Letitia's Reviews > A Lady by Midnight

A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare
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's review
Mar 07, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-romance, edelweiss, all-time-favorites

Rating: A ... Heat: Hot

Kate Taylor has found a home and true friends in Spindle Cove. After a childhood spent at an austere school for young ladies, she has built some measure of peace and happiness for herself at the seaside locale. That peace is transformed into chaos when a kooky family, the Grammercys, come calling upon Kate--claiming her as their long lost cousin.

Corporal Thorne doesn't trust the Grammercys. When it comes to Kate's well-being and happiness, he will do anything to protect her. Even if it means breaking his vow to himself to stay away from her. Becoming betrothed to her, in order to offer her his protection, seems like the natural thing to do. After years of watching out for her, it's the least he can do before departing from her life for good.

Kate was such a delightful heroine. From the very first, she had my heart. And it was tugged and poked and prodded at with each hurtful comment or painful memory she had to endure. Eternally optimistic, with a strength deep within, Kate had me rooting for her. It was gratifying to have a heroine so wholly her own person and not dependent on anyone else. Her desire for a connection, to know someone out there wants her - loves her - was deeply touching. Kate and I clicked immediately.

Corporal Thorne had me with a puppy, a turnpike, a loaf of warm bread, and an even hotter first kiss. A man haunted by his past, he suffers from low self worth. He has seen and done things he believes makes him unworthy of love or affection. Or even capable of love himself. And yet he has such a strong, beating heart buried under many, many protective layers. Thorne is brave and honorable and chivalrous. His need for connection, for someone out there to see him and still want him - to know his darkness and not punish him for it - was so heartrending.

And then there are the Grammercys, a nutty bunch of aristocrats who sweep into Kate's life and shake things up. There is Harry, a fun and modern woman with a sharp tongue... Lark, a sweet young lady who can cut to the quick of the matter... Evan, the patriarch of the family, filled with such turmoil, such fierce devotion... And Aunt Marmoset, full of open arms and pockets full of spice drops.

I also loved Miz Dare's use of tattoos. They were such powerful markers of a rough life, the hardships Thorne had to face. And the epilogue featured such a moving way to transform them into something loving and beautiful.

A Lady by Midnight is a sensational and stirring tale of two people finding themselves and each other. It is fraught with heartache and hope and love and laughs. Kate and Thorne heat the pages hotter than an adder snake venom-induced fever. (Which will make more sense once you’ve read it.)

In March I declared A Week to Be Wicked (also by Miz Dare) to be my favorite Regency Era Historical Romance of 2012... Well, now I believe I'll revise that statement and declare it a tie!

Favorite Quote:
“Katie.” He groaned. “I burn for you.”
Just a few husky words, but coming from a man so taciturn, she thought they must equal poetry.
I burn for you.
So hot, those words. So dangerous. Their effect was incendiary.

-- A Romantic Book Affairs Review

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Reading Progress

March 7, 2012 – Shelved
March 7, 2012 – Shelved as: historical-romance
July 5, 2012 – Started Reading
July 5, 2012 – Shelved as: edelweiss
July 5, 2012 –
6.0% "Oh, goodness. Two chapters in and it's already making me tear up."
July 5, 2012 –
20.0% "The Gramercys are a nutty bunch. Hope their intentions are good."
July 6, 2012 –
63.0% "Kate, you're breaking my heart..."
July 6, 2012 – Finished Reading
August 20, 2012 – Shelved as: all-time-favorites

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Huma Rashid Argh. Girl, you're killing me. I preordered this book as soon as I finished A Week To Be Wicked (I've wanted Kate/Thorne since their first scene in A Night To Surrender where Thorne sees her at the piano and sucks in a breath and Bram thinks that for any other man it would have been equal to a shriek)and I cannot freaking WAIT for August 28. Great review. Even though you killed me and I am now dead and this is your fault. >:/

Letitia I've wanted them since then too! You won't be disappointed. I sure wasn't. And that scene you mentioned is explored from Thorne and Kate's angle... :-P

Melissa McHugh Oh my God. I thought...maybe I couldn't want to read this book more than I did a few weeks ago. Now? Freaking hell.

Letitia It's worth the wait. Thorne might not have the charm or way with words that Collin had... but what he does say and do is so so touching. :)

Melissa McHugh I can make it until the end of August. I have no hair left, but I'll make it. I've been looking forward to Kate and Thorne for eons. I'll just go distract myself with...something. Somehow. Gah.

Huma Rashid Ack! Seriously dying anew over here. :P I LOVE THAT SCENE IN THE COFFEE SHOP. I can't wait to read it from their POVs.

And you know, as much as I love Colin (he's one of my favorite heroes EVER EVER, right next to Colin Bridgerton from Julia Quinn's Romancing Mister Bridgerton), I don't care at ALL that Thorne doesn't have his silver tongue. (Well, not really silver - Colin never could manage to say the right thing to Minerva/Matilda/Marissa/Marianne/Melissande. Haaaa.)

Because that's what I like about Thorne. I like that he's sooooo quiet. So unwilling to put thoughts into words. So stoic. So ... repressed in his own way. :P It imbues him with almost this emotional strength, if that makes sense. Like he's bracing himself against the world, and whatever anguish he must bear, he'll do so silently, even if it's suffering from his love for Kate. I find that attractive. I mean, I don't think I'd find that attractive in a man like Colin, because of course it wouldn't work for Colin, but from everything we know about Thorne already, it's just perfect.


Letitia That is so true. :) Both Colin and Thorne are the ultimate HR heroes - but for completely different reasons!

And wait till you meet the Grammercy's. I hope Miz Dare writes their stories as well.

Huma Rashid Oooh, I bet she will. They sound like series-bait! :P I'm glad. UGH I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

Melissa McHugh We're in the home stretch now. Only a few more weeks.

message 10: by Huma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Huma Rashid :(

I can't stop thinking of the lines that Letitia quoted. Sigh. <333

Melissa McHugh I know...I know. Maybe we can go to sleep and wake up, and it can be August 28.

message 12: by Huma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Huma Rashid I like this plan.

Melissa McHugh Of course, I'll sleep through the rest of my summer vacation, of which I've only been on for about a week, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make

Carol *Young at Heart Oldie* Loved your review, Letitia! I agree the Epilogue was so beautifully done. I loved the Gramercys as well. Such a quirky, eccentric, loveable bunch.

Letitia Sometimes Epilogues are my favorite parts! I'm a sucker for a HEA. :)

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