November 14, 2020 03:42 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I had a few good reads during the month of October, but only one rose to that all-important five-star mark for me to feature it in this column. It’s a paranormal romance by a relatively new-to-me author who I’ve never featured before, and it’s the second in her most popular series. It’s the story of Breed warrior Dante who is plagued by visions of his own death, and veterinarian Tess Culver, a Breedmate who harbors an extraordinary gift. After chasing a vampire he believes has gone Rogue, Dante is nearly blown to bits, the explosion tossing him into the river, where he’s swept away. He manages to crawl out and ends up in the storeroom of Tess’s veterinary clinic, where he feeds from her in an effort to heal himself. It’s not until afterward that he realizes she bears the mark of a Breedmate, and by Breed law, what he’s done makes her his. He tries to fight it, but the bond with her is strong, making it impossible for him to stay away from her. Then he discovers that the vampire he chased that night was actually hopped on a new drug called Crimson that is rapidly turning many youths of their kind into Rogues, and it’s Tess’s ex-boyfriend who is manufacturing and dealing the drug at the behest of the Order’s mortal enemy. Dante tries to gently woo Tess before revealing the entire truth of what they are, but when her life is threatened by Rogues, she gets a quick initiation into his dark and dangerous world.
At only 229, Dante is one of the younger vampires in the Order, the son of a scholarly aristocratic Breed male and his beloved mate. Dante’s mother was a seer who correctly envisioned both her own and her mate’s demises. She passed this gift down to her son, and for many years, he’s been having visions of his own death but has no idea when it might occur. In part because death is dogging him everywhere he goes, he’s had little interest in finding a mate, but that all changes the night he meets and feeds from Tess. The whole incident leaves her understandably freaked out. Dante would have liked to explain everything right then, but with dawn rapidly approaching, he’s forced to erase her memories. Despite what Breed law says, he tries to forget her, but he simply can’t. So he sets about engineering situations where he can get to know her better and gradually seduce her. Dante quickly realizes that he’s fallen in love with her, and things are going well until the actions of Tess’s ex-boyfriend end up putting her in mortal danger, leading to the necessity of Dante bringing her into the Order’s fold quickly. But when she learns what he is and all that he’s done, she may not be able to forgive him. Dante is my kind of alpha, one who’s confident and commanding while still having a gentler side and exhibiting vulnerabilities. I’m a sucker for psychic phenomena in paranormal romance, so Dante’s visions made him an intriguing hero. I also loved how he went about trying to woo Tess and how he was supportive and protective when she revealed her past to him, all of which showed his kinder side.
Tess is a sweet heroine who has been through a lot in her life. She harbors traumatic secrets from her childhood, as well as hiding her own psychic gift. She’s mostly a loner with no family and few friends, which is partly why she’s tried to maintain a friendship with her ex, even though she knows he wants to rekindle their romantic relationship and she doesn’t. She runs a veterinary practice in a not-so-great area of town, and even though she often struggles to pay the bills, she’s always unerringly generous to everyone, animals and their owners alike. With no one to go home to, she has a habit of working late, and it’s on one such night that Dante shows up in her storeroom. Being the caring person she is, Tess tries to help the injured warrior, but when he bites her, she’s terrified. Of course, after Dante erases her memory, she has no recollection of what happened, but when she starts seeing him again around town, she feels inexplicably drawn to him. Even though he projects an air of danger about him, she quickly falls for him and feels like she can trust him. But when she’s attacked by Rogues and rapidly thrust into his world, it’s a lot to take in. Tess is a wonderful heroine who is a kind, compassionate person. She’s very giving and loving toward those she cares about. I love her psychic talent and what she can do is nothing short of extraordinary. Even though she initially struggles with the revelations of a hidden world she never knew existed, she isn’t unreasonable. When Dante proves his love for her by being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, it’s an easy choice for her to fully accept him as he is.
Overall, this book was a really great read. I very much liked both Dante and Tess. Dante is the perfect mix of alpha warrior and gentle, passionate lover. Tess is very relatable and easy to love. They fit together very well and more than prove their love for one another, while their romance is emotional, steamy, and tender. The underlying plot about the drug, Crimson, and how it’s turning young vampires into Rogues was engaging, well-crafted, and suspenseful. There were a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming. While the first book left me a little uncertain about this series, this second one has solidified my interest, leaving me hopeful that it will produce many more great reads. That’s why I’m naming Lara Adrian’s Kiss of Crimson as my October Book of the Month. If you enjoy a sexy alpha hero paired with a sweet heroine, and a tender, but steamy romance with a little suspense on the side, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle.
Tess is a complication he does not need - but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself.
For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm...and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires, and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself.
Read my complete review of Kiss of Crimson.
If you would like to win a copy of Kiss of Crimson to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Lara Adrian