When tarot card reader Gillian Howe hosts a supernatural speed dating event, she ponders the stakes of falling in love. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. After a chance encounter with a wealthy vampire, she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. But when Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene, the vampire detective is the last person she wants…even if he is scorching hot.
Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. Now the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed. Dark forces from his past threaten to resurface…even her love might not be enough to save him from the Brotherhood.
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Anytime you want to get lost in a story of romance, intrigue, magic and vampires, you should give this one a try. This month’s romance book reading challenge theme is Fake Relationships and I picked the Fake Boyfriend prompt. Originally, I had another book in mind for the challenge but Midnight Temptation proved to be a worthy substitute.
My absolute favourite part of this story is the world building. I love the setting created by the author. The world is based in NYC but it’s one where vampires, witches and demons co-exist with the regular human folk. The concept of the MBI (Magical Bureau of Investigations) is cute and exciting. We even get some vampire vs demon history thrown in to explain conflict between two MBI agents… although… I suspect that might just be foreplay for a later book…
Speaking of foreplay, the romance is definitely more on the spicy side but it’s not at all excessive and works within the world and characters created.
Admittedly, there is a bit more tell than show in this story. This is particularly noticeable in the way Garret evolves and accepts his feelings for Gillian. I would have liked more depth in how he decides to undergo the process of regaining his humanity. Gillian is more well-developed as a character and I really enjoyed her backstory. It’s not as dramatic as Garret’s but it’s certainly more relatable and creates a sense of how she fits in with her coven, friends and family.
I also enjoyed the suspense element. When Gillain’s cousin in kidnapped, we know by whom and why. What we then focus on is the ‘how’ of her release. I like the build up around the DuSang Brotherhood and how it is connected to Garret. (This might have been a great place to get more into the emotions of this character’s past and ultimate evolution). How Gillian ends up involved is daring and funny too. As a complete aside, I loved the descriptions of the costumes worn for the ‘big party’.
Overall, Midnight Temptation is a light, fun, sexy read featuring vampires, witches and romance. I give it 3.5/5 tempting espresso shots.
About the Author:
Shari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common place, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends.
Shari’s a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers. Shari’s new series, Ravens’ Hollow Coven, is an urban fantasy with City Owl Press.
Awards: Beverley Award, Golden Leaf Finalist, Best Book Finalist by a New Jersey Author, HOLT Medallion Finalist, Literary Titan Silver Medal Winner.