Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian
In a world of shadows and dark, consuming hungers, desire is the deadliest weapon...
For journalist Dylan Alexander, it began with the discovery of a hidden tomb, thrusting her into the center of a gathering storm of violence and secrets. But nothing is as dangerous as the scarred, lethally seductive man who rises from the shadows to draw her into his world of dark desire and endless night.
Fueled by pain and rage over a shattering betrayal, the warrior Rio has pledged his life to the war against the Rogues. He will let nothing stand in his way--least of all a mortal woman with the power to expose the entire vampire race. For an ancient evil has been awakened, and a stunning darkness is on the rise. Suddenly Dylan is powerless to resist Rio's touch, even as she uncovers a shocking link to her own past. And now she must choose: Leave Rio's midnight realm, or risk it all for the man who has shown her true passion and the infinite pleasures of the heart.
Dylan is in Prague when she notices the dead woman speaking to her. Dylan is a Breedmate and her psychical gift is the ability to hear spirits who have passed...this particular spirit beseeches Dylan to find him, to save him. Dylan follows her to a cave, the insides of which are like something out of a movie--an open crypt, some type of pictographs all over the walls, and the bones of humans scattered about the floor. And a man.
Rio is tired; angry; ready to be done. He stayed behind to seal the cave he and the Order found that contained the empty crypt of the last Ancient. He didn't tell his brethren that he plans to seal it with himself inside. He can't stand the blackouts, the pain, or the heartbreak over his Breedmate's betrayal anymore. But before he can complete his final act, a woman interrupts him taking photos of the cave. He has to find her before she has a chance to share them with anyone...no one can know about the cavern or the fact that the Order are aware of its existence.
Unfortunately for Rio, Dylan is a reporter and has e-mailed the photos to her boss as well as some family and friends before he is able to find her. Now he has to do clean up in the form of scrubbing memories and tracking down the photos to destroy. He isn't reassured that his task isn't starting out completely pear-shaped by his discovery that Dylan is a potential Breedmate. As he tries to explain his world to her while also completing his mission, he finds himself intrigued by Dylan, something he wants to avoid...he is adamant about never placing his life or trust in a female's hands again. Dylan has similar trust issues as the only person in her life she has been able to count on is her mom, and she is slowly dying of cancer. Signing up for more heartbreak is the last thing on her agenda. However, as Rio and Dylan travel from Europe back to the states and work together and separately to keep the Breed Warriors' secrets, they both find themselves seeking the other out and slowly lowering their emotional walls.
When I saw that Dylan was a reporter I wasn't thrilled--it is no secret they are not my favorite characters...and in the beginning when the story was all that was important I worried that it would be used as a point of tension far too long into the book. I was pleasantly surprised by how levelheaded Dylan was once she really believed what it was that Rio was telling her. She knew that she had a story that could give her fame and fortune, but she also knew she could never betray them that way. Even more importantly, she never wavered from that belief once the decision was made. I respected the heck out of that. I also loved watching Rio heal emotionally, even while still dealing with blackouts, sudden rages, and flashbacks to the bomb that damaged so much of his body. He didn't meet Dylan and become magically healed, he still has a ways to go but you can tell that he will continue to gain in strength and confidence even if he is never 100% again.
The story of the Ancient and what is happening in that regard was also very interesting and promises to take this series ever deeper into darkness before the Warrior's can vanquish this new source of conflict and evil. I am excited to see what twists and turns still await along this story line.