Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed Series #10)

Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed Series #10)

by Lara Adrian

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The climactic novel in the bestselling Midnight Breed series, of which BookPage raves: “If you like romance combined with heart-stopping paranormal suspense, you’re going to love this book.”
In the dark of night, a blood war escalates within the hidden world of the Breed. After maintaining a fragile peace with the humans who walk beside them unaware, a single act of retaliation has put the vampire nation at risk of discovery. It falls to the Order—a cadre of Breed warriors pledged to protect their own and humankind alike—to stop Dragos, the power-mad vampire, before his push for domination explodes into catastrophe.
At the center of the Order’s quest is Sterling Chase, whose biggest battle is the one he wages against his own savage nature. But when his eyes meet those of Tavia Fairchild, Chase finds himself drawn to the woman—and convinced she is something much more than she seems. And while everything logical warns Tavia against getting close to Chase, she cannot deny that he stirs something ravenous within her. As the Order’s enemy mobilizes for the battle of the ages, Chase and Tavia are thrust into the heart of the violence. With time running out, they must find a way to defeat Dragos once and for all—or die trying.
“Stunning . . . filled with passion, treachery, and danger . . . Adrian pulls out all the stops.”—RT Book Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440246121
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/27/2012
Series: Midnight Breed Series , #10
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 348,096
Product dimensions: 4.34(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Lara Adrian is the New York Times bestselling author of the Midnight Breed series, including the novels Kiss of Midnight, Kiss of Crimson, Midnight Awakening, Midnight Rising, Veil of Midnight, Ashes of Midnight, Shades of Midnight, Taken by Midnight, Deeper than Midnight, Darker After Midnight, Edge of DawnCrave the Night, and the eBook novella A Taste of Midnight.

Read an Excerpt

chapter one
“The charges are set, Lucan. Detonators are ready whenever you say the word. On your go, it all ends right here.”  
Lucan Thorne stood silent in the dusk-­filled, snow-­covered yard of the Boston estate that had long served as a base of operations for himself and his small cadre of brothers in arms. For more than a hundred years, on countless patrols, they rode out from this very spot to guard the night, maintaining a fragile peace between the unwitting humans who owned the daytime hours and the predators who moved among them secretly, sometimes lethally, in the dark.
Lucan and his warriors of the Order dealt in swift, deadly justice and had never known the taste of defeat.
Tonight it was bitter on his tongue.
“Dragos will pay for this,” he growled around the emerging points of his fangs.
Lucan’s vision burned amber as he stared across the expansive lawn at the pale limestone facade of the Gothic mansion. A chaos of tire tracks scarred the grounds from the police chase that had crashed the compound’s tall iron gates that morning and come to a bullet-­riddled halt right at the Order’s front door. Blood stained the snow where law enforcement gunfire had mowed down three terrorists who’d bombed Boston’s United Nations building then fled the scene with a dozen cops and every news station in the area in close pursuit.
All of it—­from the attack on a human government facility, to the media-­covered police chase of the suspects onto the compound’s secured grounds—­had been orchestrated by the Order’s chief adversary, a power-­mad vampire called Dragos.
He wasn’t the first of the Breed to dream of a world where human­kind lived to serve and served in fear. But where others before him with less commitment had failed, Dragos had demonstrated astonishing patience and initiative. He’d been carefully sowing the seeds of his rebellion for most of his long life, secretly cultivating followers within the Breed and making Minions of any humans he felt could help carry out his twisted goals.
For the past year and a half, since their discovery of Dragos’s plans, Lucan and his brethren had kept him on the run. They had succeeded in driving him back, thwarting his every move and disrupting his operation.
Until today.
Today it was the Order pushed back and on the run, and Lucan didn’t like it one damn bit.
“What’s the ETA at the temporary headquarters?”
The question was aimed toward Gideon, one of the two warriors who’d remained behind with Lucan to wrap things up in Boston while the rest of the compound went ahead to an emergency safe house in northern Maine.
Gideon glanced away from the small handheld computer in his palm and met Lucan’s gaze over the rims of silvery blue shades. “Savannah and the other women have been on the road for nearly five hours, so they should be at the location in about thirty minutes. Niko and the other warriors are just a couple hours behind them.”
