I'll start with the obvious. this book is VERY similar to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. naturally I don't know how the next ones will be but this book even portraits the same idea as "Dark Lover" the first book of the BDB, here we have Lucan who is a leader of a group of vampires who fight to protect the Breed (of vampires) and in the BDB we are hearing the story of Wrath - a leader of the vampires (the black dagger brotherhood) who fight against their evil opponents (the Lessers). Wrath and Lucan are both warriors, they are both consumed with fighting the enemy and both don't consider themselves "worthy" or "appropriate material" for a serious relationship with a woman. they are also not really "king" material because all they want to do is fight. But both have the authority to being the leaders. Gabrielle (Lucan's HEA) is similar to Beth (Wrath's HEA) in the sense that they are both outsiders. they don't know about the world of vampire around them and they both have to manage with the little Wrath/Lucan tells them (and the "small lies") and when the truth is revealed they understand that "myth has it all wrong".
So that being said - this is the reason this book get 4 stars instead of 5. 2 years after Dark Lover is released we see a series that is basically the same.. we have a group of (very disturbed) warriors living together and fighting for the race. I even think that Tegan in a "kind of" Zsadist (which means I'm dying to get to HIS story. yeah, it will be in the 3rd book, like Z was on the BDB...)
Yes, Adrian made things different then Ward, in a sense some are better. I like their adversary better then the Lessers in BDB which I find quite boring.. something about them just isn't "catching" enough for me. The Rogues - the enemy in this series is much more interesting in my eyes. these are actually vampires who "went over the edge" with bloodlust and now is addicted to blood (and cannot be cured.. so must be killed..). I like the idea that this could happen to anyone of them. any vampire, that this is some danger they have within themselves. I think it's a little soon to have an opinion on the interaction between the warriors. I remember in the first book of the BDB I had a hard time remembering who is who. but later on their interaction between themselves is important and I'm waiting to see how it is in this series. Saying, waiting to see how fucked up they are :D
I like the way Adrian built the vampire race. It is different than Ward, the explanation for the being of vampires, their connection to the human world around them. The way a mate is found for a vampire and the fact that vampires are actually alive - beating heart and breathing.. (like in the BDB that they are simply another race not the undead).
And also I like that not ALL the warriors are single. we have 7 vampires almost half of them are coupled which means that Gabrielle comes into this world of theirs and see it though their (womanly) eyes. yes, Beth had Welsie but well, I liked the interaction of these three with Gabrielle because each one is different.
So all in all - I'm enjoying myself with this first book. I'll be starting the next one very soon. I"m waiting to see how the series will progress. though I feel a little "bad" about this being some sort of a copy of Ward's idea. I do believe that lately vampires became more "popular" everyone wants to "jump" on the wagon and write "their side of the story" and I'm thinking - how many different concepts of vampire can there be? They are bound to start repeating themselves.. so if we have a good story here, I'm game.