Friday 14 September 2012

CBR4 Book 79: "A Lady by Midnight" by Tessa Dare

Page count: 384 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Date begun: August 28th, 2012
Date finished: August 30th, 2012

Miss Kate Taylor has never really known who her parents are, and while she's found some sense of belonging among the many free-spirited ladies in Spindle Cove, working as a music teacher, she has always wondered where she comes from, and can't stop longing for a family to love. So when the strange and colourful Grammercy family come calling, convinced that Kate may be the daughter of a nobleman, she doesn't know what to think. Could she truly be a high born lady, not an unwanted by blow abandoned by her parents?

Corporal Samuel Thorne has kept a close eye on Kate since his militia arrived in Spindle Cove. Recognising her from her distinctive birthmark, he's vowed to keep his distance from her, yet he can't bring himself to stray to far away, driven by a fierce protectiveness that goes far back into a shared past Kate remembers nothing about. When the Grammercys come to town, determined to prove that Kate is a member of their family, he poses as her fiancee, in order to keep her safe. Until very shortly before, Kate had believed not only that Thorne was indifferent to her, but that he rather disliked her. Now she discovers that the gruff and distant man is deeply passionate and very attracted to her, he just hides it well. But Thorne is planning on leaving the militia, and moving to the United States. Will Kate have to choose between the welcoming family she always longed for, and the man who may be the answer to her dreams?

Having absolutely adored the previous two Spindle Cove books by Tessa Dare, it's safe to say that my expectations for this book were very high. I'm not sure any writer would've adequately been able to match them. Which is to say that I very much enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it to pieces, like I did A Week to Be Wicked. Kate was a great heroine, and Thorne is clearly the perfect guy for her, but their romance was a bit more restrained, and the huge cast of new supporting characters just screaming for their own follow up romances got a bit distracting. I also thought that Thorne's change of heart came rather suddenly, and the many fairly valid objections he had their long term relationship possibly going sour were quite valid, but were brushed under the carpet very fast indeed.

This is not to say that on the strengths of Dare's writing, I won't welcome the many romances I'm sure she's got planned for the Grammercys and possibly other Spindle Cove inhabitants (Minerva's older sister is still unwed, last time I checked). A solid novel, just not an amazing one.

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