Viohlet's Reviews > A Kiss at Midnight

A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James
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Jan 09, 12

bookshelves: read-in-2012, 12-books-i-need-to-buy, 3rd-person-pov, angsty, barbie-heroine, based-on-fairytale-myth-etc, emotional-rollercoaster, false-relationship, family-is-retarded, fast-paced, favorites, forbidden-love, genre-historical, hero-2-g-l, hero-foreign-nobility, hero-i-loved, hero-is-a-foreigner, hero-is-too-noble-for-is-own-good, hero-protective-possessive, hero-royalty, hero-to-heroine-class-difference, heroine-2-g-l, heroine-5-blonde, heroine-i-loved, heroine-orphan, heroine-outcast-pushed-aside, heroine-self-sacrificing, heroine-shitty-past, historical-1800s, in-disguise-hidden-secret-identity, love-at-first-sight, majorly-awesome-heroine, majorly-awesome-hero, matchmaking-afoot, my-life-has-been-turned-upside-down, overbearing-interferring-family-fri, series, publisher-avon, read-4-loved, secondary-romance, series-beginning, set-in-english-country, slow-to-start, stars-5, sucky-family, we-can-never-be-together-angst, will-you-just-get-together-already, best-ever-reads, best-romance-heroes-ever
Read on January 02, 2012

** spoiler alert ** To start with, I've read the entire "Fairytales" series, and while I didn't read them in order, I will attempt to review them in order.

I also want to point out, as in my opinion it goes for every book in the series (so far), that the stories are a little slow to start. The opening chapter or two can be a little confusing because of the author's writing style, and the hero and heroine usually don't meet until at least chapter 3 or 4.

I'm realizing now that I didn't make many notes while reading (the more I enjoy a book, the less notes I take), and as I read it a week ago, I now have very little memory of what actually happened, so I will try my best.

The story starts with Katherine being ordered to take her sister's place at her sister's betrothed's cousin's ball. Why do you ask? Well, because Katherine's sister (the sweet but pretty brainless Victoria) is pregnant, so she and her betrothed MUST get married. However, the betrothed's father is dead, and his mother says that the decision as to whether or not they will be allowed to marry is up to the betrothed's cousin, who is royalty.

Still, just before they are due to depart for the ball, Victoria's dog bit her, leaving her lip split. This is apparently The End Of The World, because Victoria Absolutely Can Not Be Seen In Public, so as the foreign cousin has no idea what Victoria looks like, Victoria's mother figures it will be easy enough to send Katherine in Victoria's place and secure the cousin's approval and then Victoria and Betrothed can be married quickly and quietly.

At first Katherine refuses (who wouldn't?), but Victoria's mother (who's name I've actually forgotten, but she was a positively heinous woman) reveals that Victoria is in fact Katherine's half-sister and not step-sister as they'd both previously believed. Despite the fact that Victoria's mother has treated Katherine like a servant since her father died, Katherine likes Victoria because she's always been nice, and she feels obligated now that she knows she and Victoria share the same blood.

So now Katherine is at the castle of Gabriel (who has a million names) who is a foreign prince, and the cousin that needs to approve Victoria and Betrothed's union. They're only supposed to be there a fairly short time, so as long as she's careful, Katherine figures she can wing it.

However, Katherine and Gabriel are instantly drawn to each other, and the fact that Katherine is supposedly his cousin's betrothed only just stops Gabriel from making a move. It's not long though, before he discovers the ruse, and then as far as he's concerned, all bets are off.

The only real problem now, is the fact that Gabriel's brother (who is another high ranking foreign noble) has basically been brainwashed by a religious nut and has exiled all his family and court members who were 'tainted' and has picked out a bride for Gabriel because he's decided that's what Gabriel needs.

The romance between Katherine and Gabriel was bittersweet because while Gabriel loved Katherine, he was still planning on marrying the bride his brother had picked out for him.

Katherine wanted to leave the castle as soon as Gabriel discovered that she wasn't in fact, Victoria, but he demanded she stay until his ball in a few day's time, or he wouldn't give his blessing to the real Victoria and his cousin. Katherine was, of course, mad in the beginning but after a series of encounters she's just as in love with Gabriel as he is with her.

Katherine tries to talk Gabriel out of marrying the woman he's never met, but he stubbornly refuses because he believes he needs the money in order to support the castle and it's inhabitants.

Just before the ball, the real Victoria shows up, and she wants and needs Katherine at her wedding ceremony which is scheduled to take place the morning immediately following Gabriel's ball, which means that Katherine, Victoria and Betrothed must leave at the stroke of midnight in order to make it in time.

Katherine and Gabriel have one final encounter after which she doesn't get around to telling him that she's leaving tonight instead of tomorrow. Towards midnight, Gabriel spots Katherine saying her goodbyes to other guests and takes his fiancee away where she then demands the truth from him because she can tell he's unhappy. After their conversation in which he reveals there was someone before her, she asks what he was going to do and he says something along the lines of 'all things come to an end'.

Unfortunately, Katherine, who had sought him out to say goodbye, overhears and bails. Gabriel catches up to her in time to see the carriage she just entered careening away.

We then skip ahead over a month to London where Katherine is living with her godmother who she'd met at Gabriel's ball. She's morose and melancholy (not to mention an heiress because her mother left her a huge inheritance her father and step-mother didn't know about and were unable to touch anyway) when , spotting a disturbance in the park across the street, she investigates and finds Gabriel in the park. They make up and live happily ever after.

I liked the characters in this.

I thought Katherine was a great heroine and I thought that she was headstrong and confident and independent and hadn't let her step-mother break her spirit.

Gabriel was a great hero. He was charming and romantic but he wasn't all 'he-man' and super possessive. I thought he was a bit too stubborn for his own good, but in the end it all worked out.

They probably weren't the most super-deep characters ever, but they were far from flat. Their banter was enjoyable and both characters were loveable and likeable, and I was invested in their happy ending.

I thought both Victoria and her Betrothed were pretty brainless, but they were nice and sweet so I'm glad they ended up happy. (And they had like 8 kids!)

There weren't that many supporting characters that are worthy of a mention.

I've already said that Victoria's mother was absolutely horrible and I'm glad that she basically dropped off the face of the earth.

Katherine's godmother, who liked to go by the name Henry, was awesome, but she could be a little overwhelming at times.

Wick was pretty cool, and I was looking forward to the novella that would be his story after I'd read this.

The only things I would have changed about this were the amount of kids the heroine and hero ended up having (only 3; why do secondary characters always have more?), and I would have liked a better explanation of why it took Gabriel so long to come and sweep Katherine off her feet.

They'd been separated for 41 days, and Gabriel said it took him two weeks to get his ex-fiancee and a friend together, but that still leaves almost a month unaccounted for.

Despite these small beefs, I loved this novel. I would recommend it to anyone, and also recommend that they read the rest of the series and anything else Eloisa James has written. I will definitely be reading more of her work.

5/5

(Would you look at that, I remembered more than I thought I did. And no, it's not normal for me to outline the plot in a review. It kind of just...happened.)
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