Review: FADE TO MIDNIGHT by Shannon McKenna

Gone But Not Forgotten

Davy…Connor…Sean… Three brothers who have conquered their demons, but they’ve never forgotten their long lost brother, Kev, whom they believed to be dead. When the McCloud brothers discover Kev is alive, they won’t rest until they find him…

Beaten and tortured almost to death, Kev Larsen was found eighteen years earlier in a warehouse alley. He survived his brutal ordeal, but his memories before that night were completely erased. When he nearly dies from trying to save someone from drowning, the brain surgery he has to save his life triggers fragmented, terrifying memories. With only these memories and the name of his torturer to guide him, Kev is determined to unlock the secrets to his past.

Edie Parrish has always been good at not letting anyone get too close to her. If someone were to learn of her unusual gift, her life would be immediately jeopardized. But when Kev Larsen discovers who she really is, Edie has only one choice: to trust him. And soon, Edie can’t resist her consuming desire for him—even though she knows she’ll have to pay a price for it.

Now Kev and Edie must race against time and place their faith in each other to stop a deadly legacy…


Title: FADE TO MIDNIGHT
Author: Shannon McKenna
Series: McCloud Brothers, book 7
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Year of release: 2010, June 1
Format: 1st Edition Hardcover
Source: Received a copy of the book from the publisher for review

First line:
I am f#cked. (chose to go with first line of chapter 1 instead of flashback-ish prologue)

Memorable Scene:
– The scene in the motel when Edie and Kev are on the run from the bad guys > impressive in every way and the epitome of what I love about McKenna’s writing

I need to state upfront that it took me three starts and Kev and Edie to finally get on one page together and meet for me to finally be hooked by this 7th installment of the McCloud Brothers series but when I got there I was totally and utterly hooked. And I was glad I didn’t give up on it in those first 50-100 pages.

Kev(in)McCloud aka Kev Larsen is a daredevil. He’s fearless, arrogant and masterful. Through his characterization and the writing I could feel his despair to remember who he was and all the stuff from his past. There were moments where I thought Kev was a bit too obsessed and going too fast with Edie but these moments were scarce and were also immediately negated by the fact that Kevin would acknowledge (through internal thoughts) the craziness of his feelings and the speed they came about. However that didn’t take away that sometimes I wanted him to be a bit less crazy with his obsession.

Edie Parrish is a graphic novel artist. She’s quiet, shy, artistic, creative and a little tongue-tied. She has a special psychic gift, brought on by the cognitive enhancement experiments done on her in her youth. Edie was awesome. I found her a much stronger heroine that most other heroines in this series and a perfect match for Kev. She developed as a character throughout the first part of the story as she became more mouthy, which IMO was triggered by Kev. I adored the bits where she’d go off on him and yell at him, argue with him and challenge him.

Both Kev and Edie have their flaws but those are also what make them strong and memorable characters that totally fit the rest of this book.

The secondary characters were a mix of old familiar ones (of course Kev’s family members and their spouses) and new intriguing ones like Kev’s adoptive family, especially Bruno but I’ll get back to him later, and Alex Aaro whom I hope will get his own story too.
So about Bruno…He immediately caught my eye as Kev’s foster brother and at one point in the book I was really afraid that McKenna was going to kill him off in the book. Luckily she didn’t because I learned that he’s the hero in the next McKenna book (BLOOD AND FIRE) that’s coming soon. YAY!

Oh almost forgot about another secondary character that really needs a mention: Tam!! It’s known that she is my favorite female in this series. I unapologetically confess my love for her in all the reviews of the McCLoud Brothers books and in FADE TO MIDNIGHT she rocked it even harder. I loved her in this book. LOVED! I also wish I could quote pages 432 and 433 in their entirety to show exactly what I love about her and Shannon McKenna’s writing and characterization. But I cannot do that because it would be too extensive and also it would be too spoiler-y. So all I can say is, if you have the book and plan to read it, pay attention to pages 432 and 433.

