Elise Chase has spent her entire life sheltered in a Breed Darkhaven, but after being widowed and then having the Rogues take away her only son, her sole reason for still living, she vows to avenge his death. She left her Darkhaven home, and using her extraordinary psychic ability, she tracks down Minions and Rogues, serving up death to them one by one. But she hasn't fed from a Breed male since her husband's death, meaning that she is now aging, and using her gift in this way is killing her even faster. When the Breed warrior, Tegan, comes across her one night and discovers what she's been doing, he tries to talk her out of it, to no avail. Instead Elise proves her usefulness to the cause by intercepting an ancient journal that was on its way to the Rogues' leader. When the journal gives them a clue that leads to Germany, Elise is intent on using her dead husband's Darkhaven connections to help the Order gain access to a dangerous prisoner, but Tegan is reluctant to allow her to travel with him because of her weakened state. Knowing that he's right about her needing to feed before making the trip, she asks Tegan himself to do the job even though she knows it will forever tie her to this fierce and deadly warrior. Doing so takes Elise to places she never imagined and she soon finds herself falling for Tegan in spite of his prickly nature.
Tegan is one of only three Gen One Breeds known to still exist and he's been fighting the Rogues for as long as he can remember. Centuries ago, his beloved Breedmate was taken from him by Rogues, and ever since, he's locked his heart up tight and only lived to take down as many of them as he can. When he finds Elise bravely fighting off Rogues one night, he comes to her rescue. When he realizes what a toll her psychic ability is taking on her, he uses his own psychic gift to bring her a little solace, but ultimately he tells himself that it's none of his business if she has a death wish. However, when she brings him the journal, he also recognizes that she could be valuable to the Order, and at the same time, she's also in grave danger from the Rogues. Although Tegan takes Elise under the protection of the Order, he believes she should stay at their compound. But then she unexpectedly comes asking for his blood to nourish her weakened body for the trip to Germany. He reluctantly complies, and together they embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of the journal. Along the way, their passions flare and love begins to blossom. But the Rogues are still out to get the journal for themselves, presenting a threat to Elise, and the secrets it holds could eventually lead to the destruction of all mankind, both Breed and human alike.
Midnight Awakening is the third book in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series. This is Tegan and Elise's story, a romance that was teased in the previous book of the series, Kiss of Crimson. This book begins four months after their initial meeting, and Elise, who recently lost her son after he got hooked on Crimson and went Rogue, has vowed to stop the drug trade and take out those responsible for her son's death. Unknown to everyone else, she's left her Darkhaven and is living in a low rent apartment among the humans, hunting down Rogues and Minions, but being so close to that many people, as well as using her gift to track Minions is taking a major toll on her psyche. One night, while on patrol, Tegan rescues her from a group of Rogues, and when he discovers what she's been up to, he tries unsuccessfully to talk some sense into her, while she tries equally unsuccessfully to persuade him that she could be valuable to the Order. It's not until she retrieves an ancient journal that Marek, the leader of the Rogues, desperately wants and they're attacked by Rogues again that Tegan realizes how valuable she could be and takes her under the protection of the Order. The journal proves to be a mystery that leads them to Berlin, where they face new dangers as they get closer to the truth that it contains, something that will change everything in the war between the Order and the Rogues. Along the way, passion flares between Tegan and Elise, and although Tegan believes he's meant to be alone, it isn't long before he realizes he cannot live without Elise. But Marek and the ancient secrets held in the tome may lead to the demise of them all.
Tegan is the lone wolf of the Order and one of only three Gen One Breeds known to still exist. Centuries ago, he lost his beloved Breedmate after she was kidnapped, tortured, and returned to him a Minion. Ever since, Tegan has blamed himself for not doing a better job of protecting her and has consigned himself to being alone. Four months earlier, after the death of Elise's son, he shared a moment of connection with her over their common grief, and although he's tried to push her out of his mind, he hasn't really been able to stop thinking of her since. When he finds her in an alley being attacked by Rogues, he doesn't hesitate to jump into action to save her, but he tries to tell himself that what she's doing is none of his business. When she brings him the journal and the Rogues attack again, he has no choice but to take her to the Order's compound for her protection. However, he has no intention of getting any closer to her until she insists upon using her Darkhaven connections to help the Order gain access to the person they need to speak with in Berlin. When Elise comes to him, asking for a no-strings blood exchange to strengthen her for the trip, she proves to be too much of a temptation to resist. But Tegan still fights his feelings until he realizes that it's too late and he's already fallen in love with her. In the beginning, Tegan can be a bit of jerk, which is something I don't really like in my romance heroes, although in this case, a part of me understood it was his own method of self-preservation. He also mostly gets a pass, because even though the words that come out of his mouth can be cruel, he always treats Elise gently. Even still, he blows hot and cold so many times, that he was starting to irritate me a bit, but once he gave in to his feelings, he became a much more relatable and admirable hero.
