Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian
My stupid Sony E-Reader decided it doesn’t want to store any new bookmarks, so I’m reviewing this one by ear (and not by earmarks). As I mentioned in a recent review, this book was much better than I expected. Knowing that we wouldn’t be granted the whole “OMG I’m in love with a vampire” fiasco (since the heroine was already a part of their world), I thought there might not be enough tension to make it exciting. Tegan (the hero) however, was just jaded enough about life, to make his venture into love, gripping.
In the second book, we left off with Chase (newly integrated into the Order), desperately in love with his widowed sister-in-law (Elise). Anguished by the death of her son, and crying alone, she was approached and somewhat comforted by the usually unapproachable and bitter “Tegan” (a GenOne Warrior – the best of the best, who had suffered a terrible loss when his Breedmate was killed).
Book three leads into Elise’s new life. She has left the Darkhavens, and has re-integrated into the human world. While she is no longer taking in vampire blood, she has begun to age normally again, and her special gifts have become uncontrollable (she is able to hear the ugliest thoughts of those around her). Using this “gift” to seek out and kill any Rogues and Minions she finds, she hunts regularly, and has numerous successes under her belt. Her health, however is failing her, due to the terrible migraines associated with the evil thoughts that she cannot block out.
Elise was widowed, and the several years she’d obviously gone without a male’s blood – not to mention the damage she was inflicting on herself every day she lived among humankind were starting to take heavy toll on her.
Tegan, out on a Rogue hunt one evening, crosses Elise’s path as she is losing her battle with a Rogue, and rescues her. Following her home, he finds her in extreme pain and turmoil, and spends the evening at her side, easing her pain with a hypnotic trance.
He soon uncovers what Elise has been up to.
“How long Elise? When did you start this insanity?”
She stared at him, her slender jaw rigid. “My son is dead because of the Rogues. Everything I loved is gone because of them,” she said finally. “I couldn’t sit around doing nothing. I won’t sit back and do nothing.”
Tegan heard the resolve in her voice but that didn’t make him any less pissed off about what was going on here.
Tonight wasn’t the first obviously.
“How many times have you done this, Elise?”
She said nothing for a very long time. Then she slowly walked over to the bookcase and knelt down to pull out a lidded crate from the bottom shelf. Her gaze on Tegan, she lifted the top and calmly set it aside.
In the bin were more Minion cell phones. At least a dozen of the damn things.
Tegan dropped his ass onto the futon and raked his fingers though his hair. “Holy hell, woman. Have you lost your goddamn mind?”
She has intercepted a package containing a journal with clues that the Rogue leader, and The Order, would find valuable. Elise, now on the rogue’s hit-list, is taken into Tegan’s protective custody back at the Order’s compound. After studying the journal, they realize that a trip to Berlin is in order, as there are members of the Darkhavens, and a Rogue, to question. Up against the Darkhaven’s upper-crust prejudices against the Warriors of the Order (considered Barbarians), Tegan reluctantly brings Elise with him (as she has connections within the Darkhaven’s elite society).
“A rehabilitation facility?” Elise asked. At Tegan’s nod, she said, “Those places are controlled by Enforcement Agency.”
“So, what makes you think they’ll permit you inside? I’m sure you’re aware that the Order doesn’t have a lot of admirers in the Darkhavens. They have never approved of your methods when it comes to dealing with the problem of Breed vampires going Rogue.”
He had to give the female credit: she was up on her politics, and she was right about the Enforcement Agency intending to block the Order’s access to the captive Rogue. Tegan’s call to his old ally in Berlin, Andreas Reichen, had only confirmed what he and Lucan expected. The only way they were getting near Petrov Odolf was through a lot of red tape and bureaucratic bullshit.
Assuming Reichen could get Tegan an audience at all.
Elise knew that too. “I have connections in the Agency. Maybe if I went with you…”
And what happens when a lonely beauty is in close proximity with a handsome and protective but seemingly indifferent Warrior, for days on end, in unfamiliar territory?
Elise looked at him in silence, hearing his words, yet uncertain he could actually mean them. Did he really mean to say that he cared for her?
His fingers were a feather-light brush against the dull throb of her bruised cheek. “I do care,” he said, a quiet reply in answer to the question he’d read with his touch. He brought her under the shelter of his arm, just holding her, his thumb idly stroking her arm. “With you, I think it would be too easy to care too much, Elise. I’m not sure that’s a risk I can afford to take.”
“You can’t…or you won’t?”
“There’s no difference. Just semantics.”
Sparks fly, heated kisses are exchanged, and emotions roil…Copious amounts of exhilarating yet maddening sexual tension and resistance will torment you.
“Tegan, please…don’t.” Elise sighed, closing her eyes as if she knew the direction of his thoughts. “Don’t do this if you don’t mean it. Don’t touch me like that if you don’t…if you don’t feel it.”
He lifted her chin, tenderly sweeping his fingertips over her petal-soft eyelids, compelling her to see him. They opened slowly, dark lashes framing pools of beautiful light amethyst.
“Look at me, Elise. Tell me what you think I’m feeling,” he murmured, then bent his head to hers and pressed his mouth to her parted lips.
The passion burns with every (and I mean EVERY) encounter. This book is hot and heavy from the start (there’s an early and wonderfully titillating scene where Tegan donates some blood to strengthen Elise). Even without the intention to bond, it’s hot…but how could one resist bonding to someone like Tegan? Impossible!
What else is neat? A change in the evil plot! Bigger, crazier, and more abysmal than anyone had envisioned. Memo to the Order: Don’t sweat the small stuff…cause, the Rogues really are just “small stuff”…