Shannon McKenna’s villains are evil and twisted geniuses and the ones in FADE TO MIDNIGHT fit the bill perfectly. The female villain is depraved too and she really gave me the shivers…and not in a good way. As usual when reading McKenna’s villains I was shivering in horror yet undeniably fascinated. The neuroscience stuff went a little above my head at times but as I really enjoyed the suspense and romance it didn’t really bother me and I didn’t go out of my way to try and understand or make sense of it all.

The way McKenna writes the suspense plots in this series is awesome. Not only the ones in the individual books but also the ongoing overall plot of Kev’s disappearance that was there in some way or form in all the books, with a (logically) more in depth look in Sean’s book (EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). They are all brilliantly set up. Some (many?) may find McKenna’s suspense (and romance) over the top and too much but I love it. In FADE TO MIDNIGHT, like in all the other McCloud books I gobbled it up and relished in the intense reading experience.

The suspense in FADE TO MIDNIGHT, even though I was privy to much more stuff than the characters, still was nail-biting and kept me on the edge of my seat as I was anxiously looking forward to the moment where everything would come together and the villains would get what was coming to them.

FADE TO MIDNIGHT was emotional, humorous and hot. With its intense hero, amazing heroine, awesome secondary characters, heinous villains and excellent suspense it fit the rest of the books in the series perfectly and I’m sad to see the end of this story arc in the series which I enjoyed to the fullest ever since reading the first sentence of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

Favorite Quotes:
She reached back, struggling with the fastenings of her shabby white bra. Wishing she had a seductive scrap of silk and lace on. At least the boobs themselves were acceptable, as boobs went. “Who said anything about helping?” She flung the bra onto the sweater, chest out, shoulders back. Displaying herself. Ta da. Take that buddy. Tit power.

“Thank you,” she replied. Her face was so hot, she felt feverish. “The compliments are just super-nice, and I appreciate you being so sweet, but the buildup is driving me crazy. If you don’t kiss me now, I will grab a fork and stab you with it. Or else faint from lack of oxygen.
His laugh rang out, loud and happy. Then he seized her.
The kiss sprang into being fully formed. No lead in, no awkward fumbling, no slow, graceful merging. Just all the sudden, they were twined together as if they has always been, locked into a greedy, devouring clinch like they were starving to get inside each other.

She smiled, her eyes flashing timidly down to his tireless tentpole of a dick. “Are you, ah, cold?
He was a blast furnace. His dick was going to be in a state of permanent inflammation, now that it knew that Edie Parrish existed.

He’d never dreamed how deep it could cut. How hot it could burn. He was wide open to her now. She could slide those slender, cool fingers in between his ribs, grab his heart, and squeeze it out of existence. And he didn’t care. He’d found his angel, She was his. Or more precisely, he was hers. And he was cooked.

Kev dragged her up onto his lap and hugged her. Tears ran down her face, and she was completely unembarrassed. It was good, it was fine. It was wonderful. The she kissed his face, and found it wet.
Her heart opened so wide, she thought it would break, become something she never knew a heart could be. Vast and pure and fearless.

“Your brother catered a surprise meal for us?”
He shrugged. “He desperately wants to get me laid. He thinks that getting laid is the solution to any man’s problems. Common cold? Get laid. Ingrown hairs? Get laid. Pursued by an angry billionaire? Get laid.”

He lay there afterward, shaking. Every time they made love, he felt more naked. More out of control. Carrying on like a crazed barbarian warlord, waving his dick around like a club. But it was all bullshit. The power dynamic between them was brutally clear.
He was on his knees to her. She owned his ass.

“You’re aware of what this will cost me, right? Kev will redesign my skeleton. I’ll be short a head, or missing a couple of limbs the next time you see me. And I loved being bilaterally symmetrical (Bruno to Edie)

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