Series: Mayhem in Mayfair, Book 4
(c) 2009, Berkley Sensation, Penguin Group
Jacquie D'Alessandro's website
Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook
"A read that flows like warm honey down your throat, charming and enchanting."
Lady Emily Stapleford is in dire straits. Her family is on the brink of financial ruin, and only her advantageous marriage to a wealthy man can save them. However, though she loves her family and is willing to do anything for them, she wants to marry for love, the way her friends had done. Hence, she comes up with a scheme to earn enough money, but while she goes about putting it into effect, her actions didn't escape the eagle eyes of Logan Jensenn, a rich shipping American magnate and one of her father's creditors.
Logan doesn't know why he was captivated by Emily, but he couldn't get her out of his mind since they shared a kiss, albeit a hot, intense one at that, three months ago. The mischief in her eyes told him she was up to something, and he was determined to discover what it was. And when his past inadvertently puts her in danger, he vowed to do everything he could in order protect her.
I thought this series is called the Midnight Series (owing to all titles bearing the word "midnight"), but luckily, I found out that I'm wrong before I posted this review. Mayhem in Mayfair sounds more interesting!
Jacquie D'Alessandro charmed my socks off with Tempted at Midnight. The story holds a twist, in that it's the heroine's family--instead of the hero's--that's penniless and is in need of new funds to replenish their coffers. The author's writing style also made this an easy and exciting read. I totally couldn't wait to learn how Emily's and Logan's romance would progress, and this kept me turning the pages. Oh, and midnight did play an important part in the story.
Emily is a truly likeable heroine, and it's easy to see why Logan would fall in love with her. She's funny and resourceful and strong, and best of all, she has a kind heart that extends outside of her family members. Though she could be seen to be prejudicial against Logan at the start, since she has all these concepts about him that were wrong without intending to find out if these were true, yet, she was using these as a buffer against the intense attraction she felt for him. She approached her world with curiosity and compassion, which makes her an intriguing heroine.
Logan is the typical attractive, wealthy, to-die-for hero with a deep, dark secret past that he was determined wouldn't touch Emily. It is refreshing to read about a hero who is not commitment phobe, and his proposal (the last one) to Emily is so romantic. No, let me correct myself. What's romantic about Logan and what makes him the perfect hero is his desire to please Emily in all ways possible, especially in the things in which she has expressed an opinion, one of which is the proposal. In one of their conversations, Emily has informed him how she wished to receive a proposal from the man she loves, and though their wedding was a foregone conclusion, Logan still obliged her, even though he didn't need to do it. In Emily's own words, "(his eyes) searching hers with an expression that suggested she had a choice and might say no. It was completely unnecessary and superfluous that he ask, that he give her this on-bended-knee romantic proposal..."
If all men during the Regency era are such, it's no wonder the ladies need smelling salts!
But more than the characters per se, it's their interactions with one another that truly made this an unforgettable and charming and enchanting story for me. Emily and Logan progressed from not liking one another due to the misconceptions they have about each other, to having these misconceptions cleared up, and then to falling in love. It's much more romantic than how I'm describing it here, believe me. Their dialogues are funny and sweet, and I could just read them over and over.
There's also a lovely scene wherein love was perfectly portrayed, in my opinion. Carolyn, Emily's friend and heroine of Confessions At Midnight, seemed to be having a serious medical condition, though they didn't yet know for sure what it was or if it was curable. As the physician was called in to check on her, Emily and Logan were in the library (I think) awaiting news, and Emily was so distraught that Logan took her in his arms to comfort her, lending her his strength. For me, this was a very beautiful picture. Sorrows and tragedies may come (and they will), but there's someone beside you who would go through life's challenges with you.
I love this story so much I wanted to read the stories of the other ladies who are Emily's friends and make up the Ladies Literary Society. When I couldn't wait to get all my hands on the author's backlist, I know this book deserved the highest rating it could get.
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook