Review for Midnight Captive by Arial Burnz

midnight captive

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Arial Burnz
Title: Midnight Captive

Genre:  Paranormal

Background:

Amazon Description:
Leith, Scotland – 1531

Cailin MacDougal has lived a dangerous life being the adopted daughter of vampire Broderick “Rick” MacDougal, so she had no choice but to learn to fight in order to protect herself. However, such behavior is hardly desirable in a dutiful wife who’s supposed to embroider and run a household. This aggressive side of her behavior should be easy enough to hide from her betrothed…shouldn’t it?


After being away at fencing school for seven years, James Knightly has returned as a master swordsman, ready to captain his own ship and finally wed his childhood sweetheart, Cailin MacDougal. What he finds waiting for him is a dagger-toting hellion for a bride, an immortal father-in-law, and an enemy bent on extracting revenge by threatening the family James holds most dear-the MacDougals.


BRODERICK MAC DOUGAL is lured away from his family with the promise of-at last-learning a way to protect those he loves from his clan enemy, Angus Campbell. Broderick knows he’s headed for a trap, but the bait is too tempting to resist…and he unravels the beginning of a prophecy that will lead to redemption for all vampires. The cost of such redemption, though, may be the very soul of the woman he would die for…his wife, Davina.

Reader Advisory: This story contains some explicit love scenes, described using graphic and direct language. This story also contains explicit, nail-biting scenes of violence and sword fights.

  

 Opinions:

Midnight Captive is the second book to the Bonded by Blood Vampire Chronicles. If you did not read the first book, Midnight Conquest, then you are about to read some spoilers. You have been warned!

The story takes place about seventeen years after the first book. Cailin is now woman and ready to become engaged to her childhood sweetheart, James Knightly. MacDougal and Knightly own a business together. When James father disappears, Broderick takes over his fatherly role to James. James is sent off to Germany to learn fencing before taking up the family business. Cailin, in the meantime, learns how to fight rather than learn domestic duties. She learns how to fight because Angus Campbell is still at large and trying to hurt Broderick through the people he loves. Will he succeed this time?

The story is written in third person mostly following Cailin, James, and Broderick. Broderick is determined to protect his family. Despite his better judgment, he goes off to find a way to help protect his family, leaving his future son-in-law in his place. Broderick learns a key figure in a prophecy is him, but his actions could undo the prophecy and those he loves. Cailin grew up with the knowledge of her adopted father as a vampire and the dangers of Angus around every corner. In fact, Angus was almost successful at abducting and killing her family as a girl. She, therefore, goes against her gender role and learns to fight. And not just fight, but how to fight a vampire. James does not know what Broderick is at the beginning of the story. Despite what the MacDoughals are, he is in love with Cailin and is willing to do anything to protect – which is tested in this book. In this story, we learn more about the prophecy that was mentioned at the end of the first book. Other characters from the prior book make their appearance or are mentioned. There are, however, a few new characters – good and bad.

I liked the story to this book better than the first. It seemed like there were more action/danger going on. Although shorter, the second book moves along well and leaves off for the next book in the series while finishing the current story. I was a little turned off by James when we first see him, but eventually that wore off. The prophecy and other teachings that Malloren spoke of kept my interest. I would hope to see more of that in the following books.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. If you like historical fiction/vampire novels, then you might want to try this book – after reading the first, Midnight Conquest.

 

Review for Midnight Conquest by Arial Burnz

midnight conquest

My Rating: 3.5/5

Author:  Arial Burnz
Title: Midnight Conquest: Book 1

Genre:  Paranormal

Background:

Goodread’s Description:
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!)  

Opinions:

Midnight Conquest begins with how Broderick becomes a vampire. The reader is given a brief glimpse on why he consented to this path and who were involved. We also meet Davina as a young girl. When the gypsies come to town, she has her fortune read by Broderick. Although her future was not predicted to be a happy one, she becomes infatuated with the gypsy, and this gets her through the dark times ahead. Moving forward, Davina is older and in an abusive marriage. For those who are concerned about reading domestic violence (as I know some reader are), there really isn’t much “live” action written. Rather, it is reflected upon – such as bruising. There is more of a psychological abuse in the beginning. (I will say, however, that there is violence in the book – especially at the end.) Eventually, her husband (and her father and brother) go to fight and die in battle. Within a year, they gypsies come through again, and this time Broderick is with them. Will Davina’s young girlish fantasy break? Will she find out about his dark blood drinking secret? Will Broderick bring an old family feud to Davina’s doorstep?

The story is written in third person mainly following Davina and Broderick. Davina, as mentioned above, has had an abusive marriage. Her trust in love is fragile, even after her husband’s passing. She misses her brother and father, as well. No one seems to want to talk about them due to grief. Broderick had also lost his family but to a clan dispute. He now prepares and hunts the one man responsible for his family’s death. On the other side of things, Broderick is straightforward with his intentions and seductions to Davina. Although he has the ability to read minds (especially while feeding), Davina’s mind is harder to read – but not impossible. This was not explained why in the book. Perhaps it has to do with her trouble past and blocking things mentally? Broderick is an alpha male. There was an obvious attraction between the two, but I would have liked to see a little more development in the relationship beside sexual appeal. Besides looks/arousal and common deaths in the family, what else did they see in each other that would cement their relationship? This part was skimmed over, in my opinion. The husband was one-dimensional in the story, but the other “bad” guy turned out to be more dimensional. [I am vague due to spoilers.] I did like Amice, the old gypsy woman who also works as a fortune teller.

The story was interesting. I admit I was hesitant with the domestic violence, but I was fine as I read it. There were some twists along the way – two of which I did not see coming. The one secret revealed in the story seemed out of place, which made me wonder why it was put there. However, by the end of the book, I noticed the connection. The ending leaves off for another book to follow but does not stop in the middle of climax. Character histories are included throughout the book, but I would have liked to learn a little more about how the council (vampire, that is) works.

Overall, I liked the book. If you like vampires and paranormal historical fiction, then you might want to give this book a try.