Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★★
Reading Time: 5 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of Midnight Conquest from Arial Burnz in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher's generosity. You can't fake these stars, baby! (For the audiobook review, go here)
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!)
First Line: "Death? Shall I-"
Hello Mr. McVampyDrinkMyBlood!
Midnight Conquest is enticing, inviting, and everlastingly seductive. Broderick makes Dracula look like a wussy. He makes Batman seem... blasé. 🦇 This series should be called Bonded by Broderick because this man holds ambrosia and you already want to take a bite!
When Broderick is first introduced, he is given two options: immortality or death. (Jeez, Arial Burnz ain't messin' around here!) To Broderick, death is the preferable route after being endlessly backstabbed... but immortality does have its advantages... revenge sounds awful nice...
Why would such a sweet (strong, handsome, mysterious) man want revenge, you ask? Broderick is accustomed to being played like fiddle in the hands of a blood-craving puppet master named Angus Campbell. Broderick's family was slaughtered... his wife is a cheat... and all of this suffering is thanks to him.
It's no surprise that Broderick chooses to live life as a vampire. It's just unfortunate that Angus is the one to transform him; two enemies forever bonded.
Nearly two decades later, we meet Davina. She is a young teenager; curious, innocent, and smitten with a handsome stranger. Of course this stranger is Broderick-now a vamp-and he is posing as a Gypsy fortune teller. Swoon. Sigh. Is that drool on your face? Yes, yes it is.
Broderick isn't the only fortune telling Gypsy, and his tea-leaf reading sidekick has some prophesies of her own:
Your heart is the one she will steal, my son.
Oh yea? Well, Davina ain't stealing anyone's heart anytime soon because she eventually gets married off to a bastard of a man. (So much for that prophecy 🔮) While her husband beats her to a pulp, the only thing keeping her sane is the parallel life she wishes to live where the handsome Gypsy she met so long ago comes and saves her. Instead, she succumbs to the abuse, viewing herself as a sacrificial lamb for the future of her family.
And when we think it can't get any worse, the puppet master from hell decides to inject himself into Davina's life... and when I say "inject," I mean he bites her. This isn't a sexy bite either, my friends. He gnaws at her only to find the memory of Broderick swimming through her veins. Score. There's the man he's been looking for... Does this demon ever stop hunting? #No
Gawd where is Broderick when you need him?! Oh. He's over there in bed sleeping. He's dreaming sweet dreams of Davina and hallucinating about a risqué rendezvous. When they actually meet for the first time in years, he isn't quite the gentleman she remembers.
What say we indulge in each other in a more private atmosphere?
Say what, handsome Gypsy man? You haven't seen this woman for how long, and THAT'S what you decide to say? Well, at least your intentions are good, you brute.
But behind the mutual desire lay secrets. Angus chose Davina, and Broderick knows this... But why her? And why has she suddenly entered his life again after all these saucy dreams he's been having of her? Is this a trick? Get your score cards, because another round of Let's-Bring-Eternal-Damnation-To-Broderick is about to commence. The three are bonded by blood: Angus transforming Broderick, Angus biting Davina... wait, is she a vamp too? Someone is going to end up hurt in the end and it's going to be Broderick; this is his predetermined fate. A graph of Broderick's destiny looks like this:
A doomed fate is stacked against him, but Broderick fights. He fights for Davina, and he fights for redemption.
I vow to protect you and all those you love with everything in my power, for all eternity.
VampyVamp is going to make a girl melt with words like that! But I think the puppet master has more power over the pair than either of them realizes...
Friends, Midnight Conquest is a stunning portrayal of eternal love. Davina and Broderick are soulmates, yet with every page turn, I straddled doubt and fear. How can an author make you feel so much conflict? My heart cried as I fell into a world only Arial Burnz can create. I became Davina. I was ruined by Broderick.
Midnight Conquest will vex you, and engrave a new definition of love on your heart. I got no strings to hold me down, but Broderick has encapsulated my heart with his immortal fingers and I have absolutely no intention of cutting myself loose.