Lucan gave a nod, grim but relieved that the abrupt relocation had come together as well as it had. There were a few loose ends and details yet to be managed, but so far everyone was safe and the damage Dragos had intended to inflict on the Order had been minimized.
Movement stirred on the other side of Lucan as Tegan, the other warrior who’d stayed behind, returned from the latest perimeter check. “Any problems?”
“None.” Tegan’s face showed no emotion, only grim purpose. “The two cops in the unmarked stakeout vehicle near the gates are still tranced and sleeping. After the hard memory scrub I gave them earlier today, there’s a good chance they won’t wake up until next week. And when they do, it’ll be with one hellacious hangover.”
Gideon grunted. “Better a mind scrub on a couple of Boston’s finest than a very public bloodbath involving half the city’s precincts and the feds combined.”
“Damn straight,” Lucan said, recalling the swarm of cops and reporters who had filled the estate grounds that morning. “If the situation had escalated and any of those cops or federal agents had decided to come banging on the mansion door . . . Christ, I’m sure I don’t need to tell either of you how fast or how far things would have gone south.”
Tegan’s eyes were grave in the rising darkness. “Guess we’ve got Chase to thank for that.”
“Yeah,” Lucan replied. He’d lived a long time—­nine hundred years and then some—­but for however long he’d walk this Earth, he knew he would never forget the sight of Sterling Chase strolling out of the mansion and squarely into the aim of a lawn full of heavily armed cops and federal agents. He could have died several ways in that moment. If the adrenaline-­fueled panic of any one of the armed men assembled in the yard hadn’t killed him on the spot, spending longer than half an hour under the full blast of morning sunlight would have.
But Chase apparently hadn’t cared about any of that as he’d allowed himself to be cuffed and led away by the human authorities. His surrender—­his personal sacrifice—­had bought the Order precious time.
He had diverted attention from the mansion and what it concealed, giving Lucan and the others the chance to secure the subterranean compound and mobilize the evacuation of its residents once the sun set.
After a string of bad calls and personal fuck-­ups, most recently a failed strike against Dragos that had inadvertently landed Chase’s face on the national news, he was the last of the warriors Lucan would have turned to for answers. What he had done today was nothing short of astonishing, if not suicidal.
Then again, Sterling Chase had been on a self-­destructive path for some time now. Maybe this was his way of nailing that coffin shut once and for all.
Gideon raked a hand over the top of his spiky blond hair and exhaled a curse. “Fucking lunatic. I can’t believe he actually did it.”
“It should have been me.” Lucan glanced between Tegan and Gideon, the warrior who’d been with him when he’d first founded the Order in Europe and the one who’d helped him establish the warriors’ home base in Boston centuries later. “I’m the Order’s leader. If there was a sacrifice to be made to spare everyone else, I should have been the one to step up.”
Tegan eyed him grimly. “How long do you think Chase would have been able to keep his Bloodlust at bay? Whether he’s in human custody or loose on the streets, his thirst owns him. He’s lost and he knows that. He knew it when he walked out that door this morning. He had nothing left to lose.”
Lucan grunted. “And now he’s sitting in police custody somewhere, surrounded by humans. He might have spared us from discovery today, but what if his thirst gets the better of him and he ends up exposing the existence of all the Breed? One moment of heroism could undo centuries of secrecy.”
Tegan’s expression was coldly sober. “I guess we’ll have to trust him.”
“Trust,” Lucan said. “That’s a currency he’s come up short on more than once lately.”
Unfortunately, right now, they didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. Dragos had demonstrated quite effectively just how far he was willing to take his enmity toward the Order. He had no regard for life, human or his own kind, and as of today, he’d shown that he would take their power struggle out of the shadows and into the open. It was dangerous ground, with impossibly high stakes.
And it was personal now. Dragos had crossed a line here, and there would be no going back.
Lucan glanced at Gideon. “It’s time. Hit the detonators. Let’s get this done.”
The warrior gave a slight nod and turned his attention back to his handheld computer. “Ah, fuck me,” he muttered, the traces of his British accent punctuating the curse. “Here we go then.”
The three Breed males stood side by side in the crisp, cold darkness.
