Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Midsummer Moon” as Want to Read:
Midsummer Moon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Midsummer Moon

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,414 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
All the king's men could not surpass the intellect, nor all the king's ladies the beauty of Merlin Lambourne. As the infamous Napoleon's deadly army grows ever closer, Lord Ransom Falconer frantically searches for an inventor who can create a new way to defeat the advancing forces. He unexpectedly finds that only the lovely Merlin is adequate for the challenge. Drunk from ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published December 19th 1999 by (first published 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Midsummer Moon, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Melissa In the beginning Ransom tells Merlin that a man was found with his throat cut and was in possession of messages he was trying to bring to Ransom and…moreIn the beginning Ransom tells Merlin that a man was found with his throat cut and was in possession of messages he was trying to bring to Ransom and one was about Merlin and her invention in code but he said it was probable the code was broken. I assume he was correct and that is how the french knew because as far as I can tell there is no other way.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

5 +++ "God Almighty, I'll never sin again" stars!!!!

I loved this story. Loved it! Not just a little, but over the moon loved it! Fun, romantic, sexy, poignant... I'm heartbroken that it's over.

When a powerful, decisive aristocrat undertakes to protect an absent-minded young inventress from England's enemies, he finds his orderly world turned into chaos. Merlin Lambourne's stubborn dream of flight puts her at risk, not to mention driving Ransom crazy. In spite of himself, he's odd
Feb 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance, 2011
Oh man, this one is hilarious. First it's like, he forces himself on her while under the influence of an aphrodisiac (!?), then he spends two thirds of the book yelling at her, then she loses her memory and he takes advantage of that to get her to marry him (!??), then she remembers and says she hates him but they have sex in a fountain anyway (!!). Also there is a hedgehog. One star for the hedgehog.
Merlin is absolutely adorable. Mr. Duke needed a skillet. But any book where the h is that awesome AND has a hedgie who makes the H sorry is a gazillion stars of pure bonus.
Lady Wesley
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this is a Laura Kinsale title narrated by Nicholas Boulton. Seriously, did you expect anything less than five stars?

I won't go into the plot; other reviews do it better than I would. Let me just share something that happened to me while listening to this audio book. Like the hero, Ransom, I have a fear of heights, although not so debilitating as his. Near the end of the story, there is a lengthy scene where he must navigate a narrow path along a chalk cliff many feet above the beach. Liste
May 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really fun romance. At first I found Merlin's lack of focus irritating but then I decided to just go with it and ended up enjoying it a lot.

At times I wished that Merlin would open her eyes and see what was going on around her. Because of her inattention it was pitifully easy for Ransom (or Mr. Duke to Merlin) to manipulate her into doing what he wanted her to. Truthfully I don't blame him for his schemes. It's human nature to seize an opportunity that would benefit you. I d
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, borrowed

Adventurous, quirky, and unique!! Magnificent storytelling!!!
I felt I was transported back in time while reading this gem of book. At first I didn’t know what to make of it, the language seemed spot on for this time period but I admit there were moments I didn't know what they were talking about. But before I knew it Midsummer Moon grabbed hold and I couldn’t stop reading. I loved all the eclectic and imperfect characters, really spectacular writing, and plot. I highly recommend this book!!!
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hr-european
Merlin Lambourne, es una joven científica que ha vivido recluida en una casa de campo desde su niñez, en compañía de un par de criados, un puercoespín y las memorias de su fallecido tío Dorian. Esto por supuesto le ha generado un grado de ingenuidad de tamaño colosal en cuanto a los aspectos más mundanos de la vida en sí, sobre todo en lo que se refiere a relaciones personales que son prácticamente nulas.

Si bien se siente protegida en su pequeño mundo de fantasía y construcciones de artilugios q
I'm dead chuffed to have joined the reviewing team over at AudioGals. My first review appeared there today :)

When I heard that Laura Kinsale planned to release her books in audio format, I was, well, to say excited is probably the understatement of the year. I’ve followed her progress via her interviews here and feel very privileged, as one of the newest reviewers at AudioGals, to have been given an advance copy of one of the first batch of titles for review.

I have to confess that I haven’t read
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really hoping to love Midsummer Moon - and I really did like some things - but, overall, reading it was an uncomfortable experience. And not in a good way. While I loved the heroine's dedication to her work (she's an inventor), I felt that her space cadet tendencies were played up to such an extent that she was infantilized. The power balance between her and the hero never really felt comfortable for me. The book started on a really weird footing (what was that "aphrodisiac" nonsense?) and ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Historic romance with an espionage twist, set in England during the Regency period, when Britain was at war with France. The duke is sent to track down a reclusive inventor who has supposedly created a machine that could turn the tides of war. He expects to find a Merlin type character, and he does, but she's not at all what he expected.

