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Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review: Bound to Darkness (Midnight Breed #13) by Lara Adrian

Bound to Darkness (Midnight Breed #13)
by Lara Adrian

Published July 30th 2015
Carys Chase is accustomed to making her own rules and letting her heart lead the way--no matter what anyone else has to say about it. A rare Breed female and a daywalker as well, headstrong, beautiful Carys is one of the most powerful of her kind. She lives passionately and loves without limits, especially when it comes to the lethal cage-fighting Breed warrior called Rune.

Unbeatable in the ring, Rune exists in a brutal world of blood and bone and death. He's made his share of enemies both in and out of the arena, and his secrets run as deep and turbulent as his past. A dangerous loner who has survived by his fists and fangs, Rune has never allowed anyone to get too close to him...until Carys. But when the bodies buried in his past rise up to threaten his present, Rune must choose between betraying Carys's trust or putting her in the crosshairs of a battle neither of them can hope to win on their own.

Carys Chase is a rare find: A Breed female AND a Daywalker, making her one of the most powerful of her kind. As much as her family loves and wants to protect her, their suffocating and sometimes controlling ways don’t sit well with the headstrong female. Carys lives and loves passionately and that extends to cage fighter Rune, a deadly male that has her family, particularly her father, up in arms.

Rune’s world consists of blood, violence and secrets. The lethal cage fighter doesn’t think he has any right to Carys’ love and loyalty, yet he basks in both even as he keeps his past from her. When that past comes back to drag him down again, Carys is caught in the cross fire and Rune must choose between trusting Carys or letting his past destroy him once and for all.

Bound to Darkness did something different with the main couple of the story. It dropped readers into Rune and Carys’ lives after they met and fell in love. When the book begins, Rune and Carys had been in a relationship for over seven weeks, so the focus and conflict of the romance was Rune’s unwillingness to mate with Carys through a blood bond for some mysterious reason. Since the plot already had some major twists and turns, this drastically cut down on the time that would have felt like a waste had the author set the book back when they first met. It really worked for me in the end, not having to sit through pages and pages of Rune and Carys circling around each other. They had a paranormal Romeo and Juliet vibe going on with Carys belonging to a prominent family who wanted her far away from the male they deemed unworthy and dangerous for her. I think that because he already loved Carys when the book began, Rune wasn’t as emotionally challenged as Breed males usually are. Carys brought out the best in him and saw what others refused to: He was loving, selfless and had a soft spot for the defenseless.

Rune’s mystery background was downplayed before but now in this book it is front and center, a ticking time bomb that, when it went off was not what I expected. The reason behind his name, his deadly skills in the fighting pits and his avoidance of any long term commitment to Carys was hinted at through the first half of the book and then just exploded in the second half, causing Bound to Darkness to pick up the pace from brisk to fast.

Even with the romance between Rune and Carys, the bigger plotline isn’t affected. The Breed warriors and their mates have their hands full with the new world the live in where humans know about their existence and tentative alliances are being formed while a growing organization threatens to break that alliance and a deadly new enemy is plotting an all out war against the Breed itself. The momentum is building for what could be an even bigger battle than the one that led to the outing of the immortal warriors. I love how each book offers small pieces of a larger puzzle along with connections between the Breed’s history and that of the Breedmates.

What has become abundantly clear in Bound to Darkness and the two previous books is that the woman in them are no longer just Breedmates, the group of women who are the only ones that can procreate with our vampire heroes. In the past these unique but non warrior women remained on the sidelines cheering on the big, strong men. Now, in what I like to think of as the second act of the Midnight Breed series, the women are taking control and jumping into the spotlight. There are now rare but completely capable Breed females, Daywalkers and in the case of the previous book’s heroine, something all together new. I personally love the increase in women getting in on the action and the fights and having their own secret gifts that are valuable to the ongoing war and the war that is slowly but surely creeping up on these characters.

This series is a long running one and while most series would have ended or run out of steam, the Midnight Breed series seems to have picked up steam. Lara Adrian has managed to keep the series fresh by adding new characters, the children of the original cast of characters which in my mind is brilliant because readers get new characters without having to say goodbye to the original ones that made the series so popular to begin with. It’s interesting to see the “Modern Immortals,” work with and sometimes clash with their ancient fathers. And let’s face it; even with these new kids on the block, I still want to see my all time favorite, Tegan.

Bound to Darkness has all the passion, danger and unique appeal of the original 10 books but also stands on its own as a turning point in the entire series with new pieces to a larger puzzle, new friends and old enemies. While some might find that overwhelming and complex, I don’t. I’ve read this series since the very first book came out and can say it’s not as complicated as other paranormal romances I’ve read. Though it could be read as a standalone, I would highly suggest that the series be read in order so that the most enjoyment can be had.

Sheep Rating: 4

About the Author:
As a child, Lara Adrian used to sleep with the covers up around her neck, afraid she might become the midnight prey of deadly vampires. Later on, under the influence of Bram Stoker and Anne Rice, she had to wonder if her fear wasn't actually something else: a secret desire to walk in a darker world, to live a dangerous and sensual dream with a man of seductive, preternatural power. It is that twining of fear and desire that fuels Lara's own fantasies today, and the idea that she explores in her New York Times bestselling Midnight Breed series of vampire romance novels from Bantam Dell Books.

With an ancestry stretching back to the Mayflower and the court of King Henry VIII, Lara Adrian lives with her husband in New England, surrounded by centuries-old graveyards, hip urban comforts, and the endless inspiration of the broody Atlantic Ocean.

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