Above them the sky was clear and cloudless, endless black, pierced with stars. Everything was still, as if Earth and the heavens had frozen in time, suspended in that instant between the silence of a perfect winter night and the first low rumble of the destruction unfolding roughly three hundred feet beneath the warriors’ boots. It seemed to carry on forever, not some great bombastic spectacle of furious noise and spewing fire and ash but a quiet yet thorough annihilation.
“The living quarters have been sealed,” Gideon reported somberly as the thunder began to ebb. He touched the screen of his handheld device and another series of deep growls rolled from far below the snow-­covered ground. “The weapons room, the infirmary . . . both gone now.”
Lucan didn’t allow himself to dwell on the memories or the history that was housed in the labyrinth of rooms and corridors being systematically exploded with a touch of Gideon’s finger on that tiny computer screen.
It had taken more than a hundred years to build the compound into what it had become. He couldn’t deny that it put a cold ache in his chest to feel it being pulled down so neatly.
“The chapel has been sealed,” Gideon said, after pressing the digital detonator another time. “All that remains is the tech lab.”
Lucan heard the slight catch in the warrior’s low voice. The tech lab was Gideon’s pride, the nerve center of the Order’s operation. It was where they’d assembled and strategized before every night’s mission. It took no effort at all for Lucan to see his brethren’s faces, a fine group of honorable, courageous Breed males, gathered around the lab’s conference table, each one ready to give his life for the other. Some of them had. And some likely would in the time still to come.
As the soft percussion of explosives continued to rumble belowground, Lucan felt a weight settle on his shoulder. He glanced beside him, to where Tegan stood, the warrior’s big hand remaining a steady presence, his cool green eyes holding Lucan’s gaze in an unexpected show of solidarity, as the last of the thunder faded into silence.
“That’s it,” Gideon announced. “That was the last one. It’s over now.”
For a long while, none of them spoke. There were no words. Nothing to be said in the dark shadow of the now-­vacant mansion and its ruined compound below.
Finally, Lucan stepped forward. His fangs bit into the edges of his tongue as he took one last look at the place that had been his headquarters—­his family’s home—­for so many years. Amber light filled his vision as his eyes transformed in his simmering fury.
He pivoted to face his two brethren, and when he at last found the words to speak, his voice was harsh and raw with determination. “We may be done here, but this night doesn’t mark the end of anything. It’s only the beginning. Dragos wants a war with the Order? Then, by God, he’s damn well got it.”

Customer Reviews

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Darker after Midnight 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 275 reviews.
LITERALADDICTION More than 1 year ago
Our Review [by Michelle L. Olson – LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha]: I’ve been following the Midnight Breed series from book one. After each installment I wait impatiently for each new release, sit down to read them, enjoy every word, and yet, book after book, wanted nothing more than for Chase to find his HEA. Darker after Midnight is Sterling Chase’s book, and while I felt like I had been waiting for it forever and was afraid that I had put too high of expectations on it, I should never have worried… this book was fantastic – everything I was hoping for and SO much more. After the climactic end of Hunter’s book, I couldn’t help but wonder how in the world Chase’s book would turn out. How would he get himself out of that mess, how would he redeem himself to his brothers after everything he put himself and them through in the last few books, how in the world would Lara be able to resolve all of that in one book, etc. All of those questions were answered, along with a multitude of other little holes from the series I didn’t even realize were there. Lara packed so much into this book it was a non-stop thrill ride of epic proportions and I never wanted to get off. Darker after Midnight brings to light so many things about the Ancients, about Dragos, about different members of the Breed and their mates that while it’s Chase’s story and he’s our hero, this book is the fireworks display of the Midnight Breed series and in my honest opinion, the very best book of the bunch. Lara wrapped up the main series beautifully at the end of Darker after Midnight and supplied an amazing segue to the new books in the series – which sound a bit like spin offs with the younger generation as our heroines and heroes. Mira’s book is due up next and I cannot wait for its release. LITERAL ADDICTION gives Darker after Midnight 5 skulls and feels like that isn’t even adequate for the gift of this book. We recommend it to everyone – Paranormal Romance lovers, Urban Fantasy readers, anyone who loves fast paced, action packed, intense reads with gripping characters and spectacular storylines woven into a phenomenally crafted world. If you haven’t started the Midnight Breed series yet, we highly suggest that you bump it up to the top of your TBR list and get started today.
