A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

September 13, 2012
"I'm not good enough" routine... good or bad?
Welcome back to Spindle Cove! Spoilers ahead! In the latest addition to the series by Tessa Dare, A Lady by Midnight, we have the story of Colonel Thorne and Kate. Remember Kate? She's the one with the birthmark on her face, and the Colonel is the one that went still when he saw her playing a piano. We finally get to find out why he went still in this book, and it is more than just being love stunned. But, I'm not going to tell you why, you have to read the book to find out.

I loved this story. Both Thorne and Kate were strong characters and unlike some other books I didn't prefer one over the other; I liked both equally. Thorne is a rough, smoldering man. He is barely literate, he doesn't say pretty things or pick lovely flowers. He has a horrible childhood, beginning with growing up in a brothel, and an almost equally horrendous adulthood. He has done things that are unspeakable and not hero-like, but Ms. Dare has made him into a very sympathetic person, someone I was rooting for throughout the whole book.

Then we have Kate, another strong character. Because of her birthmark she has a strong sense of not being beautiful, which affects how she thinks other people perceive her. But what I thought overwhelmed her character was her need to love and be loved. She wants to be part of a family so much. However, at no time in the book was she ever a whiney irritating heroine. Her claiming of Badger (the dog) as her own was wonderful to watch. So, who does she fall in love with? Someone who cannot say "I love you."

Now, there is a part in this book that some readers are going to grumble about. Somewhere along the line Kate's family show up and it is revealed that she is a little higher up the ladder than originally thought, which leads Thorne down the "I'm not good enough" routine. Normally, I would find this irritating; however, in this case I understood his reaction and found it believable. In fact, his I'm not good enough started long before he discovered who she was. He never ever thought he was good enough for her. It wasn't so much that she was too good for him, it was that he wasn't "good" enough for her. And, there is a difference. Sometimes the space between two people is insurmountable and only in romance novels can it be bridged. Even if she hadn't turned out to be a "lady," they would still be two totally unequal individuals. So, for me I didn't mind his "I'm not worthy" routine.

And, then there is Spindle Cove. I love the people in Spindle Cove and when Ms. Dare leaves this series I'm going to miss it. It's like reading a Masterpiece Theater presentation. This is a very romantic book and you are going to just love Thorne as a hero, because he is nothing at all like a hero should be. I do highly recommend this book with a grumpy hero and a persistent heroine.

Time/Place: Victorian England
Sensuality Rating: Hot


Tracy said...

Loved this one. So darned good!

SidneyKay said...

Tracy: Couldn't agree with you more!

Melissa said...

I was so excited to finally have Thorne's back story.