Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

1) Read a book with two authors (not an anthology, more like a collaboration.)
2) Read a book where a character is a cop or a detective and/or a murder mystery is being solved.

3) Read a book categorize as romantic suspense (Romantic suspense involves an intrigue or mystery for the protagonists to solve).

4) Halloween: Read a book that you consider “scary” or “spooky” , or one that features a typical “Halloween” character (witch, vampire, ghost, etc), or Read a book with a character, or subject matter, that is also a typical, old-fashioned Halloween costume (witch, ghost, vamp, princess, fairy, cowboy, firefighter etc, etc…).
5) Teacher’s Day: Read a book set in a school, college or university, or a character is in the education field (teacher, professor, lecturer, etc). <-- Kate is a music teacher. ^_^
6) National Book Month Read a book set in the publishing business, or a book about writing, or one with a character that is a writer, publisher, editor, etc.
7) Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Read a book that is Chick-lit or Women’s Fiction, a book with a character dealing with cancer or a book with a strong female lead (“strong” can encompass physical, mental and/or emotional strength) *A virtual high-five for a book with a pink cover. * * *

Kate Taylor has helped the ladies of Spindle Cove to discover themselves and to develop their talents. But Kate Taylor has yet to discover her own true identity -- orphaned and raised at a home, she has vague recollections of her childhood: a song, a glimpse of blue and the words, "Be brave, my Katie."

Her dear friends, Violet, Minerva and Susanna have all settled into their married lives and Kate would love nothing more than to do the same. She wishes she had a family of her own -- a family who would accept her, birthmark and all.

Corporal Thorne has spent his lifetime running away from his childhood and his memories. Raised in a bawdy house by a verbally abusive mother, Thorne has always believed himself to be beneath everyone -- not as confident or as commanding as Bram, not as witty or as clever as Payne -- not as well-read and intelligent as Kate, etc.

He stands alone, separate from everyone else -- making sure that no one gets close enough to discover his secret shame.

What Thorne thinks of as self-preservation comes across as aversion to Kate. She knows she isn't beautiful -- and she knows the birthmark on her face doesn't help that out -- but why does Corporal Thorne go out of his way to avoid her?

Be Careful What You Wish For --
All her life Kate Taylor wished for a family and for love. Imagine her happiness when she finds both at almost the same time. But the best stories and best heroines never have it easy -- and Kate must choose between the two: her newfound family, the Gramercys or her newfound love with Thorne.

The Gramercys are Kate's dream family. They are fun-loving and open and accepting. And they value family above all -- so much so that they have undertaken the search for their missing cousin upon discovering that they had a missing cousin.

I fell in love with the family. Aunt Marmoset, Lark and Harry are strong characters -- one would think they would not stand out in a place filled with unusual females like Spindle Cove, but they have their own unique brand of lovable unusual-ness. (I hope Tessa Dare writes about them in her future books.) ^_^

Belonging to the Gramercys will elevate Kate's status, making her a lady but a lady cannot marry a simple soldier like Thorne.

"...but like all dreams, well, I'm afraid this can't last forever..."
- Walt Disney's Cinderella

As in the previous Spindle Cove stories, this one also has a ball -- and, like all Spindle Cove balls, Kate's ball promises to be as memorable and as disastrous --

Her life will change forever when, at midnight, her cousins will announce her true birthright. In the whole novel, the ball (and the title) illustrate the Cinderella reference best. But unlike Cinderella (who gains everything) when the magic ends, Kate will gain something and lose something in the process.

But, like all of the best heroines, Kate has a gift for thinking outside the box and it is her cleverness (with the help of everyone in Spindle Cove) that helps her gain her fairy tale ending.

This is another wonderful installment in Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove series. This isn't as compact and concentrated as A Week to be Wicked (still my favorite book in the series) but this novel contributes wonderfully in further endearing us to Spindle Cove. A Lady by Midnight may be the story of Kate and Corporal Thorne but it also showcases, quite nicely, the whole town of Spindle Cove -- and the introduction of the Gramercys just adds more fun to this whole series.


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