Yvette4 More than 1 year ago
My hat is off to Lara Adrian. In the 10th book in this excellent series, Ms. Adrian has outdone herself! She has opened up a wide realm of possibilities in future books. I know this is vague, but I do not want to spoil anything for folks who haven't read this book yet. All of our Breed favorites are back, and more possibilities are on the verge of exploding with Jenna's story and the breed mates. If you like this genre and haven't started this series yet, put it at the top of your TBR pile. I have a lot of favorites in this series (Midnight Awakening, Kiss of Crimson, Deeper than Midnight) but this one may be the best yet! Ms. Adrian is one of my all time favorite authors. I can hardly wait for the next in this exciting series!
vickytren More than 1 year ago
great story. kept me very entertained. can't wait to read the next.
avandal More than 1 year ago
first off let me say that I love this series and this one was no exception... but I do feel like the series could end with this book and if need be start us on a new series with the next generation without calling it the midnight breed series.. but thats just my opion again I highly recommend this book or any in the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one is even more creative. Her plots are never the same thing with different people. Only 1/3 through it and am in a reading trance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome series....the midnight breed series will take your breathe away. Once u pick it up its hard to put down. Great story telling...and amazing characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew the book would be good but thus was excellent. I love the new twist with the breed (dont want to spoil it for anyone). I also liked the character development with Sterling Chase, in some past books i sort of got annoyed with him, but you really figure out why he acted like he did. Overall great book, finished in one day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the entire breed series. This book left me asking more questions like who were the Atlanteans and were they still around like the breed? Why did the ancients hunt them down and why were they after the Atlantean queen? Really more questions than answers here. What about Jenna? Overall it's a very good read like the rest of the series. I think there needs to be another book tying up the too many loose ends!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!! It was great to see Chase come out of the Blood Thirst. I am not sure how I feel about the Breed being OUTED I liked that they operated under the radar. It is to bad they couldn't do a telepathic mind scrub over the world through some satellite link with Gideon's genius..... Oh well. This was a great read. It you like the Midnight Breed series you will love this one as well. Can't wait to read a story based on Nathan, Kellan and or Mira!!! Thank you Lara Adrian this one was definitely worth waiting for.
RedreadPA More than 1 year ago
I am a hard core fan of THE BREED series and, maybe I expected too much. This book rang pretty much true to all the other breed books, but I think the author tried too hard to develop another storyline when Chase and Tavia's story was complicated enough.
PoudMomOf2DownSyndAngels More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed Series, after reading each new release, I say "this is the best yet"! However, this time, I really mean it!! Superb action, suspense & yes, some hot love scenes too! This book not only focused on Tavia & Chase but also went a bit more into detail of the many other characters/couples/mates as well as gave us Dragos & his ultimate plan (finally!). Also, it hinted to the history or should I say mystery of the Breed Mates! I can hardly wait for book #11 now!! This recent edition has, in my opinion, put Ms. Adrian above & beyond many other Best Selling PNR authors! If you have yet to read this series, what are you waiting for? The novels are all stand alone, however, I do suggest NOT reading the last 4 or 5 until you read the earlier ones. I actually read the first 3 books out of order & had no problem keeping up. Kudos to this series & please keep them coming Lara!! I so wish this would end up a TV series here in the USA!! And, I urge every fan of the books to follow Lara on her FB page & via her newsletter. SHE IS THE ONLY AUTHOR I KNOW OF WHO SENDS FREEBIES (tons of them) to readers as long as you mail her a postage stamp....and since I pre-ordered this book from her virtual signing it also arrived with freebies (can cozie & logo pen)...and just to let you know how much I am into this series, I could not wait for the book to be signed & mailed, so I also purchased the ebook for my nook!! ENJOY!!
