A Taste of Midnight by Lara Adrian
Published: December 5th, 2011 (Randomhouse Digital)
Series: Midnight Breed (9.5)
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A shimmering holiday gala lights up an ancient castle in the Scottish Highlands, but beautiful widowed Breedmate Danika MacConn feels alone in the crowd. Even among the friends and festivity of the Darkhaven celebration, she can’t forget her lost love, a fallen warrior of the Order. Her brief return to her mate’s homeland has become treacherous after rejecting the advances of a dangerous Edinburgh crime boss with a taste for blood sport.
As Danika seeks to expose the vampire and his dark trade, she discovers an unexpected ally in his forbidding, enigmatic henchman, Brannoc, a man who exudes heat, danger, and dark menace—and seems somehow achingly familiar. Bran has his own reasons for wanting to keep Dani out of his employer’s business . . . and his own secrets he means to keep buried. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a woman who tempts the wildest part of his Breed nature—especially when that woman is Danika MacConn, the one woman capable of bringing him to his knees.
A Taste of Midnight is the perfect bridge between Deeper than Midnight and the yet unreleased Darker After Midnight. Instead of meeting a brand-new character, readers get to revisit Danika MaConn, the widow of Conlan, a former member of the Order, a victim of their enemies. Returning to Scotland, Con's homeland for the holidays, Danika tries to immerse herself in the world she left behind, but her grief for her lost mate and a run-in with a powerful, dangerous Breed male makes that impossible.
Right away, Lara Adrian catapults readers back into the world of the Breed, which kinda felt like coming home, in a way. Danika is a great choice for this novella's heroine. She's such a strong, fierce female, and I've always admired her among all the other Breedmates. Between her devotion to her son, and her inner grit and grace, Danika is a true heroine, and that shines through in this novel, as, even though she ends up mixed up in some bad business, she stands firm, protecting her son and herself as best as she can. Like any good Lara Adrian novel, there's a powerful villain here, Reiver, who makes your skin crawl. He's into human trafficking, which is about as evil as it gets in my opinion, and throughout A Taste of Midnight, I was itching to take him down myself.
I don't read many novellas, so I wasn't sure if A Taste of Midnight would be enough for me, considering I get attached to characters, and I read full-length novels so that I have plenty of time with them. But pleasantly, A Taste of Midnight worked for me. There was a good deal of action packed into 70 pages, which made for a very fast-paced read, and the romance in the novella developed quickly, but I actually thought it was very well done. Brannoc was an amazing character, a strong but wounded male, and I loved his past with Danika, how it was revealed, and where Lara Adrian took them in this novella. The two of them had such crackling chemistry, which led to a few trademark Lara Adrian steamy scenes, and a satisfying conclusion. Overall, A Taste of Midnight definitely has whet my appetite and encouraged me to get back into this series.