Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian

Unbelievably tame and somewhat dated. Midnight Awakening reads like an average series romance. Perfunctory is the word I would use to describe it. I cannot believe this novel comes from the same pen what wrote in the lurid tattoo-sucking scene in Kiss of Crimson. And the author has so obviously been on a trip to continental Europe.

‘Widow’ romances are rarely much good and this is no exception. The heroine Elise subjects Tegan to one of the most outrageous teases I've ever read. First she comes on to him like she's ready to do the deed. Then at the last moment she changes her mind, runs away, and then comes back to finish the business! I thought her actions at the time almost amounted to the sadistic torture of a guy who admits he hasn't had sex for 500 years through anger at the death of his first wife. I don't like that kind of thing.

And lookee. The Order has got it’s very own groupie, hanger-on. Chase. Just like Butch in the BDB. And he’s just as much of a pain-in-the-ass. I want him to die. Or turn into the first Rogue to infiltrate the compound. But I just know he’s going to get his own story some time in the future. I’ll be giving that a miss for sure. No author is going to sucker me a second time.

After the multi-layered romances of Tara Janzen and the outrageous plotting of Lora Leigh, I found Midnight Awakening to be such an eeeeasy read. However. Be aware that the story still has the quota of soft-core and violence required by the genre. But not too much of either. Neither is the heroine brutalized by the baddies. I think that's what I found a bit much in Crimson. When Tess got munched by the Rogues. Not to mention the imagery of blood that was thrust into the tattoo-sucking scene. All a bit too much for me. But. Wow! What an imagination on someone's part. Nothing like that in Midnight Awakening. Thank goodness. Sort of.

What is good is the non-romance plot. Something about a book and an ancient alien vampire. Marek gets his just deserts but something worse is due to take his place. However like so often, the thrills and tension do not make any appearance until well over half way into the book. In fact. If you start reading at page 295 you will get all of the plot and 90% of the hotness. There's just a lot of toing and froing in the earlier parts of the novel. And 'will they, won't they' stuff. The multiple scenes set in the sanitorium were just a total waste of reading time. It was wonderful how all the riddles get solved by the females in the story. Just me personally. I enjoyed all the 'elongating fangs' all over the novel. But in defense of humans. I'd like to say that I often think beautiful thoughts during the course of the day. 'Beautiful sky; great personality; lovely garden; nice piece of lamb; delicious ice-cream; my friends baby girl would love that as a gift.' Nothing special. Just everyday nice thoughts.

And now a word about the next book in the series. Ok, the guys of the Order were betrayed by Rio’s girl. And understandably he’s bitter about it. But what he needs to remember is that HE’s alive but SHE’s dead. By her own hand when Lucan didn’t die. So I hope the next novel isn’t going to be all Rio whining about Eva’s treachery. Because there is no doubt that Eva’s actions were down to the fact that she loved him. So Rio needs to be careful about how he remembers her or he’s going end up sounding like a petulant child. Or a Lowell man from the 80s. And oops. The heroine has a relative involved in a battle against cancer. Almost like with Mary and Rhage. Just fancy that.

But the funniest thing in the whole book is the quote on the front cover. By J R Ward. Saying how much she likes the story. That is so funny.

I absolutely did not get the character of Andreas. I kept expecting that continental creep and his floosie to turn bad. He takes up far too much of the novel for what is essentially a cipher role.

Absolutely not a patch on Kiss of Crimson. But perfectly acceptable nonetheless. And it was Tegan who turned out to be a cardboard cutout not Elise. He was too much of a gentleman. In the previous 2 novels, one hero, Lucan, fraudulently portrayed himself as a cop to the heroine and the other, Dante, lied his head off to his intended. Maybe I’ve been spoilt by Tara Janzen, Lora Leigh and Anne Stuart. But I found it all a bit one-dimensional and…simple.

In many ways this is just the type of book that annoys me intensely. Readers wait 6 months for it to be published and it's easily read in just one day. What a let down. Please don't tell me that an experienced author can't write about 4 of these in one year. Some people are just i.d.l.e. Or. Have pretensions to literary greatness. Then again. I remember one of my absolutely favorite romance authors. Vanessa James. Wrote about 6 love-stories in 18 months. Her agent got her a great deal. And she wrote highly lucrative pot-boilers about sluts for the next ten years. Using a different pen-name. (I know this because she used to boast about her success in the Sunday papers). Unfortunately I was one of the readers she left behind. I never read even one of the hard-cover novels. (They had different paramenters from standard romances). For a while I felt somewhat betrayed. Now. Of course I understand. Families, houses, cars. That sort of thing.

p.s. Don't think I won't be lining up for Rio's story. If only to discover the new baddie. His name even. Will Kassia's grown-up baby turn out to be a good-guy? I hope so. After Rio, I can't see who's next. Please god, not that ho-loving dork Sterling. I can't believe he thought he ever had the slightest chance with Elise.

btw. Isn't the artwork for the covers of this series totally beautiful? Now why didn't Tara Janzen get the same loving attention for her just-as-good Crazy books?

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