The Bride Thief

Confessions at Midnight

In Over His Head

Love and the Single Heiress

Never a Lady

Not Quite a Gentleman

Red Roses Mean Love

Sleepless at Midnight

A Sure Thing

Whirlwind Affair

Whirlwind Wedding

 

 
Tempted at Midnight
by Jacquie D’Alessandro
(Berkley Sensation, $7.99, R) ISBN 978-0-425-22699-5
*****
If you love a truly romantic story, run out to buy Tempted at Midnight, and spend a few enjoyable hours lost in the relationship between Emily and Logan.

Lady Emily Stapleford has recently discovered that her family is in dire financial straits and almost ready to be tossed out into the street.  As the only child of marriageable age, it looks like she will have to make an advantageous match to save the family.

Emily is strong-minded as well as strong-willed and she has decided that she will only marry for love.  She has come up with a plan: she’s written a sensual vampire love story and plans to stir up the ton with false vampire sightings to ramp up interest in her novel. The money she earns from her book sales will aid the family and she’ll be able to find her perfect match.

Unfortunately, in the meantime she has to deal with the uncouth, annoying American, Logan Jennsen, who is one of her father’s creditors come to collect his money. Initially, Emily knows very little about Logan.  She’s annoyed by him, irritated by his presence and his lack of perfect manners.  Emily also can’t forget that three months earlier at her friends Gideon and Julianne’s wedding, he kissed her until smoke nearly shot out her ears. So, she plans to avoid and ignore him as much as possible.

Logan and Emily move in the same social circle and have some of the same friends, so they end up meeting each other from time to time.  Then, a chance meeting of Logan and Emily along with her family at the park quickly turns into a long stroll full of intimate conversation.  As they reveal their true natures and secrets to one another, they find that they actually like one another.  Emily discovers that Logan is generous, kind and funny underneath his lonely and brilliant façade.  Logan finds that Emily is spirited, sweet and fiercely devoted to her family, not at all the spoiled society princess that he had thought.

They are also immensely attracted to one another. Logan has spent quite a few years alone since abruptly leaving America; Emily has spent years hoping for a love match and to find the passion that her happily married friends have found.  When their longing finds its target as they lust after and even start to like one another, their passion is electric. Logan and Emily are caught in a compromising position by Emily’s mother and Logan is forced to tender a seriously unromantic proposal of marriage. Emily is distraught and aware that she’s stuck in a betrothal she never hoped to have. Logan is wondering why the shackles of marriage he’s spent years avoiding don’t seem to scare him. 

In the meantime, someone from Logan’s past is targeting Emily, determined to destroy all he loves.   

Tempted at Midnight keeps moving at a great pace without being overwhelming. The love story really flowers after the walk in the park scene. I have rarely read a love story where the characters form a deep, tangible connection so early in their relationship. Given their honesty and straightforwardness, Logan and Emily’s understanding of one another is extremely believable.

Emily manages to be enchanting without seeming false.  Emily is full of surprises, a richly layered lady who is easy to relate to. Logan’s lonely existence has to pull at your heart, the very rich businessman who lives alone in a vast house. After Emily learns that he lost his parents very young, practically raising himself on the street, she is genuinely distressed and wants to comfort and protect him as best she can - and it’s easy to agree with her. Logan is strong, self-sufficient but with just a hint of vulnerability which makes him even more attractive.

It’s rare to read about a couple that is so perfectly suited for one another, and I can honestly say that Tempted at Midnight makes a true romance seem even the tiniest bit more possible.   

--Amy Wroblewsky    


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