Elise is a Breedmate, one of the human women who make compatible mates for Breed males. She has lived a rather sheltered existence, being raised in a Darkhaven since infancy. She was mated to a high-ranking Darkhaven official who died five years earlier. Then four months ago, her only son succumbed to the scourge of Crimson and turned Rogue, also dying. After losing him, she vowed to make sure his death wasn't in vain, so she's been hunting down Rogues and Minions one at a time ever since. However, living in the human world so close to the dregs of humanity has made it difficult to keep her psychic gift for reading minds under control and the warped malevolence of Minions causes her extreme pain. It's when one of her migraines is coming on that Tegan finds her, and not only saves her life, but also uses his own psychic powers to ease her suffering. He isn't convinced, though, that she can be any use to the Order until she brings him the journal. Once they're at the Order's compound, she insists upon using her late husband's connections to help them gain access to a Rogue who's being held in an Enforcement containment facility. However, weak from five years without Breed blood to nourish her, she knows she'll need sustenance to avoid being a liability on their trip. She reluctantly asks Tegan to supply what she needs, thinking that he won't want any strings attached, but ultimately she couldn't have been more wrong. Their chemistry proves to be off the charts, and although he's not easy to win over, eventually Tegan admits he's come to love her as much as she loves him. Elise is a strong heroine to survive all the loss she's been through and I admired her grit and determination to take out Marek and the Rogues. Her stubbornness also serves her well in helping the Order and in winning over Tegan.
With the Midnight Breeds being a long-running series, there are lots of significant supporting characters in Midnight Awakening. Lucan (Kiss of Midnight), the Order's leader, and his Breedmate, Gabrielle, appear with Lucan saving the day at the end. Gideon (A Touch of Midnight) puts his tech skills to good use, while his mate, Savannah, uses her psychic gift to read the history of an important object, helping to unravel a mystery. Dante and Tess (Kiss of Crimson) appear, with Dante leading a dangerous mission and Tess putting her healing skills to use. Rio who was badly injured in the first book is slowly healing with Tess's help and is well enough by the end to accompany Dante's on his mission. He also becomes the hero of the next book of the series, Midnight Rising. Nikolai (Veil of Midnight), Brock (Taken by Midnight), and Kade (Shades of Midnight), the remaining members of the Order, also go on the mission with Dante. We're introduced to Andreas Reichen, the leader of the Berlin Darkhaven cell, a charmer who proves invaluable to Tegan and Elise while they're there. I was drawn to him and hoped he might become a future hero, so I was pleased to see that he does indeed get his story told in Ashes of Midnight. I was also happy to see that Elise's brother-in-law, Sterling Chase, has befriended Dante and also joined the Order, and although he still obviously has feelings for Elise, he doesn't stand in the way of her getting together with Tegan. He becomes the hero of the book, Darker After Midnight.
Overall, Midnight Awakening was another excellent read in this series. I admired Elise's strength and determination. In spite of her genteel upbringing, she doesn't shy away from the messier side of life, and although members of the Darkhavens generally view the Order as savages, she manages to see the humanity in Tegan. Initially Tegan is a somewhat uneven character as he fights his feelings for Elise, but once he gives in, I started to like him a lot more and thought that he was a really good hero. The two balance each other out well and make a great couple. The mystery surrounding the journal was extremely well done, revealing some important things that are not to be missed for fans of the series. I was actually a bit surprised by the ending and very much look forward to seeing where things go from here. Besides Tegan irritating me a bit with his sometimes cruel words and with his back-and-forth, hot-and-cold streak, the only other thing that made me drop the half star is that two characters end up dosed with Crimson and yet inexplicably come out totally fine. Maybe I'm misremembering how Crimson works, but I do know that it's an extremely dangerous drug that has turned many Breeds into Rogues. So I felt like a better explanation of this would have been helpful. Otherwise, this was a near-perfect read that, along with the first two books of the series, has earned Lara Adrian a spot on my favorite authors list and leaves me quite eager to pick up the next book soon.
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