Carys Chase is accustomed to making her own rules and letting her heart lead the way–no matter what anyone else has to say about it. A rare Breed female and a daywalker as well, headstrong, beautiful Carys is one of the most powerful of her kind. She lives passionately and loves without limits, especially when it comes to the lethal cage-fighting Breed warrior called Rune.
Unbeatable in the ring, Rune exists in a brutal world of blood and bone and death. He’s made his share of enemies both in and out of the arena, and his secrets run as deep and turbulent as his past. A dangerous loner who has survived by his fists and fangs, Rune has never allowed anyone to get too close to him…until Carys. But when the bodies buried in his past rise up to threaten his present, Rune must choose between betraying Carys’ trust or putting her in the crosshairs of a battle neither of them can hope to win on their own.
The Midnight Breed series was my guilty pleasure series for a while, and I still go back and reread the first few every so often. In fact, I reread book two, Kiss of Crimson, right alongside reading Bound to Darkness, and boy did it ever illustrate how different the series is now.
And not in a particularly good way.
I really wanted to like this one, and was excited to hear that my favourites, Dante and Tess, were in it (turns out they were only there for a couple of pages!). I used to prefer this series to the similar Black Dagger Brotherhood, because the BDB had a tendency to go insane (men turning into dragons and heroines who are ghosts, for example), but now I’m not so sure…
Unfortunately, this book is boring; the lead characters are already in an established relationship, so basically they just have sex; and there’s very little about their story that has anything to do with you know, VAMPIRES.
Additionally, all the established rules about the vampire world the characters inhabit have been thrown out the window, which leaves us with a generation of GI Jane heroines (in this world, women could not be vampires – well that’s certainly changed!), and I rarely enjoy reading about that sort of character.
In fact, this could be just another addition to the current non-paranormal fad of emotionally-stunted cage/MMA fighting heroes with daddy issues who may or may not hang out at BDSM clubs. I avoid these books on purpose; I wanted vampiric things, not New Adult things!
Which leads me to another problem: these characters are babies! The author has jumped ahead to the next generation, but the earlier books only happened some twenty years in the past, which makes this new generation Young Adult characters! The original heroes were so appealing because they were ancient and powerful. These characters are kids!
And because hero and heroine had so little plot to work with (which meant the sex scenes were a hell of a lot lengthier and more pornographic than they used to be), much of the book is just the author trotting out all the past characters and devoting FOR EVER to relating their backstories. Oh, and to giving us pregnancy announcements; the number one reason authors put past heroines on the page.
To illustrate the lack of plot or anything to do with vampires, I jotted down the themes of the first chapters of the book:
Chapter One: Cage fighting.
Chapter Two: A whole chapter updating us on the hero and heroine of book one and on past plotlines.
Chapter Three: Hero and heroine have sex.
Chapter Four: A chapter about the heroine’s parents, also a past romantic pairing in the series.
Chapter Five: The heroine talking to her friends, and long and detailed passages giving these friends’ backstories.
Chapter Six: A chapter about the heroine’s parents and the heroine’s aunt.
Chapter Seven: The hero hanging out at his BDSM/cage fighting club.
Chapter Eight: Another chapter about the hero of book one.
Chapter Nine: The heroine at work at a museum.
Chapter Ten: More sex and cage fighting.
Chapter Eleven: More sex.
Chapter Twelve: The heroine hanging out with her family again.
Chapter Thirteen: Hanging out at the BDSM/cage fighting club. And then arguing about the BDSM/cage fighting club.
Chapter Fourteen: Yet ANOTHER chapter about the heroine’s parents.
Chapter Fifteen: The heroine hangs out with family members, and eats ice cream and watches soap operas because she’s depressed.
This series used to be about vampire warriors fighting an underground war!
The blandness extends to the characters themselves: we weren’t even given a physical description of the hero until the 39% mark, and it was only a few pages earlier that we were told the basics of the heroine, like the colour of her hair. It’s too late by then, because I’ve already formed a totally different image in my mind!
I’m sorry to say this about a series I loved (and one whose earlier books I still enjoy), but this book was pretty much unreadable. Try or reread the first few in the series instead!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.