested the entire way through. I love books that spark my interest from the beginning and can keep it until the very end. ( )
  hixxup79 | Feb 23, 2020 |
Listened to audio narrated by Hilary Huber. Tess discovers Dante horribly injured in her veterinary clinic. He drinks her blood to save himself and wipes her mind, then discovers she's a breedmate. He's bound them together, then discovers her ex-boyfriend is involved with Crimson. Tess has a healing gift that she's hidden believing it was a curse. While Dante tries to keep her from his world, everything going on around her and him keeps pulling her in deeper. Toss in a rescue dog and you have a lot of elements to enjoy, including more about Chase, Rio, Tegan and Elise.
( )
  wyldheartreads | Jun 20, 2019 |
The beginning of this book was really good, high quality action writing which just grabs you and immersed me into the story right away.
I don't feel as if this story is so much about Dante and Tess as it is about the Breeds (what the vampire nation is called) and how the Warriors (good bad ass vampires) are fighting the Rogues (mean bad ass vampires). I like the two main characters but never felt a good connection with them. The series is starting to feel like a long continuous story with little glimpses of the characters who make up the story. The characters are almost like the secondary characters and are pushed to the background.
I started to get disinterested around ch.17 but otherwise the first half of the book was a good read as far as action is concerned.
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! When the truth of Dante's death vision was revealed I gasped loudly! Crazy! Bravo Ms. Adrian for putting that little shocker in there. Seriously this little story arch raised the book in my eyes. I was starting to get a tad bored until this happened and now I'm highly anticipating reading the rest of the book. (I think after I read this part I had 5 or 6 chapters to go in the book) Just too bad that there were 11 or so chapters in the middle which were kind of boring, but at least it picked up in the end.
Haha the "Die Hard" reference was cool, but then I had a hard time not picturing Dante as Bruce Willis after he said "Yippeekayay, muthafucker". Usually I'll take originality over a copied popular pop culture reference.
I thought Tess's reaction to the whole Breed world was more believable than Gabrielle's (Kiss of Midnight). I thought this book was better than the first, and I liked Lucan better than Dante. Anyway great action beginning, slow middle, but then back to exciting fast paced end. I wish there had been more of Marek (villain from #1 Kiss of Midnight in Midnight Breeds series) in this book and a better storyline than the drug "Crimson" causing havoc for the Breed Warriors to tie this book into the series. Alas this series is still intriguing me so I carry on with the next one, which is about Tegan and who I think is going to be my favorite.

B ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian
Book #2 in Midnight Breed
5 Stars

Synopsis:
Veterinarian Tess Culver finds herself immersed in a secret world following a brief yet vivid encounter with the badly injured Dante, one of the vampire warriors locked in a fierce struggle against the rogue element of his race. The two soon find themselves bonded together by blood and passion and must work together to thwart the enemies in their midst.

Review:
I was hesitant to continue with the series but am really glad that I stuck with it as Kiss of Crimson is a definite improvement on the first book. Adrian’s characterization has improved greatly. Tess is an amazing heroine whose heartbreaking back story draws you in and Dante’s love for her is just awe inspiring – I particularly enjoyed the small twist regarding the connection between Dante’s special power and his relationship with Tess (you’ll just have to read it to see). For once, the sex scenes contribute to rather than detract from the emotional intimacy between the characters. I also enjoyed the subtle hints at stories to come, especially Tegan and Elise, and Rio whose condition is so distressful.

The plot line continues from the previous book but adds an extra dimension by including characters from the civilian vampire world and an issue that relates to the vampire society as a whole. My one small quibble is with the villain in the book who is not all that menacing and is actually quite pathetic.

Recommendation: Every new detail added in this book helped me to become more immersed in the world Adrian has created. I definitely recommend the series based on this book. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
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Lara Adrianprimary authorall editionscalculated
Huber, HillaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Cappy and Sue Pratt, my traveling PR team and favorite cheerleaders. Thank you for all the love, support, and the countless good times. I believe I hear the Caribbean calling again….
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Dante smoothed his thumb over sweet female flesh, lingering at the carotid, where the human’s pulse throbbed the strongest.
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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.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.

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