Loved it! A delicious hero with a secret phobia. Mmmm-Mmm. The accidental aphrodisiac scene...sublime. And funny.

Loved that peripatetic hedgehog. Cute critter. F
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Amantes de la Kinsale
Recommended to CalypK by: Internet
Terminado de leer 05/05/2013

Personajes variopintos ¿Los hubo? ¡Por supuesto! ¿Protagónicos que quitaran el aliento? ¡De ninguna manera!

En el olvido queda la genialidad de obras como Flores, o Sombra y Estrella.

Pareciera que con la Kinsale mientras más excéntrico sea un personaje, más plano e insustancial será.
If it was published today, Midsummer Moon would likely be marketed as Steampunk Romance – not only has it a workable flying machine and the telephone being invented during the Napoleonic Wars, one of its protagonists is the classic Mad Inventor – obsessed with machines and a genius with engines, but scatterbrained and extremely naive concerning any more worldly affairs. Well, almost classic – for while this role is usually ascribed exclusively to males, in Laura Kinsale’s novel the brilliant inv ...more
Delirious Disquisitions
Sep 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book made me feel physically and mentally sick after reading it. I kept reading hoping it gets better but by the end I almost threw up with the unfairness of it all and it pains me pains me to say this since I adored Flowers from the Storm.
I love historical romances specially when there is a quirky heroine involved. But to read this book, I cannot explain how much I loathe Ransom with every viber of my being. not only does the honorable upstanding perfect Ransom rape Merlin, who in modern t
- most excellent animal mascot and use thereof in story
- most excellent heroine profession
- heo went through great character arc from stuffy/imperious/manipulative to overcoming greatest fear to doing some very nice grovelling for earlier misdeeds towards heroine by the end

- had trouble with repeated lack (or at least, complete non-mention) of what felt like logical follow-up to different events. Heroine is urgently trasported by hero away from her home following French abduction attempt
Ava Campbell
No he podido quitarme de encima la molesta sensación de que este libro no era de Laura Kinsale, y eso supongo que puede influir en mi valoración. Si fuera de otra autora, tal vez habría podido apreciarlo de otro modo, no lo sé. Pero la supuesta ingenuidad de Merlin me ha resultado en muchos momentos estupidez, y muchas de sus reacciones me han resultado imposibles de creer. En ocasiones me ha parecido que estaba leyendo el esquema de un libro sin desarrollar, como si faltara toda la parte de cor ...more
Laura Kinsale es una de mis autoras favoritas... tiene un estilo inconfundible que a muchas lectoras no les gusta pero que a mí me encanta.
Su último libro El profesor de francés me sorprendió, era totalmente distinto a lo que esta autora me tenía acostumbrada pero me encantó.
En este libro sigue esa linea, intenta hacer un libro muy cómico y divertido con situaciones totalmente extravagantes, principalmente de la mano de su protagonista femenica.
Pero a mí no me ha gustado, se me ha hecho lento, p
Barbara Elsborg
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Can't currently get enough of Laura Kinsale. Her stories are fresh even after several years. One advantage of historical romances! But the heroes are fascinating, the heroines different and the romance just lovely. I didn't even mind the slight twisting of historical accuracy to make the plot work. Hero is smitten, heroine is oblivious to all but her ambitions to make a flying machine and two opposites are brought together, dragged apart time after time until of course, the obligatory ...more
Annabel Joseph
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was much better on the second reading...and believe me, I already loved it the first time around. I love the heroine's vulnerability and her originality as a character. I ADORED the contrast between the hero and heroine. I know this is a cheesy line from Jerry McGuire, but he really completed her, and vice versa. The really great thing about Laura Kinsale books is that they're so rich that when you read it a second, third, fourth time, you are still discovering something new. A+++++
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i've come to the conclusion that I like LK more as an audiobook - don't get me wrong, i think she is a good author, but I just think her books translate better into an audio format
MIDSUMMER MOON REVIEW - Nicholas Boulton is the best romance narrator out there so the fact that the hero was an overbearing blowhard and the heroine let him get away with it didn't ruin this story. The sub-characters and plot were really entertaining but the hero's bullying and the heroines lack of spine drove me nuts. I think some will find many of the scenes quite funny. I probably would have enjoyed them more but I found myself angry at the powerlessness the female characters were subject to ...more
Ransom Falconer, Duke of Damerell, is all icy reserve and cool, composed demeanor when he meets Merlin Lambourne. Merlin isn’t one of those swoony types, she’s this sheltered inventor who keeps a hedgehog in her pocket (so fucking awesome) and is more focused on her flying machine than on how her nipples inadvertently harden around “Mr. Duke” (as she calls Ransom – she can’t even be bothered to remember his NAME). She can make rockets out of the odds and ends that she keeps in her pockets (not t ...more
Ransom Falconer, Duke of Damerell has come to find the inventor Merlin Lambourne. The government has been told Merlin has invented something that could be of the utmost importance to the war effort. Some hilarity ensues once he gets there and discovers that Mr. Lambourne is actually a Miss Lambourne.
Merlin has invented a few random things but she doesn't think much of them as her driving passion is to invent a flying machine. If it doesn't have to do with flying then she is pretty absentminded a
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wasn't as enarmoured with this book as with others by the author. I found it harder to invest in the main characters. It's written in an engaging, lighthearted and in some ways, humorous vein.

