Series: Mayhem in Mayfair, Book 1
Genre: Historical Romance
(c) June 2007, Avon
Jacquie D'Alessandro's website
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links (paper): Amazon, BookDepository, Barnes and Noble
Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook
"Wildly romantic, this book is a must read for all romance lovers!"
It's official. Barring my liking Confessions At Midnight (which I haven't yet read) more than this, Sleepless At Midnight is my absolute favorite book in the series. And after first reading books 3 (Seduced At Midnight) and 4 (Tempted At Midnight), which are both great reads, that's saying a lot!
What do I like about Sleepless? Mainly the not-a-(classic)-beauty heroine. It is rare that we find this kind of heroine. Too often, she's gorgeous, beautiful, lovely, pretty, etc.
Sarah Moorehouse could never be called a classical beauty, because according to the hero, her features are mismatched--too big eyes, too small (pert) nose, too lush lips, etc. Having a stunning sister (Carolyn) and beautiful (Julianne) and pretty (Emily) friends, it's a wonder Sarah isn't insecure or, worse, bitter. But no, Sarah has accepted that gentlemen will never "see" her, nor will they ever ask her to dance. She has instead devoted herself to her plants and books and sketches.
And though we all aspire to beauty, not a lot of us can identify with the gorgeous, perfect, sexy heroines we read about and whose faces and figures grace the covers of books. On the other hand, it's so easy to identify and sympathize with Sarah, because we've all been there, we've gone through what she has, we've all resigned ourselves at one point or the other to accept ourselves as we are, and we've gone through the same wonder and amazement of discovering there's someone who loves us as we are. After all.
And knowing what Sarah is and what she believes of herself, I also can't help but root for her as she began her romantic journey with Matthew and experienced the thrill of falling in love with a man worthy of her. If it were not for the fact that I needed to work the next day (and hence needed to sleep), I would've finished the book in one sitting.
The hero who sees beneath the surface. When Sarah and Matthew had their first conversation, Matthew wasn't bowled over by her looks. Yet, something about her touched him, such that he couldn't get her out of his mind, he was drawn to her, and he was jealous when he saw her having fun with another man. And in his eyes, she was beautiful. He compared her once to a Botticelli painting, which I don't know anything about, but which must be good. (I googled. Here are the images.) I like how his friend described him toward the end, that whenever he talked with Sarah or even looked at her, Matthew lit up from within as though he'd swallowed a candelabra.
Logan Jensenn also saw beneath the surface, but too bad for him, Sarah doesn't like him in that way. Not only did she only feel this intense attraction toward Matthew, but they also have similar experiences in their past that drew them to one another, that created a bond of understanding between them, that allowed their souls to commune with one another. Perhaps then, this is the beginning of love.
There are, however, inconsistencies in this book and in TAM that I've discovered, a curse of having read and loved TAM a lot. One that I spotted is that I was under the impression from TAM that Emily's parents' marriage was a love match, which was why her mother wanted the same for her. However, in this book, it stated that Emily's father has expensive mistresses, which was one of the reasons for the family's dire financial straits. (Maybe it was a love match from the mother's POV only? *snicker*) Another inconsistency, this time within this book itself, is that at first, it was mentioned that it was Julianne's mother and Emily's aunt who were in attendance at the house party. Later on, Emily could be seen saying something about her (Emily's) mother and Julianne's aunt, who were both at the party. Now, we know from SAM and TAM that Julianne does not have an aunt while Emily most assuredly has.
Despite the inconsistencies above, which caused me to pause and read the passages again to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me, I enjoyed this book very much, so much that I'm giving it the highest rating.