Defy the Dawn (Midnight Breed #14) - Lara Adrian


An immortal warrior must decide between loyalty to his people and desire for a beautiful Breed female determined to bring a powerful enemy to justice at any cost, in this new novel in the "steamy and intense" (Publishers Weekly) Midnight Breed vampire romance series from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian.


London, England

Brynne Kirkland threw her head back and downed the shot of premium whisky in one throat-scalding gulp. Being Breed, alcohol wasn’t her typical drink of choice. This noisy bar and strobe-lit dance club in Cheapside wasn’t her usual after-hours hangout either. On those rare occasions when she socialized, the staid taverns and social clubs on the other side of the Thames were more her speed.

Then again, that was precisely why she was here.

She needed to decompress, let off some steam.

Get a little wild for once in her life.

Ah, to hell with the pretense of decorum. After the lousy day she’d just had, what she really needed was to get drunk and get laid.

Preferably in that order.

She also needed to feed. Although quenching that other self-inflicted dry spell was a problem she was hardly prepared to deal with on a good day, let alone now.

Setting the shot glass down on the mirrored surface of the sleek bar, she licked her lips and blew out a heavy sigh. The bartender was right there with the bottle of Glenmorangie as soon as she lifted her finger to beckon him over.

Ginger-haired, broad-shouldered, with a pair of sweet dimples bracketing his friendly smile, the twenty-something human wasn’t hard to look at in the least. And given his firm, muscular body, obviously honed by years of dedicated work in the gym, he looked reasonably able to withstand the intense cardiovascular workout he’d get from taking a Breed female into his bed.

Which is more than she could say for most of the other human men in the place tonight. She had already sized up and mentally discarded a dozen potential candidates for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the fear that sex with one of her kind was liable to kill a mere mortal from sheer exhaustion alone. She already had one dead human on her record this week; she damned well didn’t need to add another.

The bartender took in her conservative white silk button-down and dark navy slacks as he refilled her shot glass. She’d come straight from work, hadn’t even bothered to pull her hair loose from its tidy twist at the back of her head.

“Rough day at the office, luv?” The bartender asked over the throbbing pulse of the club music.

Brynne arched a brow at his unwitting remark. “You have no idea.”

She’d spent the past decade building her career as an investigator at the London branch of JUSTIS—the Breed/human law enforcement organization more formally known as the Joint Urban Security Taskforce Initiative Squad. She’d worked hard, devoted her life to her job. Hell, the job was her life.

Or, rather, it had been until a few hours ago.

Everything she’d worked for had gone down in flames—all the worse because she had no one to blame but herself.

Two nights ago, she’d secretly assisted a covert mission with Lucan Thorne and the Order, willfully withholding information about that mission from her colleagues and superiors at JUSTIS, well aware that in so doing she was gambling with her career. Thankfully, the Order mission had been a success. They’d struck a major blow against the terror group Opus Nostrum, taking out a key player in Dublin and unmasking another in London. Brynne’s cooperation had been instrumental in making that happen.

Unfortunately, JUSTIS didn’t see it that way.

Her superiors had no quibble with the Order exterminating the Breed male in Ireland. Fineas Riordan was a known criminal and underworld figure, but the human councilman who killed himself in London rather than fall into the hands of the Order was a scandal that JUSTIS could not afford.

Never mind that Neville Fielding had been corrupt and secretly on the take with Opus Nostrum. Never mind that the two men, along with the deadly cabal they belonged to, had declared themselves in war against the rest of the civilized world.

And never mind that Brynne had done what she believed was right—the result being two fewer problems for the world to worry about later.

None of that mattered, because in aiding the Order on their clandestine operation, she had willfully defied JUSTIS command. She’d broken the organization’s trust.

For the first time ever, she had followed