Friday, July 26, 2013

A Lady By Midnight by Tessa Dare

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥
This book started at a 4-5 ♥ for me and sort of held there for the first 2/3rds of the book. I was thrilled and prepared to settle in for a nice Sunday Funday of just me, Tessa and a bottle of something cheap and red! But THEN. Oooooh then. Well, I'm sorry to have to tell you that the last third just stretched my patience a LITTLE too far and just brought the whole thing down to an average of 3 . Sigh.

Here's the lowdown.

He: Corporal Thorne's militia unit is stationed in Spindle Cove, a quaint little seaside town inhabited by an abundance of unusual and interesting ladies. He's quiet and surly and not much of a conversationalist. We find out that he's had a wretched childhood and his taciturnity is partly a result of a lifetime of getting kicked in the cojones by Life. He's also just a reserved guy.

She: Kate is the village piano teacher. She is sweet and kind, a well-liked member of the village. Underneath her sweetness, she is masking her loneliness and an almost desperate need to find her family. She is an orphan who had the good fortune to be left at a school for girls where she was relatively well treated but she still pines to discover what she can about her own roots.

Conflict: He is wildly attracted to her, but feels so beneath her that he can't allow himself to touch her. She always feels intimidated by his dark scowls and moodiness. The main reason he won't allow himself to be near her is because he knows something about where she comes from, something bad, and that information could potentially destroy the nice little life she has built for herself. And he likes her so much he just can't bring himself to ruin everything for her no matter how much she thinks she wants to find out about her past.

So...The first bit starts out really nicely - classic Tessa Dare. Witty, sweet, fun. All the elements of a cozy love story all lined up like a bunch of yellow duckies toddling along behind their mom. The right amount of longing and lusting and broody staring. All great stuff and I was all set to 5 heart this puppy. 

But THEN... there is a series of what I shall call Hysterical Events (including an idiotic sword fight / impromptu duel at a house party, a marriage proposal from someone who is a good guy but basically needs to marry her because he needs her inheritance, the constant self-denial of the hero because he just Wants Her to Be Happy even though she keeps telling him she will be Happy Only With Him). 

And as much as I dislike hysteria perpetrated by the heroine, I equally don't like it when it's perpetrated by the hero. The hero's problem is that because of his painful childhood he feels alone and unlovable and has experienced all sorts of terrible violence. But the way he tries to do what's best for her is always this overly dramatic, operatic nonsense that leaves me feeling like "huh?" Is this a full grown man? Because he's kind of acting like a 16 year old girl...

I'm being very harsh. I know that. I did like the H. He was a really decent dude who was only trying to do what's best for her. But I feel like his insecurity just made him behave in ways that I didn't find rational or even sensible. So I didn't fall for him and that just made believing the whole HEA that much harder for me.

Anyway. Having said that, I think this was a sweet story with all the hallmarks of a good Tessa Dare read - humor, wit, some spiciness - so it wasn't a total loss. I just wished I connected with the H more.

No comments:

Post a Comment