Merlin Lambourne is an inventer at the height of Napoleon's powers. Her inventions have come to the attention of Ransom Falconer the Duke of Damerell who whisks her away to his estate for her own protection.

Merlin I did at times find exasperating, I had trouble believing her naiviety, and inability to per
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book - at first. It is a light romance story about a loopy woman scientist, Merlin Lambourne, in England during the Napoleon war who has invented devices that will help England defeat France. Of course, French spies are after her. So, Lord Ransom Falconer must kidnap her, her inventions, and her pet hedgehog. The story holds its own for a while with hilarious secondary characters and wild adventures. However, Merlin keeps getting captured and rescued too many times (at least four ...more
This is a review of the audiobook version, narrated by Nicholas Boulton.

Review the second: I still found him unsupportive, but at the same time, he was brought up to be the Duke, and he was so used to taking responsibility for everyone, by any means and at any cost. That's not easy to leave behind, and he does understand that Merlin is unique and brilliant. I love the cast of characters, and I love their voices.

Review the first: One thing that nagged me with this book is how stubbornly unsupport
Midsummer Moon isn't quite as emotionally compelling as my favorite Kinsales, but it's funny and charming all the same. Merlin Lambourne is a brilliant but absent-minded inventor (how nice to see a woman in this role), who is swept out of her everyday life into the home of Lord Ransom Falconer when it's discovered that she's created something which could tip the scales in favor of England against Napoleonic France. The plot is screwball-y -- Merlin is constantly being kidnapped, for instance -- ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rooooomance
Maybe this was romantic when it was initially written. All I could see was that the "hero", out of some misguided desire to do the right thing, drags Miss Merlin away from her home, plops her into a world and a lifestyle she has no interest in, continually protests and thwarts her attempts to create and invent new things, belittles her, refuses to try and understand her, and finally does one of my Unforgivable Jerk Acts--when she hits her head and her memory is fuzzy, he lies to her face and tel ...more
Amanda Westmont
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was my first Laura Kinsale novel and it was GOOD. The premise was... ODD, but gripping. I even enjoyed the predictable plot. (Hero must conquer fear of heights to rescue his fair maiden from the highest tower!)

It did bother me a little that the protagonist could invent a flying machine and had read enough about human anatomy to know how to cut off blood flow to a nicked artery, but still knew nothing of the process by which babies are made.

In spite of its eccentricities, it was still a th
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Twee and--at times--rather annoying. The quality of the writing itself wasn't bad, but the plot was too much for me, with its implausible aphrodisiac salts and multiple chloroformed kidnappings. The characters were okay, but sort of meh: Merlin was a bit too oblivious and childish, and Ransom was...okay, but nothing to write home about. Not purely awful, but reading it felt like a waste of my time.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-f, historical
I enjoyed this, though I really felt Merlin's pain when she was forced to conform and didn't want to. And when the hero's fears were a valid reason for her dreams to be circumscribed. Grr.

Hedgehog adorbs.

One tiny quibble that threw me out of the story for a moment; the heroine has a blueberry muffin for breakfast. No. Just no. Not in England at that time. We don't have blueberries (bilberries, yes) and an English muffin is a whole different animal.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Mr. Impossible (Carsington Brothers, #2)
  • What a Scoundrel Wants (Medieval, #1)
  • To Love and to Cherish (Wyckerley Trilogy #1)
  • Black Silk
  • Uncommon Vows
  • Lord of Danger
  • If His Kiss Is Wicked (Grantham, #3)
  • The Spymaster's Lady (Spymasters, #1)
  • To Love a Thief
  • My Dearest Enemy
  • The Lady's Secret
  • A Lily Among Thorns
  • Bound by Your Touch
  • His at Night
  • To Dream Again
Laura Kinsale is a New York Times bestselling author and both winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America.

She become a romance writer after six years as a geologist--a career which consisted of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and driving hundreds of miles alone across west Texas to sit drilling rigs, wear a hard hat, and at
More about Laura Kinsale...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »