A Lady by Midnight
by Tessa Dare
As the story opens Kate is visiting with her old schoolmistress from the charity school where Kate was raised trying to get any information about her past, and being subjected to the old woman's vitriol. Kate, ever optimistic, believes that she was loved once based on a barely remembered memory where someone tells her “be brave my Katie.” She remembers the color blue, and a song about a garden. Those are the only things she can remember before her time at the school. Those few memories gave her the hope she needed to survive school and beyond.
Corporal Thorne can fill in the blanks of Kate's missing memories but believes she is better off not knowing the degradation of her early life in a brothel. Thorne is in love with Kate and believes she deserves better so ignores and avoids her as much as he can.
Thorne rescues Kate when she has a mishap after visiting her old schoolmistress and returns her to Spindle Cove. When they arrive Kate finds a Marquess and his sisters waiting to claim her as cousins. Thorne's protective instincts go on full alert and he claims to be her fiancée in order to protect her from these strangers suddenly offering to give the orphan the family she has always dreamed of.
I'll admit, when the cousins arrived I had a strong sense of foreboding a la Jane Eyre, however Miss Dare provides a much happier ending. I loved Thorne and Kate, and, having read the previous books in the series, never suspected they would end up being a couple as he was so very good at avoiding Kate. But after reading what both Kate and Thorne went through in their lives, I was so happy they ended up together. Thorne is willing to sacrifice everything for Kate to ensure her happiness, including his own happiness.
Once again, Tessa Dare has made Spindle Cove come alive and makes me wish it was a real place I could visit. I love the people in that village, and I love how deftly Ms. Dare weaves humor, characters, and romance together so seamlessly.
A Lady by Midnight is another must read by Tessa Dare and has earned another place on my keeper shelf. I think this is my favorite of her books so far, don't miss this one!
Reviewed by: Valarie Pelissero
“Another Spindle Cove spinster topples a reluctant bachelor.”
September 2012, 384 pages
After years of fending for herself, Kate Taylor found friendship and acceptance in Spindle Cove—but she never stopped yearning for love. The very last place she'd look for it is in the arms of Corporal Thorne. The militia commander is as stone cold as he is brutally handsome. But when mysterious strangers come searching for Kate, Thorne steps forward as her fiancée. He claims to have only Kate's safety in mind. So why is there smoldering passion in his kiss?
Long ago, Samuel Thorne devoted his life to guarding Kate's happiness. He wants what's best for her, and he knows it's not marriage to a man like him. To outlast their temporary engagement, he must keep his hands off her tempting body and lock her warm smiles out of his withered heart. It's the toughest battle of this hardened warrior's life . . . and the first he seems destined to lose.