I was super stoked when I wandered into my local market one day and found a teeny tiny book stand tucked away in a back corner. What was even better was the fact that there seemed to be piles upon piles of paranormal romance novels and it was in one of these piles that I found Lara Adrian’s Kiss of Midnight, the first in the New York Times bestselling Midnight Breed series.

Now before I go proceed with my review, I would like to point out that as a fellow writer, I harbor a deep respect for Lara Adrian. She’s gained a legion of fans and judging by the sheer amount of books that she has on the market she’s worked damn hard to get where she is today. And I totally respect that…

…however, I just didn’t like this book. The novel focuses upon Gabrielle, a photographer who witnesses a brutal murder outside a nightclub. In the space of a few minutes, she’s pretty much catapulted head first into a world she didn’t even know existed, a world of vampires, blood and violence, a world into which her destiny is inextricably bound…and it is Lucan Thorne, a handsome, mysterious Gen One Breed who oozes darkness and danger, that guides her into this world.

And Lucan Thorne is my issue with this novel. I appreciate that this is merely personal preference but I like a male lead who respects their romantic interest and I feel that Lucan doesn’t respect Gabrielle at all. During their initial encounter, in which he poses as a detective, he plants an image of them and what “he wanted to do with her” in her head and while she’s apparently receptive to this idea, it gave me an uncomfortable feeling. He plants other things in her head, including an instruction to leave her front door unlocked so he can return later that night. It’s later revealed that she’s somewhat immune to his whole mind control thing and it was unlocked because – obviously – she wanted him to return. Sure, if that’s what she truly wanted then so be it…but it’s the notion that he would try this sort of mind control in the first place that makes me shudder. What if she hadn’t been immune to it? For me, a sexual relationship should have 100% consent from both parties and anything other than that doesn’t strike me as romantic or sexy in the slightest. Oh, and he also lets her believe that this whole encounter was an erotic dream until much later. Creepy much?

There are other instances of him wielding his control over her. To quote ‘When she took the first step away from him, what little was left of Lucan’s control snapped its tether. He locked his gaze down hard on hers and sent a fierce command into her mind, ordering her to cease resisting him.’ Dude, what the hell? It’s not even like she was in imminent danger, he was simply pissy that she didn’t want to be near him at that moment in time which is pretty understandable considering she’s just uncovered the extent of his lies. The leash on which he holds his temper is way too short and his reaction is too primal for a being as old as him. I would have hoped that his centuries of existence would have taught him to approach such situations in a slightly more diplomatic way. Again, she’s immune to his attempt at mind control but again, he tried. He tried to override her free will.

As well as mind control, Lucan also seems to use intimidation against Gabrielle. He lets himself into her house (again) and finds, much to his amusement, that she’s armed herself with garlic and holy water. Let’s put ourselves in Gabrielle’s shoes for a second. The last time she saw Lucan, he was tearing some guy’s throat out. And now he’s just snuck up on her in her kitchen. Yeah, can you imagine how she’s feeling? Scared. So Lucan, in all his ancient wisdom, decides to show her just how scared she should be.

‘”Holy water?” Lucan asked, coolly meeting her gaze, “What are you going to do with that, throw it on me?

“If I have to.”

He moved so quickly, she saw only a dizzying blur in front of her as he reached out and snatched the small vial out of her grasp and emptied it into his hands. He smoothed his dripping fingers over his face and into his glossy black hair.’

Jeez, Lucan. I’m sure a “That won’t work but how about I make us a coffee and we have a chat about what you saw?” would have sufficed.

I just don’t like Lucan Thorne. I feel he abuses his power and having been at the mercy of guys like that in the past, it makes me really uneasy. I found this an uncomfortable read.

I’m sorry that this has turned into an in-depth character analysis as opposed to a review but this is just how I feel personally. I understand that some people find these qualities appealing and I appreciate that.

I’m giving this book a 1 out of 5. This title is available on Amazon in both paperback and e-reader format.