I have to say, I am a little surprised that after the events of the last book, Lara Adrian gave us Reichen’s story so soon. In Veil of Midnight, the poor guy had just lost everything. Everyone in his Darkhaven had been slaughtered. His girlfriend was turned into a Minion he had to execute. A romance seemed like it had to be light years away. Obviously not.
As the story begins, Andreas Reichen is on a mission of revenge. He has been systematically killing off every man who had anything to do with the murders of his family and friends. Now they are all dead except for the man who bears the greatest responsibility: Wilhelm Roth. There was already no love lost there. He has hated Roth since the man mated the Breedmate Reichen was in love with decades ago. Reichen is determined not just to kill Roth, but to make him suffer first.
Roth’s mate Claire has no idea what kind of monster she is bonded to. Theirs is not a love match, but a cordial one maintained over a distance. When Reichen shows up at her home, hunting for her husband, it rocks her to her core. She has never stopped loving Reichen, despite the way he abandoned her all those years ago. After the destruction of his Darkhaven a few months ago, she thought he was dead. Seeing him alive and on such a violent path, shakes her to the core. Reichen is just as affected by her, but he refuses to let it interrupt his single-minded focus. Besides, Claire is Roth’s mate. She can’t be without some responsibility, can she?
It becomes quickly apparent that Claire is not only blameless, but she is fast becoming a target for her husband as well. So she and Reichen end up working together to track Roth and put an end to his evil plans once and for all.
What I haven’t mentioned yet is the fact that in rage-mode, Reichen is basically the Human Torch. He is consumed by fire and it’s building a bloodlust inside of him. Using it too much will surely mean his death, but he doesn’t care much. Claire, on the other hand, cares very, very much. These two have been apart for decades, but once reunited, their love is as powerful as ever. Reichen must decide which is more important, his need for vengeance or his chance to finally be with the love of his life.
I really ended up liking the dynamic involved with Claire already being mated to another man. It takes the possibility of her and Reichen bonding off the table, which is different from the books that have come before. I also like that this is a second-chance-at-love story, which removes the insta-love factor that is recurring in this series. Reichen is a very interesting hero, because we have seen his character evolve (or perhaps, devolve) over the course of these books and it really pays off to have such an investment in his character. He was so refined and urbane and now he is just hellfire and brimstone.
The romance is good, but this book also does a good job advancing the overall series arc. The book leaves us with some serious repercussions for the Order, and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. Well done.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Ashes of Midnight
by Lara Adrian
Release Date: May 26, 2009