Midnight Conquest

Arial Burnz
Midnight Conquest
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Mystical Press
Release Date
June 2012
Book 1 of Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles
Paranormal Romance, Vamps & Shifters Romance

Scotland - 1514

Masked in a Gypsy guise, Broderick MacDougal hides his vampiric identity while seeking to destroy the man who slaughtered his family. When an old Clan rival ensnares Broderick in a trap using an enticing widow, he is compelled to discover if she is bait or an accomplice, and the cinnamon-haired beauty is his next conquest.

Widow of an abusive husband, Davina Stewart-Russell clings to the only image that gave her strength during those dark times—the Gypsy rogue who stole her heart as a youth. After nine years, she is finally face-to-face with him again, but reality clashes with fantasy as she is confronted with Broderick's passionate pursuit.

When Davina's past returns to haunt her, Broderick is forced to reveal a dark secret worse than anything Davina thought possible. The challenge before them has fatal risks and neither of them is prepared for the sacrifices expected for the sake of eternal love.

Reader Advisory: This story contains explicit love scenes, described using graphic and direct language. This story also contains explicit, nail-biting scenes of violence and domestic abuse. (Don't worry…the bad guys get it in the end!)

Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Dec 18, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
77 people found the following review helpful
MIDNIGHT CONQUEST by Arial Burnz combines a new theory of vampirism with a medieval Scottish setting, kicking off a new series of paranormal romance. The characters are missing some depth, though, and the pace is on the slow side, which present some challenges for the reader. I give it 3 stars.

In the novel, Broderick MacDougal is transformed into a Vamsyrian (aka vampire) after a horrific string of events in which he loses his entire family, including his wife. After thirty years wandering, searching for his nemesis, and using his immortal gifts to read palms with a band of gypsies, he falls in love with Davina, a Scottish lady who has also suffered injustice and betrayal at the hands of others, but he must overcome her severe distrust of men in order to save both of their lives.

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST proffers a new theory (new to me at least) of vampirism – that vampires were the creation of Satan to get revenge on God. When people are transformed, they are given the option to choose the Army of Light, which is exactly what it sounds like, instead of being bound to the night. Various aspects of vampire lore are also highlighted--sleeping during the day, silver, etc. The reader is not given much information about the two groups, the Vamsyrians and the Army of Light, and I would have liked to see more of the history there.

The characters are fairly sympathetic, and readers can easily understand the baggage associated with each. The novel was a bit light on character development, though, in that I often wondered about the characters' motivations--why they did what they did considering the circumstances. It seemed like the characters didn't really learn anything and spent a long time proceeding along the same route until a switch is flipped and suddenly they are on a different track.

This was also an issue for me in the romantic development. The reader isn't given much information to understand why Broderick and Davina "love" each other beyond the mystical or cosmic pull. I would have liked to see more real/regular time spent together and less of Broderick's lusty dreams and attempts to persuade Davina with physical lures. The romance is appropriate for adults only.

The plot unfolds a bit too slowly for me, rather like shooting a rubber band--everything is slow for a while until the climax and then it's all over too quickly. I also knew what was going to happen before any kind of foreshadowing was provided, which was disappointing.

Overall, the novel provided enough interesting substance to make me wonder where the series is going. I'll definitely be reading book 2 in hopes of getting answers to my questions.
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