Review: Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian

midnight awakeningReviewed by Jen

I haven’t exactly been plowing through the books in this series with vigor because the first two installments left me feeling rather lukewarm. I definitely found this book more to my liking. I remember that I was interested in Tegan’s story from the first time we saw him. He’s so deliciously miserable and emotionally closed off thanks to a devastating loss centuries ago.  But I wasn’t thrilled that Elise was going to be his heroine.  We got to know Chase in the last book and I was kind of hoping that she would eventually return all of his unrequited love.  Obviously that’s not happening, but what we end up with instead is actually better.

If you need a refresher, Elise is the Darkhaven woman whose son got addicted to Crimson in the last book and died. She is a widow to Chase’s late brother and has always been poised and politically connected.  But as the story begins, we see a very different version of her. Now, she has made it her life’s mission to rid the streets of the vampires and their minions who push the drug that killed her son. She is smart and resourceful, but she is physically at the breaking point. Her psychic ability to hear the evil inside of people has left her barely functional. Yet she stays determined to continue with her mission.

Tegan is shocked when he learns what Elise is doing.  He doesn’t want to admit the connection he feels to her. He doesn’t want to have any connections period.  But this woman gets under his skin.  He is rude and abrupt with her, but he can’t shake her.  And before he knows it, they are working together in an uneasy alliance to fight the enemy.

I really enjoyed the development of their relationship. It took an unorthodox route to a romance and for a series I have complained about being too predictable, that was a refreshing choice.  I ended up liking Elise, when I never really expected to. She marshaled her loss into something that gave her strength.  I also loved the way she didn’t hide from her growing feelings for Tegan. It would have been so easy to hem and haw about how it was a betrayal to her dead husband to want another man –or to fixate on his brutishness. But she doesn’t do any of that. She goes to him as she is and wants him as he is.

As for Tegan, he can be a butt at times, but it is so clearly a defense mechanism, I couldn’t hold it against him.  He is a really good damaged hero. He is equal parts strength and vulnerability and that is exactly how I like my heroes. He is also very sexy and direct. The sexual tension was smokin and the payoff satisfying.

I really thought I knew how this book was going to play out and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong.  I didn’t see the ending coming and that bodes very well for my continuing with the series! If the future installments are as engaging as this one, I can see myself finally picking up steam on the backlist.

Rating: B/B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Midnight Awakening
by Lara Adrian
Release Date: November 27, 2007
Publisher: Dell

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