Author: Lara Adrian
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 416 pgs
Release Date: June 28, 2011
At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well—the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.
Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos’s most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he’s hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he’ll go to end Dragos’s reign of evil—even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne’s tender heart.
In this 9th novel of Adrian's Midnight Breed series, things are heating up as the Order gets closer to finding Dragos, the evil villain intent on ruling the world. Dragos is starting to take things personally and goes on the offensive — he's going after the Order.
Corinne, one of Dragos' former prisoners, was kept for 75 years for the purposes of breeding with the Ancient One to produce Gen Ones. She was kept naked in a small lightless cell. The breedmates were tortured, abused for years and repeatedly raped. If they were lucky enough to survive the encounter with the Ancient One, if they survived the pregnancy, they might still die during the birth. Unbroken by Dragos' cruelty and depravity, she has one thing to do after letting her family know she's alive. And she's going to use Hunter to help her. She doesn't count on her body responding to him.
Hunter is "logical, unemotional", bred by a monster to be a monster, "a killing machine", a Gen One breed —— sired by an Ancient One who was held captive by Dragos in an attempt to create an army of assassins that would serve him. Hunter is stronger, faster and more powerful, up to 10x, than all but the few remaining Gen Ones. He's never experienced anything representing a normal life —— bred, reared and trained in a lab facility where interaction with others like him was kept to a minimum. He had never known warmth, caring or friendship —— only cold, unfeeling keepers who regularly beat him as part of his training and education —— until he met a special little girl with a unique talent while on a mission gone bad. When Hunter sees Corinne in the Order's corridor, he is "utterly transfixed" and can't look away from her. He doesn't understand his reaction to her, why "her presence [is] so arresting". Without realizing it he walks over to her and while we knows he's never met her before, she is "strangely familiar". His body reacts to her, something that has never happened before. Since there was never any intimacy in his upbringing, he is still a virgin and totally unprepared for these feelings.
Since Hunter is a virgin and Corinne has never been made love to, only raped repeatedly, there isn't a lot of sex in this installment of the series. The sexual chemistry is there but it takes a while to get to the "doing" part. However, what is there is sweet. Who knew Hunter could be so tender?
Sterling Chase continues on his path of self destruction that started when his sister-in-law, whom he had loved from afar for many, many years, lost her husband then her son and, thanks to Chase, found her true mate among the Order. Chase spots a female who captures his attention over and over again. Could it be enough to stop and reverse his downward slope to self destruction? Hmmm, foreshadowing for the next book perhaps?
A must read for fans of the series as well as paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans. While this can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend reading the series in order so you'll know why this relationship is such a big deal for Hunter.
Warning Spoiler Alert!!!
This has a HEA ending ... kinda, mostly ... Corinne and Hunter become a happy family with Corinne's son BUT they, and the Order, are still pursued by Dragos and Dragos still has his evil world domination plans.