Sweat1999 More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed reading this book. keep the Breeds coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read, an absolutely fantastic book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the books in this series are great and this is the best one yet!!!! I can't wait for the next!!!
bevstar More than 1 year ago
I have read every single one of the midnight breed series and I have loved every single one. Mrs. Adrian has mentioned that she isn't done yet and I can only hope that that is true because I cant get enough of her writing. If you like romance, hot vampires, good fighting evil and winning, and a lot of suspence thrown in together, these are the kind of books for you. Read them all from the beginning they are worth it!!
thehistorychic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
** spoiler alert ** Read for FunChallenge: Read for FunOverall Rating: 4.50Story Rating: 4.25Character Rating: 4.75First thought when Finished: The game has changed in so many ways!What I Loved: Chase and Tavia might be my favorite couple in the Midnight Breed series or at least tied with Brock and Jenna! Their story was emotionally gripping and while there was A LOT happening in this story--their romance was at the very core. I also loved the fast and furious amount of information that was coming to us from all directions. Perhaps the reason this one really pulled at me was that we got more on Jenna too. I was just very much pleased with this entry into the series.What I Liked: We got to see all of the Order, their mates, and even the children. I think the children will start to take focus because really all this change will directly impact their growing up. It is a whole new world!What made me go huh? The biggest thing with Chase was his bloodlust. He has been fighting it since he has been introduced to the series. For it to be dealt with in that year that was not in the book was kind of disappointing. I just felt the whole end: dealing with being uncovered, the bloodlust, the poison, and the pregnancies were all just a little rushed for my taste :(Final Thoughts: This was a game changer and I can't wait to see where it heads from here!Favorite Moments:¿We may be done here, but this night doesn¿t mark the end of anything. It¿s only the beginning. Dragos wants a war with the Order? Then, by God, he¿s damn well got it.¿¿My life is inside that clinic. This could be the only chance I have to learn who, and what, I really am. If there are others like me, they deserve the truth too.¿¿You gave me truth, Chase. You have from the very beginning. You¿ve opened my eyes. I may not like everything I see, but it¿s real and it¿s honest and I feel like I¿m finally alive. You¿ve given me all of that.¿
OMBWarrior47 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book! Favorite in the series!Adrian did an awesome job with this one! The story was action packed and fast paced. I love how she brings the others relationships into this novel, especially Lucan and Gabrielle. The new character, Tavia Fairchild, adds a definite twist to the story. She's not the typical soft heroine that Adrian has used in her previous books. It's worth the read! One of those books where you can't put it down.Definitely my new favorite.Sorry I'm really tired this review is bad. My full review is up on my tumblr: CarlisleCullenLover
dearheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chase is in jail having sacrificed his freedom in the last book when he¿d tried to kill Dragos at a party and everyone assumes he¿d been trying to kill a senator. Letting himself be taken into custody and admitting to crimes he didn¿t commit keeps attention off of the Order and allows them to relocate after Dragos had learned where their headquarters are. He doesn¿t intend to stay long, but breaks out sooner when he realizes the senator is one of Dragos¿ minions and the senator¿s assistant is in danger. Tavia is in police protection after the senator is killed and she's afraid of the escaped psychopath that warned her of danger when she viewed him in a police line-up. So she's not so trusting when the guy claims to be trying to protect her after killing a police guard and knocking out two agents when he kidnaps her from a hotel. She'd always had health issues and requires medication every 8 hours and has never gone so long without it. It turns out she's not who or what she thought and that her entire life has been a lie.One of the things I really like about this series is that even though each book is a romance, the back story is incredibly important and moves forward with each book. This is the one we've been waiting for. Things come to a head in the Order's fight against Dragos and the story is loaded with action. I loved that aspect of the book as well as knowing the series will continue with new challenges already set up in this story. We also see Lucan's struggle with unfolding events that he fears will change the world forever. While I love what took place in the story and am excited to see the direction the series will be taking after this, I had a difficult time with the romance aspect. It felt kind of flat to me as I couldn¿t connect with Tavia; it¿s important for me to get into the head of the female in a romance. She just didn¿t feel real. Chase saved the day, though, with his struggle against falling into bloodlust and his relationship in the Order. I was able to feel through him. Do not attempt to read this without reading prior books in the series. You could, but there is so much history from prior books that you won¿t feel the full impact of what¿s taking place now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this series!
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The very best to date. This is Cahse's book. It is hope, it is and end, anr, a beginning.
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