Review: Midnight by Ellen Connor

Midnight is the second book in the Dark Age Dawning trilogy from Ellen Connor. Ellen Connor is the pen name of dynamic writing duo Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty. Dark Age Dawning is an apocalyptic paranormal romance. This book was published September 6th, 2011 from Berkley Sensation.

The Blurb

Their desire destroys her defenses.
Their love gives him a reason to live.

Three years of wandering the post-apocalyptic wasteland has stripped Dr. Chris Welsh of humanity and hope. He’s a dangerous man now, full of dark energy and yen for violence. A harrowing loss drove him from his home, and he hasn’t stopped moving since. Grim and sardonic, he never found anything worth sticking around for – until now. 

Rosa Cortez runs Valle de Bravo, a haven of civilization amid the chaos of the Change. Soldiers take their orders directly from her–the iron hand within a velvet glove. The last thing she needs is a feral loner upsetting the town’s tentative balance. However, for the good of her people, she lets the sexy doctor stay. He evokes a delicious new longing, but she won’t submit to any man. 

Tension rises as bloodthirsty raiders strike again and again, bent on possessing Valle and its resources. Together Chris and Rosa battle hellhounds and dust pirates while also fighting desperate attraction. To save them, love must overcome the pain of the past–and build a future in this brutal Dark Age…

My Review

Let me as blunt as I can about this: I only volunteered to review this book because I saw Ann Aguirre’s name attached to it and hadn’t had the privilege of reading her work yet. I had no idea, at the time, what this book was about. I didn’t even know what genre it was in.

If I had known it was a paranormal romance novel – even a post-apocalyptic one – I probably would have passed on it. And that would have been a crying shame, because this is one damn fine novel. I plan to look up the books that came before and after this one so that I can find out  more about the world. It’s fascinating.  (Note: It is not at all necessary to have read book 1 prior to reading this one.)

Chris and Rosa are brave people doing their best to live in a brutal new world. Make no mistake that this is a romance novel. You will need the customary relationship suspension-of-disbelief and there is indeed a “happily ever after” of sorts. However, the setting is also fully realized (in vivid, blood-spattered technicolor) and the romance doesn’t overwhelm the other elements of the story.

Overall, I was surprised and pleased with how wonderful this novel is. In fact, I might just be re-evaluating my ban on romance novels, based solely on how well I genuinely enjoyed this book. Shocking, I know. Midnight has totally reset – and raised the bar for – my opinion of romance as a genre, something I never expected to be saying at all.

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