Stroke of Midnight
Overall There's something about this book that I just don't connect with. All of the elements should be there, but something is missing -- I think it's in the characters and the romance after ...
There's something about this book that I just don't connect with. All of the elements should be there, but something is missing -- I think it's in the characters and the romance after a certain point. This is one of the books that does the setup just right but misses the dismount.
Laura Faulkner returns after ten years abroad--she and her father were once the toast of the ton but forced to flee when he was accused of stealing one of the most valuable diamonds from a leading hostess. Until then, Laura had been courted by Alex, the Earl of Copley. It was Alex that found a set of earrings and publicly accused her father. Laura cut his cheek, scarring him, as she and her father left. She returns after her father is killed in London, and wants to clear his name. Through Lady Milford, Laura becomes the companion to Alex's aunt and that's how they run into each other.
I think maybe I wanted more from Alex and from the romance after the middle of the book. Alex is supposed to have a tragic backstory, but I never quite felt that. I like this book, but it just left me meh and I usually skip over it when I reread the series.
My main problem with the romance is that they get married halfway through. Usually, this is my favorite trope. I love marriage of convenience stories, but all of the tension was immediately gone. Laura herself lost focus for me--she stopped being the avenging daughter which was her best quality. I wish that Laura had refused him, that Alex had had to work harder to gain her permission. Alex didn't pay enough for lying to Laura when they were younger or for not fully supporting her when she came back. And the tragic backstory seemed like a Hail Mary to make me like him more. He just didn't work for me after a certain point.