Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian
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. In a single erotically charged moment Tess is plunged into his world--a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.
Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. 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...
I liked this second entry in the Midnight Breeds series much more than the first. However, once again something happened towards the end of the book that I really didn't care and it effected my overall feelings for the book.
This book starts off with a pow, almost literally, with Dante being injured and finding himself in Tess's vet clinic. She helps him but overcome with pain and needing to heal, he takes her blood. Only after does he realize she carries the birthmark that proves her to be a potential Breedmate and he has begun their bonding process. He scrubs her memories and leaves...however, he is unable to stay away from her and he finds himself near her on and off over the next few days. During this time, he is also tasked with finding out about Crimson, a new drug which turns young vampires into Rogues overcome by Bloodlust.
Tess is dealing with an ex who still loves her although she only wants to be friends. She is also being cleverly courted by a tall, dark, handsome man who makes her feel very strongly--something she has tried to keep herself from doing--Tess much prefers to keep strong emotions tucked away after a horrible event in her past. Every time she sees Dante she feels a pull but just as often finds herself running away from him and the emotions he brings out of her.
The overall story arc of a Gen One vampire trying to create a Rogue army large enough to take over the world is still going strong and Crimson is his current tool to turn vampires more quickly than the Breed warriors can kill them. Too many young vampires are disappearing and if the warriors want to get ahead, they will have to find the creator and distributor of Crimson and cut it off at the source. Without giving too much away, the creator of Crimson is closer to Tess than Dante is comfortable with but he finds himself getting close to her in order to find out what she knows. He continues getting close to her because he can't help himself.
This book's pacing was much quicker than the first and I found the pages flying by. However, towards the end Tess runs away from Dante (yet again--at this point he should have just said good riddance) and he goes after her. He is injured in the process. Tess has the ability to heal others and yet she allows Dante, in great pain from his injuries to endure a long car ride back to the compound, a torturous walk down to the infirmary and the Breed warriors trying to help him before she mentions that, oh yeah, by the way, I can probably help with that and then quickly does so. She allowed him to be IN PAIN after he SAVED HER LIFE. What a b&@%$!! Oh, and she knows there is another injured warrior who is also suffering but does she ever offer to help him? NO! Stupid idiot. Up to this point, I really liked Tess and then I really, really didn't anymore. Dante needs to kick her out and wait for someone less selfish.
The next book features Elise (who I don't like so far--she was written as way too needy and weak) and Tegan (who I really want to know more about). If the third book all of a sudden dives off a cliff at the end like the first two I will have to say sayonara to the series, but I am really hoping that it will be a case of third book's the charm.
Edited to add: In book three it is mentioned several times that Tess has been working with Rio to aid his healing. I was much relieved and she rose in my estimation quite a bit!